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Mountaineers deal with Canisius, 10-3, in home-opener

GRANVILLE — Randy Mazey glanced down on the field rating for only a second Wednesday.

What he noticed wasn’t precisely his Plan A heading into the season.

“It’s not a lot about profitable and shedding at this a part of the yr,” he mentioned after the WVU baseball crew knocked off Canisius 10-3 within the debut of the brand new turf floor at Mon County Ballpark. “It’s about discovering out what sort of crew you may have.”

The sheet of paper in Mazey’s hand didn’t embody star shortstop J.J. Wetherholt, who remains to be transferring gingerly on an injured hamstring.

He additionally didn’t see Brodie Kresser, a heavy-hitting junior-college switch who was tabbed to fill in for Wetherholt. Kresser can also be out with an harm.

His pitching workers is lacking two key items with accidents to Robby Porco and Derek Clark.

There are quite a lot of causes for the Mountaineers (5-4) to play the woe-is-me tune proper now, not that they’re concerned with that.

“They don’t care that J.J. is damage and Brodie Kresser’s not enjoying,” Mazey mentioned. “Typically when your finest participant will get damage, your entire crew will get damage. We’re not enjoying that manner. Our guys are going on the market and enjoying with confidence.”

And they’re enjoying with versatility.

Take the case of sophomore Ellis Garcia, who led the Mountaineers with two hits and two RBIs in opposition to the Golden Griffins (2-3).

The shortstop is now his in the meanwhile. That comes after enjoying third base as a freshman and considering he was largely going to play second base this season.

“We moved round all fall, however I performed shortstop rising up and in highschool, so I’ve quite a lot of expertise there,” Garcia mentioned. “I feel we’re all form of used to transferring round.”

And enjoying with out the standard solid of characters is just not an excuse for poor play, Garcia added.

“Final yr, J.J. went down for just a few weeks in a giant stretch in Large 12 play,” Garcia mentioned. “I feel we went 6-1 or 7-1. It’s the next-guy-up mentality and also you do no matter you’ve received to do to be able to win.”

Starter Gavin Van Kempen lasted 4 innings and gave up two runs on two hits. He walked three and struck out 4.

“I feel Gavin attacked them fairly nicely,” Mazey mentioned. “That’s pretty much as good as he’s pitched not too long ago and that’s encouraging.”

Maxx Yehl (1-0) picked up the win with one inning of shutout reduction.

Total the sport was a walk-fest. Each WVU and Canisius mixed for 18 free passes and 5 hit batters.

With the entire further base runners, WVU wanted solely eight hits to attain its 10 runs.

The Mountaineers scored 9 of their 10 runs over the primary six innings.

Logan Sauve scored three of these runs and Reed Chumley additionally drove in two runs with an off-the-wall triple within the third inning that gave WVU a 4-2 lead.

Skylar King, Sam White and Benjamin Lumsden additionally collected RBIs.

And in some unspecified time in the future, Mazey expects to get again to Plan A, however till then, Plan B and Plan C appear to be figuring out to date.

“The power to maneuver round and be capable to play completely different positions is nice for us whereas they’re right here and good for them after they depart right here,” Mazey mentioned. “The actual fact Garcia can try this and Spencer Barnett can try this, Chumley can try this and J.J. has accomplished it since he’s been right here. There’s a lot worth in a utility participant, however they’re onerous to return by today, too.”

Observe
Former Morgantown Excessive standout Aaron Jamison recorded his first collegiate stolen base and run scored within the sport.

Jamison got here in as a pinch hitter within the seventh inning and walked. He stole second base and scored on Tyler Cox’s RBI single.