West Virginia pitcher Harrison Musgrave delivers against Texas Tech Friday night. Musgrave struck out 13 in 6 2/3 innings to earn the victory over the Red Raiders.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Harrison Musgrave remains untouchable at Appalachian Power Park, and now it's West Virginia reaping the benefits.Three years after pitching a shutout at the state tournament as a high school senior at Bridgeport, Musgrave struck out a career-high 13 batters in 62/3 innings, pitching the Mountaineers to a landmark 2-0 win over Texas Tech Friday night in WVU's first Big 12 home game.The sophomore left-hander, who combined with reliever Pascal Paul on the three-hit shutout Friday, threw a five-hitter with 15 strikeouts in a 5-0 win over Fairmont Senior in the 2010 Class AAA state semifinals."Yeah, I like this place," said Musgrave, who improved to 3-1 on the season and 2-0 in Big 12 play. "It's big to get the first win of the series, and with it being the first Big 12 game in our state, it's really cool and hopefully we'll get the next two."
WVU (9-12 overall, 2-2 Big 12) and Texas Tech (15-9, 2-2) will conclude the three-game series with a doubleheader today starting at 1 p.m. The schedule originally called for single games today and Sunday, but expected wintry weather on Sunday prompted the switch.Friday night's chilly temperatures - 44 degrees at the start, in the upper 30s by the final out - might've played a role in Musgrave's best collegiate start."It probably affects the batter a lot more than the pitcher, nobody likes to hit in the cold," he said. "But once you get warmed up, you don't notice it when you're pitching."Musgrave's previous high for strikeouts in a game was nine, recorded last year against Rider. He doesn't consider himself a strikeout artist."I haven't been, honestly," he said. "My changeup worked really well tonight, which is good because it hasn't been working much this year. It kept them off balance."
Musgrave, who allowed just two hits and four walks, was pulled after a two-out single in the top of the seventh, by which time he had thrown 125 pitches. His only shaky moments came in the top of the third, when Texas Tech loaded the bases with one out on a base hit and two hit batsmen. The lefty escaped trouble with a strikeout and a grounder.Last Friday at Kansas State, Musgrave allowed two runs on two hits in 61/3 innings and got the win as the Mountaineers rolled 13-2."He's getting better every time out," first-year WVU coach Randy Mazey said of Musgrave, who was red-shirted last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm. "He actually wasn't as sharp with his pitches tonight as he was last Friday, but tonight was an awful night to hit, as cold as it was."West Virginia did just enough hitting to make him a winner. The Mountaineers took the lead on Brady Wilson's second home run of the season, a towering solo shot to left that landed on Smith Street with one out in the bottom of the third."I wouldn't consider myself a home-run hitter, but they come from time to time," said Brady, a senior right fielder who has nine homers in his four-year WVU career. "I like hitting here, I feel comfortable, I see the ball well, and left field was just short enough for me."The Mountaineers scratched out their second run in the fourth. Alan Filauro led off with a walk, moved to third on a bunt single and throwing error on Texas Tech starter Dominic Moreno (2-2), and scored on another bunt single, this one by leadoff hitter Bobby Boyd.
Paul got the save for WVU, finishing up the final 21/3 innings. He also wiggled out of bases-loaded trouble, his coming in the eighth, getting a strikeout and a groundout for the final two outs of the frame before a 1-2-3 ninth. BRIEFLY: Jacob Rice, Ryan Tuntland and Taylor Munden each had two hits for the Mountaineers as WVU out-hit the Red Raiders 9-3. Cleanup hitter Matt Frazer, a junior designated hitter who played at Nitro, doubled to the center-field fence in his first at-bat in the second inning. He also struck out twice and was hit by a pitch. ... WVU's scheduled starters today are junior right-hander Corey Walter (1-2, 5.60) in the first game and sophomore lefty John Means (2-1, 1.85) in the nightcap. Texas Tech will throw two right-handers, junior Trey Masek (3-0, 0.22) and freshman Matt Withrow (2-1, 5.73). Reach Nick Scala at 304-348-7947 or firstname.lastname@example.org.