West Virginia 13, Ball State 5
LEXINGTON, Ky. – West Virginia came from behind to defeat Ball State, 13-5, Saturday afternoon in the Lexington Regional of the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament played at Kentucky Proud Park.
With the win, West Virginia (40-19) advances to a Sunday game at noon vs. the losing team from the Indiana vs. Kentucky game to be held Saturday night. Ball State ends its season with a 36-23 record.
Trailing 5-3 after three innings, the Mountaineers took the lead with four runs in the fourth inning. Catcher Dayne Leonard began the scoring in the fateful fourth frame with a solo home run, and with the score tied at 5-5, designated hitter Logan Suave launched a two-run homer that gave WVU a lead it did not relinquish.
The long balls by Leonard and Suave were among four homers hit by West Virginia. Second baseman J.J. Wetherholt had a three-run blast in the third inning and first baseman Grant Hussey had a solo shot in the seventh. Wetherholt led the WVU attack with three hits and four runs batted in.
Meanwhile on the mound, Aidan Major turned in a magnificent performance in relief. He threw five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit while striking out eight. He earned the win, improving his record to 4-2 on the season.
Starter Ty Johnson was the losing pitcher for Ball State and ends the season with a 4-3 record. Offensively, the Cardinals were led by centerfielder Nick Gregory, who had a pair of RBI singles.