Ryan Tuntland drilled a first-inning grand slam to continue his torrid hitting, and WVU batted around in the second to push the Mountaineer lead to 8-1, putting the Privateers in a hole from which they could not recover. Goderich, Ontario freshman Brock Dykxhoorn (1-0) got the first start of his career for the Mountaineers and threw six innings of one run, three hit baseball, striking out two and walking none. Dykxhoorn threw just 65 pitches and exhibited outstanding control, with 44 of them in the strike zone. He faced just three batters over the minimum.
Dykxhoorn got all the support he needed in the first inning. After Bobby Boyd flied out to start the game, Brady Wilson singled. Jacob Rice singled sharply to left, and after a passed ball WVU had two runners in scoring position. Matt Frazer walked to load the bases, putting WVU’s hottest hitter, Tuntland, in prime position to do more damage. He inflicted the maximum, smashing a 1-0 fastball deep to center field to give the Mountaineers an immediate 4-0 lead.
New Orleans rallied in the top of the second, when Zacary Hawkins drilled a double to right center to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt, Privateer shortstop Zach Liberto singled to right, driving in Hawkins and cutting the lead to 4-1. WVU then turned a double play to end the threat, and immediate went about repairing the damage in the bottom of the inning. UNO pitcher Seth Laigast (0-1) walked the first two Mountaineer batters and Brady Wilson stroked his second hit of the game to make the score 5-1. One pitch later Bobby Boyd scored when Laigast’s pitch got away from catcher Brian Dixon. Jacob Rice doubled to right center to score Wilson, and Justin Fox capped the parade with a sacrifice fly to center, putting the Mountaineers in command at 8-1.
Two innings later, Nitro, (W. Va.) High’s Matt Frazer smashed his sixth home run of the season to extend the lead to 9-1.. Frazer’s blast cleared the fence, the batting cages and bounced off the retaining fence of the men’s soccer practice field -- easily a 400-foot shot.
After Dykxhoorn made quick work of the Privateers in the fifth WVU struck again. Michael Constantini doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a groundout. Irwin, Pa. senior Chris Rasky came on to pinch hit and drove a shot deep to right for a sacrifice fly, giving WVU a 10-1 margin.
With a comfortable lead, WVU head coach Randy Mazey began clearing the bench in the sixth. Alan Filauro, now playing third base after several position switches, smacked his first home run of the season to stretch the WVU lead to 11-1. New Orleans added a run in the eighth inning off WVU reliever Kevin Cohen to cut the lead to 11-2, but that was mere window dressing on a day that was almost all gold and blue.
Rice and Wilson each had two hits from West Virginia, which scored its 11 runs on ten total hits. Rice, Wilson and Constantini each scored two runs, while Tuntland took high RBI honors with four, courtesy of his grand slam. Relief pitchers Corey Holmes and Jared Hill worked the final three innings. Holmes allows a run on two walks and two hits, while Hill struck out two in the ninth.
The Mountaineers return to action on Friday at 3 p.m. against New Orleans in game two of the four game series. Harrison Musgrave (3-1) is scheduled to start for WVU, while Stone Spencer (1-5, 5.59) is slated for UNO.