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WVU makes history, knocks off Grand Canyon 10-6 to advance to first super regional school

June 3—MORGANTOWN — Randy Mazey was given an extended stay as West Virginia baseball coach as his Mountaineers made super history Sunday night.

After 130 years of college baseball, WVU can now say it will play in a super regional — which is the last 16 teams still playing in the country — after the Mountaineers topped Grand Canyon 10-6 and won the Tucson (Ariz.) Regional championship .

It means at least another week of coaching for Mazey, who will retire at the end of the season.

“That’s OK, I’ll hold off as long as I need to,” Mazey told ESPN after the game.

WVU (36-22) defeated the region that also included No. 21 Arizona and No. 25 Dallas Baptist in three games, using gutsy relief performances from Aidan Major and Carson Estridge along with a hot bat from Logan Sauve to clinch the title to conquer.

Grand Canyon (36-25) had clinched its first regional title in school history by defeating Dallas Baptist 12-10 earlier in the day.

It was an on-field celebration that was twelve years in the making, the time Mazey has spent rebuilding the program by continually finding players with potential and then building that potential into a program that could compete nationally.

“Winning here means a lot to a lot of people,” Mazey said. “To win a region like this, we represent a lot of people, 1.8 million people in the state of West Virginia that I know are very, very proud.”

The Mountaineers took another big step forward at Hi Corbett Field as Sauve had three hits and three RBIs and WVU had 17 hits as a team against the Antelopes.

Next up is a trip to the super regionals – which is worth an extra $50,000 to Mazey, per his contract incentives – on Friday or Saturday against the winner of the Chapel Hill (NC) Regional.

It will be against North Carolina or defending national champion LSU. The Tigers defeated the Tar Heels 8-4 on Sunday and forced a winner-take-all game on Monday.

Regardless of who wins the game, WVU will be on the road for the super regional either to Chapel Hill or Baton Rouge, La.

A super regional is a best-of-three series between two teams. The winner of the super regional will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. as one of the last eight remaining teams.

Major also played a crucial role coming out of the bullpen in the first inning after starter Hayden Cooper gave up two runs and failed to record a single out on any of his 22 pitches thrown.

Major, who earned the win, came in with the bases loaded and gave up an RBI sacrifice fly, but then also gave up a flyout and a grounder to get out of the inning with the Antelopes leading only 3-2.

He kept WVU ahead until the fifth inning. Major, who sat out the end of the regular season and the Big 12 Tournament with arm soreness, threw 82 pitches and allowed just two hits and one run over 4 2/3 innings.

Estridge took over from there, striking out Emilio Barreras with the bases loaded and getting help from his defense later in the game.

Skylar King threw Zach Yorke out of right field on a play at home plate to end the seventh inning.

In the eighth, WVU shortstop JJ Wetherholt went deep into the hole and threw out Barreras at first base from the outfield grass.

Estridge threw a total of 3 2/3 innings. The sophomore from Haymarket, Va. allowed one run and three hits. He struck out four and walked none.

Maxx Yehl gave up a two-run home to Yorke in the ninth for the final score, but it was Derek Clark – he threw a complete game against Dallas Baptist on Friday – who came back for a curtain call. He caught Beau Ankeney looking to end the game as WVU players ran out of the dugout to celebrate their first regional title.

Sauve was WVU’s top hitter in the region. His three-run homer helped beat Dallas Baptist on Friday and he drove in three more runs on Sunday night with a single in the second inning and a double in the third.

Sam White, Reed Chumley and Grant Hussey all added two RBIs on Sunday.

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