WVU baseball: Frazer leads Mountaineers to victory
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Morehead State's baseball team wasn't a very gracious visitor to the Mountain State during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, having taken a pair of games from West Virginia at Appalachian Power Park.
On Tuesday night, the Mountaineers plated runs in six of the eight innings in which they batted to earn a 13-5 win over the Eagles as 953 fans looked on.
WVU improved to 21-17 overall as it prepares for its first Big 12 Conference weekend series at Texas, while Morehead State lost its 13th straight in dropping to 9-28.
For former Nitro High standout Matt Frazer, the Kanawha Valley's lone representative on the WVU roster, the homecoming win was a welcome change compared to the team's past two meetings with Morehead State.
"They gave us some fits the last two times we played them, but tonight it was great weather, a great atmosphere and we came out and swung the bats and got the job done," said the 6-foot-5, 260-pound junior, who had a run-scoring double and sacrifice fly to finish with two RBI. "It felt good to have a rough stretch and finally get a hit. To square one up always feels great."
Frazer's double highlighted a four-run second inning for the Mountaineers, who led 7-0 after five innings.
The Mountaineers' four runs chased Morehead State starter Tyler Keele (2-5), who allowed four runs, two hits and a walk in 1-plus innings.
West Virginia freshman pitcher Brock Dykxhoorn (2-0) made his third career start, but struggled with his control early on, issuing four walks and tossing 53 pitches in 2-plus innings.
Dykxhoorn left in the third inning, with no outs and runners on second and third after issuing a pair of walks. Junior Ryan Tezak (3-0) came on to close out the threat by wiggling out of the inning without allowing a run.
"Tezak has been really good this year about really shutting people down when we're in a bind," Frazer said.
"He's got that splitter and he really keeps them off balance. Hopefully he can continue to do that because he's really important to our team."
First-year WVU Coach Randy Mazey was pleased with the work of his bullpen, in which six relievers combined to toss seven innings, allowing five runs and striking out eight.
"We've been pitching really well," Mazey said. "The starting pitching has been doing really well lately, so when that happens the guys in the bullpen don't get near as much action as they should, so this was a good night.
"I think we threw six or seven guys tonight. That's keeps everybody fresh as the season progresses.
"Nobody got extended too much and a lot of the guys that pitched are guys that needed to pitch to get fresh for the weekend."
West Virginia led 9-1 after six innings before the Eagles rallied with four runs in the top of the inning. The Mountaineers answered with two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to close out the scoring.
WVU's Michael Constantini and Justin Fox matched Frazer's two RBI, while leadoff man Taylor Munden and Billy Fleming knocked in a run apiece.
Chase Greenwell and Taylor Sears both finished with two hits to lead Morehead State at the plate.
The Mountaineers will now focus on their series at Texas beginning at 8 p.m. Friday.
Texas enters the contest at 20-15 overall and 4-8 in conference play. West Virginia is 4-5 in the Big 12.
"I'm kind of glad that our guys from up here don't know much about the Texas tradition because they use that to their advantage," said Mazey, who spent the last six seasons as an assistant at TCU. "You go down there and you get a little bit in awe of the surroundings and the tradition and you don't play as well because of it.
"Our guys, it doesn't matter much to them. We're just going to go down there and have a good practice on Thursday night. We're ahead of them in the standings so they're going to be gunning for us.
"They're just as good as they've ever been, they've just had some bad luck so far, so it's going to be a real grind to go down there and win a couple of games."