Baseball: WVU Drops Pitching Duel

  • By Grant Dovey
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  • March 10, 2012 04:46 PM
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EUGENE, Ore. – The West Virginia University baseball team fell 5-2 in a pitcher’s duel against No. 16 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at PK Park in the Nike College Showcase.

Left-hander Marshall Thompson took the loss for the Mountaineers, pitching 7.1 innings, allowing five runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Oklahoma lefty Dillon Overton pitched a complete game and allowed one earned run on six hits with six strikeouts.

"Marshall pitched a good game and I thought our hitters had better at bats," coach Greg Van Zant says. "You're not going to win baseball games when you score two runs in two games and they're trying, but we're facing three Top 25 teams. It should give us confidence that we are able to play with these teams, but to beat them you need to score runs."

WVU out-hit the Sooner in the contest, 6-5, while Oklahoma made the game’s lone error.

The game was tied 2-2 going into the bottom half of the eighth inning, when Oklahoma offense sent six hitters to plate, scoring three runs. A double by Jack Mayfield down the left field line scored pinch runner Dylan Raper from second to take the go-ahead and a single by Max White scored Mayfield for an insurance run.

WVU took the early lead in the second inning, led by John Polonius’ 14-pitch at-bat resulting in a single up the middle to drive in Gabe Brown from third base for an early 1-0 WVU lead. Brown had led off the inning with a first-pitch triple off the left-center field wall, while Polonius had fouled off seven-consecutive pitches on a full-count before the single.

"John went up and kept fouling pitches off," Van Zant says. "That was one of the best two-strike approach at bats that I've ever seen and then he wins it with a base hit up the middle."

WVU extended its lead to 2-0 before the end of the inning off a Brady Wilson bloop single to center field that scored Polonius from second.

The Sooners tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Caleb Bushyhead advanced home after Dylan Dishman got caught in a rundown. Bushyhead scored before Dishman was tagged for the third out of inning. Hunter Lockwood drove in the Sooners first run on a sacrifice fly to right field that scored White.

Brown led the Mountaineers are the plate with two hits and one run, while Polonius finished with one hit, one run and one RBI.

White finished 3-for-4 for Oklahoma with one run and one RBI.

WVU will face Oregon at 6 p.m. this evening as part of a doubleheader.