West Virginia Edges Kansas Again, 3-2

By: KU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: KU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Kansas finally got a look at West Virginia’s bullpen in the third game of its weekend series but Pascal Paul and Corey Walter showed they were just as tough as the Mountaineers’ starters had been. Paul helped stymie a KU rally in the eighth and Walter shutout the Jayhawks into the 12th when Alan Filauro helped West Virginia walk-off with a 3-2 win and series sweep in second game of a doubleheader at Linda K. Epling Stadium Saturday.

For the third time in three games, the outcome was decided by a single run with West Virginia (27-18, 9-6 Big 12) squeezing past Kansas (25-18, 9-9 Big 12) in a battle of pitching staffs, but in Saturday’s evening contest the Jayhawks were able to chase the Mountaineer’s starter. Three different Mountaineer relievers combined to keep Kansas scoreless into extra innings until a single by Filauro down the left field line pushed across the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 12th.

Kansas used three hits, including a leadoff home run by Alex DeLeon and an RBI single by Ka’iana Eldredge, to tie the game in the seventh inning then moved a runner into scoring position to chase John Means in the eighth. After loading the bases, Paul struck out Jordan Dreiling and got Dakota Smith to pop out to right to end the inning.

KU’s pitching, which went toe-to-toe with WVU’s staff in all three games, combined to limit West Virginia to just seven hits in 11.2 innings but a hit batsman and a walk set the stage for Filauro to be the hero again after providing a go-ahead home run in Saturday’s first contest. Filauro rattled a pitch from Jordan Piche around in the left field corner to give the Mountaineers the win.

In all three innings that West Virginia scored, the leadoff batter reached base. KU starter Frank Duncan turned in a rejuvenated effort with three strikeouts and just one earned run in seven innings. Duncan was tagged for a run in the first on a sacrifice fly and also in the fourth in a similar situation to put the Jayhawks in a 2-0 hole.

After tying the contest, KU turned to relief ace Piche who worked around several runners in scoring position, including throwing the would-be game winning run out at home in the bottom of the ninth. Piche went 4.2 innings for Kansas, his longest outing of the season.

In both previous games, West Virginia’s starter threw a complete game, but Means’ effort was by no means poor Saturday. The Olathe, Kan., native struck out seven in 7.1 innings.
DeLeon (3) and Tucker Tharp (2) each collected multiple hits for Kansas while seven different Mountaineers logged single base hits.

Kansas returns to Hoglund Ballpark Tuesday night for a non-conference tilt against in-state rival Wichita State at 6 p.m. That game will be broadcast regionally on television by MetroSports and can be heard on KLWN.


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