WVU Baseball Exits Big 12 Tournament Empty Handed After 3-2 Loss to Oklahoma State
WVU Baseball exited the Big 12 Tournament in unceremonious fashion on Thursday after falling to Oklahoma State 3-2. The Mountaineers needed to win to stay alive after a tournament-opening loss to Texas Tech, but an early error—and a late run—sank them.
West Virginia starter Ben Hampton didn’t allow an earned run, making it through six innings on just 81 pitches.
Head coach Randy Mazey shook up the Mountaineers’ lineup in an attempt to spark the team after four straight losses, but the Mountaineers still couldn’t find a key hit when it mattered most.
The Cowboys loaded the bases with no outs in the first with help from an error. Hampton induced a sacrifice fly and a groundout, letting a pair of unearned runs score before escaping the inning.
Mountaineers’ left fielder Landon Wallace doubled down the left field line to begin the second inning. Wallace then came around to score via groundouts from third baseman Sam White and center fielder Braden Barry, closing the gap to 2-1.
Mountaineers Settle In
The game slowed down from there, with both Hampton and Cowboys’ starter Nolan McLean mowing through batters.
Second baseman JJ Wetherholt pulled a double down the right field line in the seventh. First baseman Grant Hussey walked and Wallace poked a single to center to load the bases White grounded out to score Wetherholt, tying the game 2-2.
Hampton retired the Cowboys in order in the sixth. Mazey substituted closer Carlson Reed after Hampton allowed two fly balls in the inning, despite his protest to stay in the game.
West Virginia worked a pair of walks in the eighth but couldn’t plate the tying run.
Reed allowed a single and a walk in the bottom of the frame, and another single gave Oklahoma State a 3-2 lead. He managed two bases-loaded strikeouts to keep West Virginia within a run, sending them to the ninth—and their last chance.
Designated hitter Logan Sauve and shortstop Tevin Tucker went down swinging against Cowboys’ pitcher Juaron Watts-Brown to open the inning, bringing up Wetherholt with the game on the line. Watts-Brown hit the star second baseman with a pitch, keeping the Mountaineers alive, and right fielder Caleb McNeely doubled to put the tying run 90 feet away. Watts-Brown hit Hussey to load the bases, but punched out Wallace to send the Mountaineers packing.
WVU Baseball will now await the NCAA Tournament selection show at noon on May 29 to see if they’ll get picked after losing five in a row at the worst possible time.