MORGANTOWN — West Virginia picked up its second straight Big 12 series sweep and the No. 18 Mountaineers strengthened their hold on first place in the conference with an 18-4 victory against Baylor on Sunday at Baylor Ballpark in Waco, Texas.
Along the way, WVU (33-11, 11-4 Big 12) ran its winning streak up to eight games and did it behind an offense that pounded out 19 hits and four home runs, including a grand slam from pinch hitter Nick Barone in the ninth inning.
Tevin Tucker and J.J. Wetherholt — the first two hitters in WVU’s order — combined for seven of those 19 hits and six of the 18 runs.
Wetherholt and Landon Wallace went back-to-back with solo home runs in the fifth inning to push WVU’s lead to 7-4.
Wetherholt — the Big 12’s leading hitter with a .463 average — added an RBI single in the eighth inning, in which the Mountaineers scored five runs to seal the game.
Wetherholt also collected an infield single in the seventh inning, giving him his 24th multi-hit game of the season. He added two stolen bases, which gives him a Big 12-leading 31 on the season.
Tucker went 4 for 6 with three infield singles and a double and scored two runs.
Evan Smith also drove in two runs in the eighth inning with a bases-loaded single and Dayne Leonard also scored on the play when the Baylor catcher couldn’t hold on to the throw at the plate.
WVU scored five more in the ninth, when Barone slammed a shot to left field with the bases loaded for his second home run of the season.
WVU’s fourth home run came from Leonard, who hit a two-run shot in the third inning that gave WVU a 5-2 lead.
In sweeping Baylor (15-29, 6-15) for a second consecutive season, WVU scored 33 runs on 34 hits over the three games.
WVU also had 10 batters hit by a pitch over the series, with Wallace getting hit six times.
WVU reliever Grant Siegel (4-2) picked up the win. He went 3 1/3 innings, allowing no runs, five hits and struck out two.
WVU sits atop the Big 12 standings with a 1 1/2-game lead over Oklahoma State and Kansas State heading into the final month of the regular season. WVU has already taken two-of-three against the Wildcats and the Cowboys earlier this season.
The Mountaineers have swept their last two Big 12 series, beginning with a sweep of TCU from April 21-23, and have won nine of their last 10 Big 12 games.
WVU returns to Mon County Ballpark to face rival Pitt at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, before hosting Oklahoma for a three-game series that begins Friday.