West Virginia baseball earns 11-10 win, sweeps series with No. 17 UCF

JJ Wetherholt fields the ball for WVU.
JJ Wetherholt fields the ball for WVU. / Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/GettyImages

The boys are back in town -- and they’re swinging for the fences.

After a road trip that saw West Virginia baseball head to Kansas last weekend and to in-state rival Marshall this past week, the Mountaineers returned home this weekend for a series with No. 17 UCF (21-12). 

And with potential top draft pick JJ Wetherholt back in the lineup and seemingly fully healthy, WVU is playing their best ball yet. The Mountaineers (22-13) used their hot bats on Sunday to earn an 11-10 win in extra innings over UCF, sweeping the Knights in the weekend series.

After trailing 10-8 headed into the ninth inning, the Mountaineers evened the score with a pair of runs off walked batters. After a scoreless inning to kick off extra play, senior Reed Chumley blasted a walk-off home-run in the eleventh inning to secure the win.

Chumley’s home-run was one of three for WVU on the afternoon -- Wetherholt and junior Kyle West also added one apiece. The Mountaineers caught fire at the plate for 12 total hits during the game, with a quartet of batters recording multiple hits and eight different WVU batters tasting at least one hit.

On the mound, WVU sophomore Gavin Van Kempen improved his personal win-loss record to 6-1 this season. He earned the win tossing 3.2 hitless innings as the closer, striking out four Knights in the process. Graduate student Hambleton Oliver also stood out with a solid performance, pacing the Mountaineers with five strikeouts in 3.2 scoreless innings.

The sweep over a ranked opponent marks a signature series win for WVU after a hot-and-cold start to the season. In the past two series’ and last week’s midweek contest since Wetherholt returned, the team boasts a 6-1 record. The Mountaineers will return to Kendrick Family Ballpark in Morgantown for the next game on Tuesday, as they host rival Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl. First pitch is set for 6:30 pm.