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WVU Baseball Falls 11-6, No. 18 Oklahoma State Avoids Sweep



WVU Baseball shortstop Tevin Tucker steps to the plate.

WVU Baseball failed to sweep No. 18 Oklahoma State on Sunday, with the Cowboys eking out an 11-6 victory that was much closer than the final score suggests.

After excelling in the first two games of the series, the Mountaineers struggled at times to get hits with runners in scoring position. The Cowboys, for their part, did an excellent job of capitalizing on West Virginia’s mistakes, but the Mountaineers managed to hang in the game and survive their miscues until a six run eighth inning sank them. 

Mountaineers Start Hot

Hitting from the leadoff spot (where he went 4-for-5 with two runs scored), shortstop Tevin Tucker began the game with a single against Cowboys’ starter Carson Benge. Left fielder Landon Wallace walked, and designated hitter Dayne Leonard hit a sacrifice fly to put runners at the corners. Third baseman Caleb McNeely singled in a run, and second baseman Ellis Garcia doubled down the left field line. The ball kicked around in the corner long enough to make it 3-0.

Catcher Logan Sauve led off the second with a double, but Cowboys’ catcher Chase Adkison threw to shortstop Marcus Brown to pick him off the bag. Tucker doubled soon thereafter, a play that would’ve scored a run were it not for the baserunning misstep. Wallace and Leonard walked to load the bases, but further runs eluded the Mountaineers. 

Costly Mistakes

West Virginia’s inability to score immediately came back to haunt them in the bottom of the frame. Brown hit a first-pitch home run with two on and two out to tie the game.

The Mountaineers loaded the bases again with two outs in the third. Garcia doubled and Barry walked (as did right fielder Evan Smith). Again they failed to capitalize on the scoring chance and again the Cowboys made them pay for it. 

Second baseman Roc Riggio led off the home half of the third with a tie breaking home run. Porco rebounded with two strikeouts, but Adkison hit an opposite-field bomb of his own to make it 5-3. 

Yehl Steadies the Team

Maxx Yehl took over for Porco in the fourth, retiring seven of the eight batters he faced. Tucker and Wallace singled to put two on with no outs in the sixth, but a double play shut down the scoring chance.

First baseman Grant Hussey closed the deficit to 5-4 in the seventh inning with his eighth home run of the season, tying him with McNeely and JJ Wetherholt for the team lead.

Garcia followed that up with a full-count walk, stealing second with two outs to move into scoring position. True freshman Zack Ramppen entered as a pinch-hitter, stroking a single to center to tie the game. 

Mountaineers’ reliever (and birthday boy) David Hagaman entered in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the side against the Cowboys’ 2-3-4 hitters.

Tucker led off the eighth with a single, moving to second on a bunt by Wallace. Leonard drove a double the opposite way to score him and make it 6-5.

Mountaineers Come Undone

The Cowboys tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with three straight singles. Hagaman induced a shallow pop up to get the first out of the inning, but pinch-hitter Colin Brueggemann singled past Hussey, who couldn’t quite stop the ball on a diving stop attempt, to go up 8-6. 

Left-hander Kevin Dowdell entered for Hagaman, allowing a run-scoring single. The next three batters Dowdell faced each worked a full count, with a walk to load the bases, a strikeout swinging and a hit batter that made it 10-6.

Jake Carr entered and allowed a ground ball. Tucker made a diving extension to hold the ball on the infield, but he couldn’t recover in time to make an out or prevent another run from scoring. Noah Short entered and worked a three-pitch strikeout, a small consolation with the Cowboys leading 11-6.

WVU Baseball moves to 25-11 on the season (5-4 Big 12). Up next, they head to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to play in the Backyard Brawl at PNC Park, home of the Pirates.

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