WVU Rolls In Series Opener Vs. Oklahoma State
The only difficult task in analyzing West Virginia’s 11-1 win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Friday night was deciding whether Mountaineer batters or pitchers had a better night.
At the plate, the Mountaineers battered Cowboy pitching for 17 hits, led by Marques Inman’s four-hit, four-RBI night. On the mound, Alek Manoah was similarly outstanding, allowing no runs on just three hits while striking out 11 and walking none in eight innings of work . Most importantly, West Virginia recorded another win over a Top 25 team while getting off to an excellent start in earning its first Big 12 road win of the season.
WVU (18-11, 3-4) got to OSU starter Jansen Elliott early, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Tyler Doanes lead off with a liner to left that was misplayed by Cade Cabbiness, and by the time he tracked it down Doanes was standing on third. Brandon White walked and stole second to remove the double play chance, which proved beneficial when Darius Hill grounded to first. Instead of the potential twin killing, it resulted in only one out while scoring Doanes and advancing White to third.
Marques Inman then found the hole between short and third for a single to drive home White, and following a pair of singles to load the bases, Kevin Brophy worked a walk on a 3-2 count to drive home the third run of the inning. In all, Elliott threw 42 pitches while facing nine Mountaineer batters in the opening frame. He lasted just three innings while taking the loss which dropped his record to 3-2.
One inning later, WVU added another run when White singled to third and Hill followed with a line drive shot to left center to chase him home, then Ivan Gonzalez put the Mountaineers on the board for the third consecutive inning with a double before advancing to third on a single and scooting home on a wild pitch.
That was less than half of the Mountaineers’ offensive output. The onslaught continued in the fourth when Inman doubled home two runs, and spilled over into the fifth, when Doanes, Hill and Inman all had run-scoring hits, the last two doubles. By that time, it was 10-0, but that was only part of the show.
On the hill, Manoah was overpowering. He struck out 11 and walked none in eight innings of work, allowing only three hits. He threw strikes on 70 of his 102 pitches, and faced just two batters over the minimum while earning his fourth win of the season against two losses. Gabe Kurtzhals pitched the ninth, allowing a sacrifice fly for the Cowboys’ only run of the contest.
In addition to Inman, Gonzalez reached base five time via three hits and two walks while scoring twice. Brandon White got aboard four times (three hits and one walk) and scored three times. Darius Hill had a pair of doubles, driving in three runs and scoring two of his own. Tevin Tucker got aboard twice via walks and stole two bases.
Oklahoma state dropped to 18-10 overall and 5-2 in the Big 12 Conference.
Game two is set for Saturday at 3:05 p.m. ET. West Virginia lefthander Jackson Wolf (2-2, 4.11 ERA) is slated to go against Okahoma State right-hander Joe Lienhard (2-1, 2.67 ERA).
SEAMS AND BARRELS
Home plate umpire Michael Banks was forced to leave the game in the bottom of the third after taking a foul ball directly to the face mask off the bat of OSU’s Houeston Morrill. Banks was down for several minutes before being assisted off the field. That led to a delay of some 20 minutes while second base umpire Shane Metheny geared up to take over duties behind the plate.
* * * * * *
OSU came into the game ranked 23rd by Baseball America and 24th by D1Baseball.
* * * * * *
West Virginia scored in six of its nine at-bats.
* * * * * *
The Cowboys used five pitchers and threw 203 pitches in the game that stretched more than three hours.