WVU Plays Late Rally Game, Takes Series Over Oklahoma State
West Virginia rebounded from what could have been a crushing loss on Saturday for a 4-2 win over Oklahoma State at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater on Sunday. The win gave the Mountaineers their second consecutive series win over teams from the state, following last weekend’s over Oklahoma. Reversing the events of the previous game, when Oklahoma State scored five times in the eighth inning to rally for a victory, the Mountaineers plated two in the eighth and another in the ninth to erase a 2-1 deficit.
For the third consecutive game in the series, WVU (19-12, 4-5) jumped on top early. Brandon White walked and went to second on a pickoff attempt at first that skipped past first baseman Alix Garcia. Darius Hill followed with a double that painted the right field line, giving the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead in their first at-bat.
Oklahoma State (19-11, 6-3)was quick to respond, and it was the hero of Saturday’s game, Colin Simpson, who did so. He followed his grand slam from yesterday with a two-run homer off WVU starter Kade Strowd to push the Cowboys in front.
After that, while both teams managed scoring threats, activity on the scoreboard settled down. A string of zeroes then ensued through innings two through seven before WVU rallied in the eighth. Hill got things started with a single, moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt, then dashed around to score on Paul McIntosh’s RBI hit to left. With two out, Kevin Brophy drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases, then TJ Lake worked a full-count free pass to drive home the go-ahead run. West Virginia missed the chance to get more, though, as it left the bases loaded.
The Mountaineers rectified that with an insurance run in the top of the ninth, with White and Hill teaming up again. White singled and stole second, then raced home to score on Hill’s single to right to give the Mountaineers an insurance run and a 4-2 lead.
Strowd gave up just the two-run homer while recording another strong outing in running his record to 4-2. OSU had just four hits off him in 7.1 innings, and he struck out ten against four walks. He also benefited from a pair of excellent plays in the outfield, one from TJ Lake who brought a deep drive off the bat of Andrew Navigato back into the ballpark in the second, and the other from Darius Hill, who made a diving catch in right in the third.
WVU relievers Zach Reid and Sam Kessler got the final five outs to rebuild some confidence in the bullpen. Reid recorded a strikeout in a lefty-lefty match-up with one out in the eighth, and Kessler bounced back from last night’s dinger with three strikeouts to record his sixth save of the year.
Hill was 3-5 at the plate with a double, a run scored and two RBI. Doanes had a pair of hits, while White scored two runs after getting aboard via a hit and a walk. WVU left nine runners aboard, while the Cowboys stranded eight.
West Virginia remains in road mode for its mid-week game as it travels to Maryland on Wednesday, April 10 for a 4 p.m. contest with the Terrapins. UM is 15-15 overall and 3-3 in the Big 10 after taking two of three from #22 RPI Illinois over the weekend.
SEAMS AND BARRELS
The Mountaineers return home on the weekend of April 12-14 with a three-game series against Texas Tech.
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WVU scored 16 runs in its first 13 innings in Stillwater. Over the last 14, it tallied four.
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After stealing four bases on Saturday, West Virginia was just 1-3 on Sunday. White’s swipe, which set up the insurance run, was offset by two throw-outs of Doanes.
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West Virginia came up with three hits in 11 chances at the plate with runners in scoring position. Oklahoma State was 0-6 in similar situations.