MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU baseball was never able to overcome an initial four-run deficit, falling 7-4 to No. 18 Oklahoma State on Sunday afternoon at Hawley Field.
With the loss WVU was swept in the series and is now 16-15 overall and 2-5 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State advances to 26-10 and 8-4 in the Big 12.
Despite the loss, WVU held a 12-10 advantage in hits, but made three costly errors to Oklahoma State’s two.
Junior right-hander Michael Bennett
(2-3) would get the loss in his second start of the season, but faced just four batters, as he would record only one out. Early relief would come in the form of senior left-hander Zach Bargeron
, who completed the first inning and allowed one run on three hits.
Senior right-hander Ryan Tezak
took over in the second inning, going the longest distance of any WVU pitcher, lasting six innings with two earned runs off of five hits with two strikeouts and four walks.
Oklahoma State jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first, taking advantage of three walks, one hit by pitch and one balk. The Cowboys sent 10 batters to the plate with Zach Fish knocking a two-run single up the middle.
The Mountaineers quickly answered in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with no outs, but were only able to cut the Cowboy lead to 4-2. Junior shortstop Taylor Munden
reached on an error, followed by singles off the bat of junior center fielder Bobby Boyd
and junior second baseman Billy Fleming
. Senior first baseman Ryan McBroom
would smack a single to left field knocking in Munden and advancing all of the runners one base. A bases loaded walk drawn by senior left fielder Jacob Rice
plated Boyd, but Oklahoma State retired Fleming at home on a fielder’s choice play, and McBroom was thrown out at home trying to score on a fly out to right field by junior right fielder Brad Johnson
Boyd, Fleming and McBroom combined to bat 9-for-14 with two runs and three RBIs, with Boyd tying a career high with four hits. Boyd also scored two runs, as did Munden.
West Virginia cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the second with a two-out rally. Munden and Boyd walked and singled, respectively. This set up Fleming for his third double of the season, scoring Munden from second.
Oklahoma State would extend the lead to 5-3 in the fifth inning with an RBI double from Tim Arakawa.
The Mountaineers would again get within one at 5-4 in the seventh inning as Boyd would get on base with a bloop single to left field with one out. A walk by Fleming and an error on a pick off at second base would put runners on the corners for McBroom, who hit an RBI single to center field.
With one out in the top of the eighth inning WVU had a chance at a double play ball but an error by Munden loaded the bases for the Cowboys. A single to left center field by Fish would allow two runs to come across the plate, extending the lead 7-4.
Fish finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs, while Tanner Krietemeier continued his torrid hitting, batting 3-for-5 with two runs.
Reliever Vince Wheeland would get the win in his second appearance of the series, spreading six hits across 6.1 innings with two strikeouts and no earned runs. Tyler Nurdin would start the game going just 1.2 innings and allowing five hits with three earned runs. Brandon McCurry would get the save, pitching a one-hit ninth inning to record his ninth save of the season.
West Virginia returns to action on Tuesday at Hawley Field against Ohio State at 6 p.m. A link to the video stream and live stats will be available on WVUsports.com. The radio broadcast will be on select affiliates of the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG.