MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Early-inning runs made the difference on Friday evening, as the WVU baseball team defeated No. 11 Texas, 5-3, in front of 1,552 fans at Hawley Field.
In what is the final series in the history of Hawley Field, the attendance figure ranked No. 3 all-time at the ballpark.
West Virginia improved to 25-16 overall and 8-7 within the Big 12 Conference. Texas fell to 33-14 overall and 10-9 in Big 12 play.
Each team finished with 11 hits, marking the 26th time this season the Mountaineers have produced 10 or more hits in a game. The Longhorns tied a season high with five errors to WVU’s one.
WVU outscored Texas 4-0 through the first four innings. Junior center fielder Bobby Boyd
led the way scoring the games first two runs. He tallied three hits and two RBIs on the night to lead all Mountaineers.
Senior left-hander Harrison Musgrave
(5-3) picked up the win, going 7.0 innings and allowing three earned runs off of 10 hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Junior right-hander Sean Carley
picked up his second save of the season, striking out four and allowing just one hit in 2.0 innings.
The Mountaineers took the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Boyd reached on a fielder’s choice to shortstop. After Boyd advanced to second base, junior second baseman Billy Fleming
sent an RBI single to center field, scoring Boyd easily.
Boyd and Fleming led off the bottom half of the third with back-to-back infield singles. With one out senior left fielder Jacob Rice
smoked a ground ball into left field, plating Boyd from second and giving the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead.
West Virginia made it 4-0 in the fourth with two outs when senior third basemen Michael Constantini
drew a walk, and then advanced to third as junior shortstop Taylor Munden
sent a double down the left field line. Boyd singled into right field, scoring both runners.
Texas would close the gap in the seventh with three runs on four hits. With one out Brooks Marlow hit an RBI single to center, scoring the team's first run. After plating two more, Texas had runners on second and third with two away, but Musgrave got a much needed strikeout to keep the lead intact.
The Mountaineers got a pivotal insurance run in the seventh. With men on first and second and two outs, junior catcher Cam O'Brien singled to left field, scoring senior first basemen Ryan McBroom
. McBroom got aboard with a one-out single to center, and his run made the score 5-3.
Right-hander Parker French (5-4) took the loss for the Longhorns, going 6.0 innings and allowing three earned runs off of eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Three different pitchers would combine to finish the game for Texas.
Game two of this weekend's series against Texas will take place tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. Alumni of the Mountaineer baseball club will be honored throughout the game. A link to the live video and live stats is available on WVUsports.com. The radio broadcast will be on select affiliates of the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG College.