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WVU Baseball Defeats No. 18 Oklahoma State 6-3



WVU Baseball reliever Carlson Reed winds up to throw.

WVU Baseball handed No. 18 Oklahoma State their fourth loss in a row on Friday, defeating the Cowboys 6-3 in Stillwater.

West Virginia chased Cowboys’ ace Juaron Watts-Brown from the game after just four innings. After a tough outing against Kansas last week, Mountaineers starter Ben Hampton pitched a quality start, allowing three runs in six innings of work. Junior closer Carlson Reed punched out six batters during a three-inning save to finish the game.

The Mountaineers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Second baseman JJ Wetherholt began the game with a 400-foot home run to the opposite field. 

Watts-Brown rebounded with two strikeouts, but right fielder Caleb McNeely began a two-out rally with a single. Center fielder Braden Barry and third baseman Ellis Garcia drew walks to juice the bases, and Watts-Brown hit first baseman Grant Hussey with a pitch to score another. 

Shortstop Tevin Tucker struck out on a wild pitch to open the second, stealing first base on the play. Wetherholt and left fielder Landon Wallace both singled, the latter scoring Tucker to go up 3-0. Watts-Brown hit catcher Dayne Leonard with another pitch to load the bases, but two strikeouts and a lineout allowed him to escape without further damage. 

The Cowboys got one back in the bottom of the second on a home run from right fielder Carson Benge.

Tucker drew a leadoff walk in the fifth. Two groundouts moved him to third, and Leonard hit an RBI single.

Late-Inning Drama

Benge and designated hitter Beau Sylvester singled and doubled in the bottom of the frame. A groundout scored Benge, and a bunt single from center fielder Zach Ehrhard closed the deficit to 4-3.

Barry drew a leadoff walk in the sixth. Garcia worked a full count, so Barry got a good jump on the ensuing single to center. He tried to come around to score on the dribbling hit, but was thrown out at the plate in a big collision with Cowboys’ catcher Chase Adkison.

Wetherholt singled and stole second in the seventh, scoring on another RBI single by Leonard to make it 5-3.

Garcia moved to second in the bottom of the seventh to cover for Wetherholt, who injured his hand sliding into second. True freshman Sam White took over at third for Garcia.

Carlson Reed relieved Hampton in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the side on 11 pitches.

Reed allowed a walk and a single to put runners at the corners with one out in the eighth. However, he worked another strikeout and a groundout against the heart of Oklahoma State’s order to end the threat.

White worked a full-count walk in the ninth. A Leonard single moved him to second, and a second single by McNeely made it 6-3.

Reed struck out two batters to begin the bottom of the ninth, forcing a full-count groundout to end the game.

WVU Baseball moves to 24-10 on the season (4-3 Big 12). They look to the series at 7pm Saturday, with fifth-year starter Blaine Traxel (5-3, 3.25 ERA) on the bump.

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