Morgantown, WV – On a cold snowy day in Morgantown, the West Virginia Mountaineers (16-11, 2-4) shutdown the No. 23 Oklahoma Sooners (22-7, 4-2) 5-1 Sunday afternoon. WVU used their speed and power to score five runs on five hits.
“The harder it was snowing the happier I was.” Said WVU head coach Randy Mazey after the game. “If this was a preseason day and we had an intersquad game to play we’d be out here playing in it. To be good in it you have to practice in it and that’s what we do all the time.”
West Virginia starting pitcher Kade Strowd dug himself in a hole early throwing six straight balls that led to head coach Randy Mazey making a trip to the mound. Strowd walked the first two, but on a ball four call and with Jordan Vujovich stealing second, catcher Paul McIntosh made a throw to second base and Vujovich was called out. But wait a minute, it was ball four the runner advances to second on the dead ball four call.
Although the runner gets to advance to second, the play is still live. Mazey came out on the field and had a discussion with the umpires after the runner was ruled safe due to the ball four call. After the umpires had a brief meeting, they went to the replay monitor and called the runner out. The ruling was the baserunner went past the bag and is considered to have tried to advance resulting as a pick off play.
Strowd walked four in the first, however, OU remained hitless. “He buckles down when guys get on base” Stated Mazey. “He can make adjustments while he’s out there and he did a really good job of that.”
In the bottom of the inning, Mountaineers Tyler Doanes and Brandon White applied pressure on Sooners starting pitcher Levi Prater going deep into the pitch count and getting on base by way of walks. Then with one out, Marcus Inman hit a hard groundball to Sooners first baseman Tyler Hardman who opted to make the throw to second in attempt to turn a double-play and threw the ball in the dirt as Doanes raced home from second to score the games first run.
West Virginia’s Darius hill started the bottom of the third inning poking a base hit to shallow centerfield. Marcus Inman followed it up with a shot over the leftfield wall into the visitor’s bullpen for his fifth homerun of the season and put the Mountaineers up 3-0.
Oklahoma got on the board in the fourth with a sacrifice RBI groundball from Jordan Vujovich. However, the Mountaineers responded with two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Tevin Tucker reached first on a walk, then Austin Davis smacked one up the middle as Tucker used his speed to reach third. Tyler Doanes brought Tucker in on a flyball to centerfield. Austin Davis stole second, followed by a single from Brandon White setting up Darius Hill for his 18th RBI of the season to extend the Mountaineer lead 5-1.
Despite giving up eight walks through five innings, Strowd only gave up three hits and one run.
“His two biggest wins on the year, this one and Oregon State, this one he walked eight and that one he walked nine.” Said Mazey haver the game. “It’s not the way you draw it up, you know. You can’t hardly ever walk eight or nine in a game and win, and he’s done it twice. It just a testament to what he does when the guys get on that he just walks. He makes great pitches when he has to.”
Freshman Ryan Bergert came to the mound to start the sixth for the Mountaineers. After a fly ball to left field and a strikeout, Oklahoma put two on with a walk and an error at third on a hard ground ball. That brought Brylie Ware to the plate and he hit a deep, high flyball to centerfield and Brandon White tracked the ball to the warning track, jumping back and catching the ball as he hit the wall to save at least two runs to end the inning.
“That’s a routine catch Brandon turns into a highlight reel catch. He likes to get on Sportscenter.” Mazey said Jokingly after the game. “That was a game changer for sure. That could have easily been 5-3 or 5-4 at that point and then it’s a whole different game”
Randy Mazey brought in his closer, Same Kessler, after Bergert surrendered a two out double to Vujovich. Kessler closed out the inning popping up Brandon Zaragoza to centerfield.
Kessler shut down any chance of a Sooner comeback in the ninth as the Mountaineers go onto win 5-1.
West Virginia will host Pitt in the Backyard Brawl Wednesday evening inside Monongalia County Ballpark at 6:30 pm est.
|Team Batting Totals||28||5||5||5||0||0||1||4||7||1||0||1||5||2||1||24||5||1||—|