The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 27, 2013

Bring out the brooms

WVU sweeps away Kansas in dramatic fashion in Beckley

BECKLEY — West Virginia University senior catcher Alan Filauro had been behind the plate for nearly six hours and 21 innings Saturday at Linda K. Epling Stadium when he decided he wasn’t going to squat behind the dish anymore.

The South Salem, N.Y., native belted a liner into left field in the bottom half of the 12th inning to plate Ryan McBroom, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, and give the Mountaineers (27-18, 9-6 Big 12) a 3-2 victory and a series sweep over Kansas.

“Right off the bat I knew it was going to fall in,” said Filauro, just before receiving a chilly ice bucket bath from his teammates. “I blocked out (the fatigue). My adrenaline was going, and that helped me out.”

WVU knocked off the Jayhawks (25-18, 9-9) 4-3 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader — which came about as a result of today’s wet forecast — after a 1-0 victory in the series opener Friday night. Filauro was also the hero of Saturday’s first game, when his second-inning homer gave the Mountaineers their decisive fourth run.

The catcher’s offensive heroics, though, were set up by WVU pitching, which was top-notch throughout the series.

Kansas native John Means started the final game of the series for the Mountaineers and was sharp through six innings, keeping the visitors off the scoreboard.

Ahead 2-0 after a pair of RBI sacrifice flies — Ryan Tuntland drove home Taylor Munden, who had led off the bottom of the first with a triple off the fence in center field, and Billy Fleming got McBroom, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, home with a long fly in the fourth — WVU took that lead into the seventh inning when Means started to run out of gas.

Alex DeLeon got KU on the scoreboard for the first time when he homered to left field to cut the lead in half, and KU tied it up later in that inning with a Jordan Dreiling double and a Ke’iana Eldredge RBI single back through the middle.

The score remained knotted through the next four innings, despite some threats by both teams.

KU had a chance to break the tie when it loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Pascal Paul came on in relief for WVU and closed that door.

He also shut the book on Means, who picked up a quality start, allowing two earned runs on seven hits through 7 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a KU hitter.

“He really pitched well today,” said WVU’s first-year head coach Randy Mazey. “That’s a big bright spot for us coming out of the weekend.”

The Jayhawks loaded the bases again in the 10th, but this time Corey Walter, who pitched three strong innings of relief, got out of the jam, getting Connor McKay to ground out for the final out of the inning.

WVU’s best chance to win before the 12th came in the bottom of the ninth when Brady Wilson tried to score from second on a bouncer off the bat of McBroom, but he was gunned out at the plate by the KU pitcher, sending the game into extra innings.

Jordan Piché, one of the Big 12’s top relief pitchers, who had pitched three scoreless innings, plunked McBroom to start the WVU rally in the 12th, and McBroom moved to second on a hit-and-run.

The inning nearly ended when Jacob Rice lined to second base with one out, but Justin Fox, who had come on as a pinch runner, made it back to first to avoid a double play.

That brought Filauro to the plate, and he played the role of hero in front of a crowd of 1,159 with a screamer into the outfield that ended the game and began a celebration under a light rain.

“We’ve got the momentum going,” said Filauro. “We’re the underdogs so much, and we deal with more adversity than any other team. I’m just happy to prove the doubters wrong.

“It was great. The fans were great, and I’m happy to get three wins for them.”

Walter (4-4) was credited with the win for WVU, while Piché (5-2) took the loss for Kansas.

WVU ended the game with seven hits, although no Mountaineer had a multi-hit performance.

KU was led at the plate by DeLeon, who was 3-for-5 with an RBI. Tucker Tharp was 2-for-6.

Game 1

Saturday’s twinbill began with a pitching gem from Dierdorff (3-5) who picked up a complete game win, settling down after giving up three runs in the first three innings to pitch the final six scoreless frames. He finished the game with three earned runs on seven hits and a walk. He struck out seven as WVU won the second game of a Big 12 series for the first time all season.

