WVU Pulls Out All The Stops But Falls Short In 3-2 Loss To Texas

West Virginia took Texas to the wire in the wee hours of Friday night in Oklahoma City, but the Mountaineers couldn’t come up with enough offense to support a gutsy pitching performance from four relievers in a 3-2 loss to the Longhorns in the Big 12 Championship.

The loss eliminated WVU from the event, and also rang down the curtain on its season with a 25-27 record.

“I asked the team to show toughness and compete as hard as they could, and that’s what they did,” head coach Randy Mazey noted.

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Seemingly out of pitching options, Mazey flouted convention by tossing the ball to reliever Jacob Watters to start the game. The sophomore righthander has been exclusively a late-inning reliever and closer in his two seasons at WVU, having never started a contest.

Against the Longhorns, however, Watters responded with a better outing than anyone could have expected. He struck out eight Longhorns and equaled his career high of three innings, firing 74 pitches, 13 more than his previous career high. He allowed just one run — self-inflicted via a pair of walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch — but did not allow a Texas hit in 13 plate appearances.

Mazey continued with the very definition of a “bullpen game” by going to Madison Jeffrey after Watters emptied his tank, and when he walked the bases full in the bottom of the fourth UT had a big chance to break the game open. Mike Antico’s deep ball to right appeared to be doing just that, but WVU rightfielder Austin Davis streaked back to the fence, leaped high and pulled it back into the park for the third out.

Seemingly motivated by Davis’ monster play, West Virginia mustered some offense after producing just two hits through the first four innings. Braden Barry doubled and Davis pushed a bunt single to get aboard with two out in the top of the fifth. Davis then stole second without being contested. That turned out to be a big play, as Matt McCormick slapped a hit to left field to score both Barry and Davis to give the Mountaineers a 2-1 lead.

Texas had just one hit to that point, but broke through with a pair after a leadoff walk in the bottom the sixth. The latter, a two-run double, put the Longhorns back in front at 3-2.

While West Virginia’s relief corps scrambled and battled, Texas starter Pete Hansen had far fewer problems in his 6.2 innings of work. He struck out nine WVU batters and did not walk any while throwing 65 strikes on 98 pitches. He had a stretch of 12 outs in 13 WVU batters in earning his eighth win of the season against one loss.

Jeffrey took the loss to even his season record at 2-2.

Texas (42-14) moves on to face Oklahoma State at 1:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday on ESPN+. The Cowboys have yet to lose in the tournament, so the Horns will have to defeat the Cowboys twice in order to move on the title game on Sunday. If that second Saturday game is necessary, it is scheduled to commence at either 5 or 8:30 p.m. ET, depending on the result of the TCU – Kansas State game in the opposite division.

SEAMS AND BARRELS

WVU catcher Paul McIntosh may have turned in one of the finest defensive games in Mountaineer history. Working with pitchers who battled control issues all night, he framed a handful of marginal deliveries to get strike calls, blocked and controlled several potential wild pitches and also completed a lovely strike ’em out throw ’em out double play, nailing Texas second baseman Mitchell Daly by a wide margin to end the second inning.

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West Virginia hitters struck out 13 times in the game, while Texas batters went down on strikes on 14 occasions. UT got aboard 10 times via walks, while WVU grabbed just two free passes. Texas did not allow a Mountaineer leadoff hitter to reach base in any inning.

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Home Page forums WVU Pulls Out All The Stops But Falls Short In 3-2 Loss To Texas

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  • #147324

    West Virginia took Texas to the wire in the wee hours of Friday night in Oklahoma City, but the Mountaineers couldn’t come up with enough offense to s
    [See the full post at: WVU Pulls Out All The Stops But Falls Short In 3-2 Loss To Texas]

    #147331

    Just not deep enough all around. Didn’t expect to win the first 2 games.

    On to next year.

    #147353

    One of the more gutty performances I have every watched.  The article was exactly right, the Davis catch and the defensive game by McIntosh were incredible.  Pitchers were a bit wild but generally thru the ball past the longhorn hitters in crucial situations.  And had the tying run on third in the top of the 9th with 2 out but the batter could not lay off of the high fastball for the game ending 3rd strike.

    Would have always preferred to see us win versus lose, but a giant tip of the hat to this Mountaineer baseball team for their play down the stretch.  The lost their last 2 to finish 25-27 but, even with those loses, went 10-6 down the stretch.

    I don’t know how accurate the announcers were for ESPN+ but they said that WVU lost their starting SS and 2nd and 3rd starting pitchers essentially for the season.  Hard to replace that kind of ability with mostly young players.  I know we lose some talented seniors off of this team but they do have some good looking young players on the roster who should be better next year.  If the injured can come back, everyone else improves, and some of the new talent can contribute sooner rather than later they will be competitive again next year.

    #147382

    WVU lost Tevin Tucker (SS) and Ryan Bergert (#2 starter) before the year began, so they missed it all.

    Jake Carr (#3 starter) lost his control from last year and went to a weekend starter to a little used reliever. Then it lost P Tyler Strechay for three weeks due to injury. 2B Tyler Doanes missed the first month with a wrist, and I don’t think he was ever right. Didn’t hit anything like he did previously in his career.

    The loss of Tucker had a defensive ripple effect. Caused buys moving around all over the place, and the effect on the defense was significant. Never got settled, esp. in the infield.

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Home Page forums WVU Pulls Out All The Stops But Falls Short In 3-2 Loss To Texas

Home Page forums WVU Pulls Out All The Stops But Falls Short In 3-2 Loss To Texas