INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan baseball team lost the first two games of their four-game set with West Virginia State on Friday. The Bobcats were shutout in both games, losing 5-0 in the first matchup and 7-0 in the second game. WVWC produced just six hits on the day.
Both squads put a baserunner on in the first inning but no runs would come from either side. A pair of walks and a single down the left field line scored the first run of the game for the Yellow Jackets in the bottom of the second. A dribbler up the middle then plated two more runs for WVSU and another single to right elevated the lead to four. West Virginia State ended their scoring for the inning with a double in the right-center gap to take a 5-0 lead after two innings.
Devin Johnson knocked his second single of the day to begin the top of the fourth inning for the Bobcats. A popup in the infield and groundball double play ended the top half of the inning. After the shaky second inning, Austin Mann kept the Yellow Jacket bats at bay with another strong inning in the bottom of the fifth. WVWC went down in order in both the sixth and seventh inning as WVSU won 5-0.
Ryan Kay and Michael Bittinger both had two hits to lead WV State while also adding an RBI each. Tyler Overaitis and Michael Stone added one RBI apiece for the Yellow Jackets. Tyler Lafferty was spectacular on the hill, going the full seven innings while allowing no runs and just two hits and one walk. He also struck out six.
Johnson had the only two hits for the Bobcats as he went 2-3 at the dish. Mann pitched seven innings, allowing five runs (all earned) on eight hits and three walks while striking out four.
Johnson and Thatcher Poteat put together some two-out offense with back-to-back singles to begin the game but a groundout stalled the early offense. West Virginia State loaded the bases in the bottom of the first on singles and a walk, eventually leaving with nothing as Drew Evans forced a flyout to left.
West Virginia State got on the board in the bottom of the third with a one-run single through the left side of the infield.
The Yellow Jacket lead would be extended to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth on two solo shots to left. In the bottom of the sixth, WVSU added four more runs on a sacrifice fly and two separate singles that brought the other three runs home. Wesleyan was retired 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh as WVSU took the second game 7-0.
Four different Yellow Jackets had at least two hits and one RBI with Nathan Paulsen leading the team with two RBIs. Chase Nelson picked up the win after going five innings and only giving up four hits and striking out five. Camron Lewis picked up the save after two innings of relief.
Sam Ingram, Johnson, Poteat and Josh Jenkins all picked up a hit for the Bobcats. Drew Evans was handed the loss after going 5 1/3 innings and giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and five walks. Brad Miler surrendered two runs (both earned) on three hits in 2/3 innings of relief.
Up Next For The Bobcats
Wesleyan completes the four-game series with the Yellow Jackets Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.