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Skylar King's three-run blast hands WVU a 5-2 win against Ohio State

Mar. 15—GRANVILLE — If not for baseball, Skylar King just might be getting ready to tee it off at the Masters in a few weeks.

"I'm actually not that good, " at golf, the WVU outfielder said. "I'm shooting about 110."

OK, so maybe not. Good thing he has an aluminum baseball bat to fall back on.

The sophomore from Columbia, S.C. took one mighty swing Friday night and sent a baseball nearly 400 feet into the air. By the time the three-run shot came down, King had given WVU a 5-2 victory over Ohio State inside Kendrick Family Ballpark.

BOX SCORE "It's lovely, " King said in describing what he was feeling after the win. "I recently started playing golf a lot. It felt like hitting the perfect golf shot. It was amazing."

What's amazing is how much King has taken advantage of the opportunity given to him through the number of injuries that have hit the Mountaineers (11-7) this season.

"We didn't know going into the season if Skylar was going to be in the starting lineup, " WVU head coach Randy Mazey said. "Skylar has now gotten a chance to play, and he's made the most out of it. I couldn't be happier for him. He's one of the nicest kids in the world and deserves everything that's coming to him.

"He's still got a lot of work to do. There are some pitches he still struggles to hit, but I sure am happy to have him out there."

Apparently one of those pitches King struggles with is not a fastball.

That's what he got from Ohio State reliever Blaine Wynk, but only after he attempted a bunt on the first pitch.

"The fact he is a threat to bunt, he showed bunt earlier in that at-bat, but any time a pitcher thinks a guy might bunt, the tendency is OK, if you're going to bunt, here's a fastball, " Mazey said. "We took the bunt off and let him swing away, and what a big hit that was. That's probably the biggest hit of the season."

The ball sailed past the bullpen out in right field and would have likely rolled out to the parking lot if not for a security fence.

It came in the bottom of the seventh inning. Trailing 2-1, Michael Perazza tied the game with a ground ball RBI.

With Kyle West on second and Brodie Kresser standing on third, King's shot gave WVU it's third win in a row.

From there, it was up to the Mountaineers' bullpen, which was dominant against the Buckeyes (8-8).

Maxx Yehl and Gavin Van Kempen combined to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh and then David Hagaman finished it with two scoreless innings, while allowing just one hit.

Hagaman got all six of his outs with strikeouts. WVU's last eight outs recorded were all strikeouts.

"To have those guys in the bullpen, it's incredible, " said WVU starter Aidan Major, who went six innings and tied a career high with nine strikeouts. "Gavin is throwing really well, and he's built some confidence. That's the kind of guys you want in your pen. We don't have just two or three of them, we have 15 of them."

WVU pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts in all, the most in a game since May 7, 2022 against Texas.

The series continues at 4 p.m. Saturday with Game 2. Derek Clark is scheduled to start for the Mountaineers.

King is not scheduled for any early tee-times.

"I golfed when I was younger, but once I started playing baseball, I stopped, " he said. "I picked it up again this summer. I think (a golf swing) helps my (baseball) swing, honestly."