The right-hander allowed just the one unearned run and struck out five while walking two in the series rubber match. Dierdorff (2-4) did leave the bases loaded in the first and third innings – escaping with a pair of two-out groundouts with Liberty threatening – and allowed a one-out double in the fifth that turned into the Flames only run via a passed ball.
But it was an otherwise efficient outing for WVU’s third starter, who set Liberty down in order in the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 9th innings while seemingly getting stronger as the game progressed. Liberty managed just one hit, that on a bunt, in the last four innings as Dierdorff mixed pitches well and utilized the entire defense for outs to go with his five Ks in a game played in just 2:06. It was the first complete game of his career after twice going 8 2/3 innings last season.
Offensively, it was another largely stagnant performance for a WVU team that itself was retired with the minimal batters faced in five of the last seven innings. The Mountaineers, who had two hits over the final seven innings, scored just two runs for the second straight game and have been held to two runs or fewer in five of their last seven games, going 3-4 over the span. Brady Wilson and Ryan Tuntland each had an RBI groundout in the first after Taylor Munden and Bobby Boyd started the game with singles. While Munden hustled to third on a hit-and-run via Boyd’s shot through the left side of the infield, Boyd advanced to second on the throw to third to set-up a two-on, no-out situation. Wilson and Tuntland then grounded to third and second, scoring the runs on putouts.
The two hits were the only back-to-back ones amassed by WVU, as Liberty starter Trey Lambert surrendered two runs on five hits in a complete game in front of 1,261. He struck out two and walked two in essentially matching Dierdorff pitch for pitch in the most even game of a series that saw West Virginia win the first (8-0) and third games, with Liberty taking the middle contest 9-2.
Liberty is now 19-18. The Mountaineers are 20-17 after their final nonconference series of the season, and plays host to Morehead State in Charleston on Tuesday before a weekend Big 12 series at Texas. The Liberty series marks first time LU and WVU have played since 1978.