WVU Wins Pitchers' Duel

WVU Wins Pitchers' Duel

West Virginia got two hits and scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat TCU 2-0 in game one of the three game Charleston series on Saturday afternoon.

The victory, which pulled WVU back into a first place tie with Kansas State in the Big 12, was WVU's 2,000th program victory.

Starting pitcher Harrison Musgrave was nothing short of masterful once again. The sophomore moved his record to 8-1 with a complete game three-hitter, striking out 14 and walking one. It was Musgrave's conference-leading third complete game of the season. The Bridgeport native threw a season high 143 pitches in the shutout and lowered his ERA to 1.94 on the season, according to West Virginia's post-game statistics.

Hard luck TCU starter Preston Morrison pitched an excellent game, only to be let down by his defense in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two outs, designated hitter Matt Frazer singled hard through the hole into right field to lead off. Head coach Randy Mazey immediately sent Michael Constantini in to run for Frazer to get better speed on base, but that move was wiped out when Billy Fleming's sacrifice bunt attempt went straight back to Morrison. The TCU hurler fired to second baseman Paul Hendrix to retire Constantini for the first out.

Catcher Alan Filauro then hit a high chopper deep to third. Jantzen Witte backed up and fired a seed to first base to retire Filauro, as Fleming advanced to second. Two pitches later Bobby Boyd ripped a single to right. Fleming was forced to hold as TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle had pulled his outfielders in on the previous pitch, and Jerrick Suiter's throw to the plate was perfect.

WVU was still alive, though, and when Taylor Munden hit a weak squibber on a 1-1 pitch down the line toward first, the Mountaineers got a break. First baseman Derek Odell mishandled the ball attempting to retire Munden, and then compounded his problem by throwing the ball over Morrison's head, allowing Boyd, who was running on the pitch, to score all the way from first for a 2-0 lead.

Both pitchers kept batters from both teams off balance. Morrison retired the first 12 WVU batters of the game, and there were few solid hits on either side. Musgrave retired the first eight hitters he faced before allowing a weak fisted single off the bat of Keaton Jones for the first runner of the game. Kyle Bacak then laid down a beautiful two out bunt to give TCU (23-25, 8-11) their first scoring chance, but Boomer White popped out weakly to second to end matters. The Horned Frogs would not threaten again until the final inning.

WVU (30-20, 12-7) loaded the bases off Morrison in the fourth. With one out, Ryan McBroom was given a gift single on a high chopper that Jones failed to field. Frazer then hit a squibber down the third base line that he beat out for a single, putting WVU was in business. Mazey sent the runners while Fleming grounded to second for the second out. Ryan Tuntland was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Morrison fanned Bobby Boyd to end the threat.

Game two is just underway, with Dan Dierdorff pitching for the Mountaineers.

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