By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Pat Kregeloh received the ultimate compliment, and the West Virginia Miners vaulted themselves back to .500.
Kregeloh had two hits, drove in two runs and scored three times to help the Miners to a 7-2 win over the Butler BlueSox and a sweep of the two-game series.
The Shippensburg University product hit a pair of doubles, including a two-run liner to the corner in right field that proved to be the game-winning hit.
A sign of his big day came in the seventh inning, when Kregeloh was intentionally walked. First base was open and the move would have set up a double play, but the BlueSox knew Kregeloh was having a big game.
“Pat had a really good day,” Miners manager Tim Epling said. “When you get intentionally walked — they didn’t want to face him. He had a two-strike approach when he hit that ball down the line and that really gave us a spark.”
Kregeloh’s second double drove in Nick Paxton and Kaeo Aliviado and highlighted the Miners’ three-run fifth. Kregeloh later scored on a single by Zach Woolcock to put West Virginia ahead 5-2.
West Virginia (6-6) added two runs in the seventh. Brandon Koch was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in Aliviado. Kregeloh scored two batters later on a sac fly by Doug Votolato.
The Miners’ breakout helped make a winner of starting pitcher David Hess. Making his second start of the season, the Tennessee Tech right-hander labored through five innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while walking three. But he also struck out eight, increasing his Prospect League-leading total to 29.
Hess (1-0) was not nearly as dominant as he was in his debut June 2, when he struck out 14 and walked none in a 3-1 loss to Lorain County. But he was able to hang around long enough for the offense to catch up.
“I told him in the third inning that good pitchers finish games and really compete well when they are not pitching well,” Epling said. “He didn’t have his best stuff today, and (getting the win) is a tribute to him. Then in (his) last inning he just started breaking off his curveball, and they were very good pitches.”
Butler (6-6) got to Hess early and took a 2-0 lead with a pair of two-out runs in the second inning. Hess walked Russell Clark, who scored on Taylor Schmidt’s first-pitch triple to the gap in right.
Ryan Fitzgerald walked and stole second, and Schmidt came home after the throw from catcher Jordan Parris.
The Miners tied the game in the fourth. There was a hit — Kregeloh led off with a double — but they didn’t necessarily need it.
Woolcock walked and he and Kregeloh advanced on Koch’s sacrifice. Votolato walked to load the bases, and all three runners moved up on a wild pitch by Butler starter Anthony Caringi. Kregeloh scored to cut the Butler lead to 2-1.
Woolcock was thrown out at home for the second out, and Kenny May reached on the fielder’s choice. May and Votolato stole second and third, respectively, and Votolato later scored on Caringi’s second wild pitch of the inning to tie the game.
Three West Virginia relievers worked the final four innings. Sam Hunter tossed two innings and struck out five of the seven batters he faced.
Oak Hill graduate Dustin Nuckels closed it out with a perfect ninth.
The Miners will be off today before starting a two-game series against Slippery Rock at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday. Kevin Johnstone will get his second start against the Sliders.
— E-mail: gfauber@