FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Senior left-hander Zach Bargeron picked up his first win since 2012 and the Mountaineer offense pounded out 10 hits as the West Virginia University baseball team defeated Pitt, 6-3, in Tuesday’s home opener at Hawley Field.
In his third start of the season, Bargeron (1-0) picked up his first decision, going five innings and allowing just one run off of four hits while striking out three.
“I don’t know how often the same guy gets to start two games in a row, but that’s what he did for us,” WVU head coach Randy Mazey said. “I called him this morning and said, ‘Zach I know you just started, you didn’t throw many pitches, but do you want the ball today against the Panthers?
“He’s an older, veteran kid that’s been around here a long time and has thrown some complete games on this field. I knew that the weather, the crowd that we did have and playing against Pitt wouldn’t effect him maybe like it would a different kid.”
Junior right-hander Michael Bennett picked up his first career save, pitching the final four innings and giving up two runs on one hit with two strikeouts.
West Virginia improved to 13-8 overall and recorded at least 10 hits for the 14th time this season, led by a three-hit performance from senior first baseman Ryan McBroom. Junior shortstop Taylor Munden and junior center fielder Bobby Boyd added two hits and two runs apiece.
The Panthers started things off in the top of the first as Boo Vazquez hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring leadoff man Stephen Vranka. Vranka led off the game for Pitt with a double, and then advanced to third by way of a sacrifice bunt.
It did not take long for WVU to answer, though, as Munden began off the bottom of the first with a single through the left side. He scored from second base on an error by the Pitt second baseman.
After a leadoff walk by Munden and a single by Boyd, the Mountaineers loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with two outs. Redshirt freshman Shaun Wood snuck a single by the Pitt second baseman to score both Munden and Boyd, giving the Mountaineers their first lead of the game, 3-1.
Munden helped WVU add to its lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. With runners on first and second, Munden hit a single to left center field scoring junior third basemen Justin Fox to extend the advantage to 4-1.
The Panthers pulled within one in the top of the eighth inning with a two-run home run over the left field fence by Casey Roche, the only hit allowed by Bennett. The round tripper was the third of the season for Roche.
Pitt’s starting pitcher, right-hander TJ Zeuch (1-2), threw four innings, allowing two earned runs off of three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Mountaineers will open the Big 12 season with a series against Baylor at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston this weekend. Friday’s game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday’s game will begin at 4 p.m., and Sunday’s finale will begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday’s game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.