“We were throwing a lot of offspeed pitches in those first three innings,” said Dierdorff. “We got together and started throwing more fastballs. Once we started to do that, we started to roll.”

Wes Benjamin (4-5) took the loss for KU. He also went the distance, but he allowed four runs, only one earned, on four hits and a walk.

WVU scored its first three runs in the opening inning, which was allowed to continue when an error on Kansas second baseman Justin Protacio gave the Mountaineers runners on first and third with two outs.

A walk loaded the bases, and Billy Fleming cleared them with a double off the wall in left-center.

Kansas scored two runs in the second to get back in the game, but Filauro’s homer in the bottom of that inning gave WVU a 4-2 lead, and it held on for the one-run victory.

“It feels good,” said McBroom of the weekend sweep. “We’re an under the radar type team. So to get three wins against a big-time club like Kansas is a big series for us.”

n n n

In its first season of Big 12 play, WVU is playing well above expectations. The Mountaineers, a unanimous pick by the league’s coaches in the preseason to finish in the basement, were tied with Baylor for third in the nine-team baseball conference at press time Saturday, just a half-game behind Kansas State (9-5) for the second spot.

“The day those rankings came out was in the middle of a spring practice,” said Mazey. “When I found out every coach in the league picked us to finish last, we called timeout in the middle of practice and called everybody together. I said, ‘Guys, I’ve got some good news for you. Everybody in the league thinks we’re the worst team in the league.’ From that moment on, I think our guys have come out every game to prove something.”

WVU will return home for a rare game at Morgantown’s Hawley Field Tuesday at 6 p.m. when rival Pitt makes a visit. The Mountaineers will then take on Big 12-leading Oklahoma in a three-game series at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park over the weekend.

The Mountaineers will play one last game in Beckley this year on May 14 when they take on Marshall for the decisive game of a three-game set between the two state schools.

— E-mail: chuffman

@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Mountaineers beat Buckeyes 4-1 in lefty Vance’s first career start

    In his first career start for the WVU baseball team, sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out 14 en route to a 4-1 victory over Ohio State on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 15, 2014

  • Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage last Saturday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Wesleyan edges CU twice in softball

    The Concord University softball narrowly dropped a pair of games to No. 17 West Virginia Wesleyan, 2-1 and 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Culpepper Field.

    April 14, 2014

  • Concord baseball shuts out Cardinals

    The Concord University baseball team posted two shutout victories on Sunday, extending its winning streak to seven games by beating conference foe Wheeling Jesuit.

    April 14, 2014

  • dana Much still to be answered this fall

    In Saturday’s paper, I compiled a list of five things to watch at West Virginia University’s annual Gold-Blue Spring Game. Now, after watching the football scrimmage that concluded this year’s spring drills and taking some time to process what I saw, it’s time to go back and revisit those five points and how they turned out on Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni speculation now seems to have legs

    Kareem Canty got what he wanted, and Marshall fans should find out this week if they will get what they want.

    April 13, 2014

  • millard Specials teams shine at Gold-Blue Game

    The scoreboard said the Gold (offense) beat the Blue (defense) 37-27 in Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game at Milan Puskar Stadium using a modified scoring system that rewarded the defense for stops and turnovers and the offense for scores.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • syvertson ‘Huey the Punter’ makes transition to LB

    The first reaction of the 10,000 fans in attendance at Milan Puskar Stadium for Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game when No. 42 shot through the offensive line and put junior college transfer quarterback Skyler Howard on the ground in the second half was to ooh and aah.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • crutchfield Crutchfield again named Furfari Award winner

    Already the winningest men’s basketball coach in college history in terms of percentage — yes, better than guys like John Wooden, Adolph Rupp and Roy Williams — West Liberty’s Jim Crutchfield is heading into some lofty territory within the confines of his home state.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Five things to watch at WVU spring game

    Spring practice will come to an end for West Virginia University this afternoon when the Mountaineer football team hosts the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game at 1 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium.

    April 11, 2014

AP Video