Mountaineers Take it to the Big LeaguesGo behind the scenes at PNC Park with WVU Baseball in the first-ever collegiate game at the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
On Wednesday, May 10, West Virginia and Penn State squared off in the first-ever college baseball game at PNC Park. The Mountaineers emerged victorious, with a 4-2 win.
After arriving at the ballpark and getting settled in the locker room, the Mountaineers got their first look at the field, with the iconic view of Pittsburgh's skyline as a backdrop.
West Virginia's last game at the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates was in 1998, a 9-8 win against rival Pitt at the old Three Rivers Stadium. Wednesday's game was WVU's first at the Pirates' new ballpark, which opened in 2001.
From an empty ballpark as the team arrived, to batting practice and pregame warmups, PNC Park provided the ideal backdrop for baseball.
When the game began, it was down to business. After all, a win would truly make the PNC Park experience one the Mountaineers would never forget.
The Mountaineer pitching staff put together another strong outing, beginning with freshman starter Sam Kessler. The righty allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk in 4.0 innings.
The Mountaineers jumped ahead with a run in the second inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Illig singled home his first runner of the day, scoring senior first baseman Jackson Cramer.
West Virginia added a run in the third to make it 2-0. Kyle Gray led off the inning with a single down the right-field line and scored three pitches later on a groundout by Braden Zarbnisky.
Chase Illig led the team with two hits and drove in two runs. That included the eventual game-winning RBI in the fourth inning, on double to make it 3-0.
After Penn State scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 3-1 game, WVU answered right back in the top of the fifth inning. Cole Austin's sacrifice fly scored Braden Zarbnisky to make it 4-1.
Freshman Cody Wood followed Sam Kessler on the mound and pitched 3.1 innings, allowing just one run on five hits with a strikeout. Wood earned the win and improved to 2-0 on the season.
Braden Zarbnisky closed the game with 1.2 innings of no-hit ball to pick up his team-leading fourth save.