Skylar King home run pushes West Virginia baseball past Ohio State in 5-2 victory

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"That was probably the biggest hit of the season."

WVU head baseball coach Randy Mazey

Sometimes, you don’t have to be willing to go through with your threat. You just need to pull off a strong enough bluff to make your enemy capitulate.

With the score tied 2-2 on Friday night as West Virginia baseball hosted Ohio State in the first of a three-game weekend series at Kendrick Family Ballpark, sophomore outfielder Skylar King decided to test his poker face. His bluff? He decided to show bunt as he took the plate in his third at-bat of the night. 

“The fact that he's a threat to bunt, he showed bunt earlier in that at bat with men on first and second and were going to try and get a base hit bunt down,” WVU Head Baseball Coach Randy Mazey said

But when Ohio State (8-8) felt that it was safe to toss the pitch that King was waiting on, he reared back and unleashed his second hit of the night. That hit just happened to be an absolute dinger that soared over the fence, driving himself and two others across the plate to take a 5-2 lead that would hold through the final inning to give WVU (11-7) the win.

“Anytime a pitcher thinks the guy might bunt, you have a tendency to say, okay here, if you're going to bunt here's a fastball, see if you can get it down and so we took the bunt off and let him swing away and what a big hit that was,” Mazey said. “That was probably the biggest hit of the season.”

On the mound, WVU was led by a quartet of pitchers -- junior Aidan Major started the contest and matched his career-high nine strikeouts in the first six innings of action. Sophomore Gavin Van Kempen earned the win as he striked out his only batter with bases loaded in the seventh-inning, while redshirt sophomore David Hagaman netted six strikeouts while handling the final two innings of play. Sophomore Maxx Yehl also saw light action on the mound.

Game two of the series is set for Saturday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 4 pm.