Morgantown, WV – The West Virginia Mountaineers (22-12, 6-5) found themselves in the win column again Saturday afternoon, following a 4-3 victory over the No. 11 Texas Tech Red Raiders (22-11, 5-6). WVU grabbed the early lead, but Texas Tech scored three unanswered before the Mountaineers came back and walked away with the win.
In the bottom of the first inning, WVU jumped out to a 2-0 lead that was ignited by a pair of singles from Tyler Doanes and Brandon White. They both got into scoring position after a double steal, “Those guys get on base and they love to run. They just love to have fun on the baseball field.” Said WVU head coach Randy Mazey. Then, Marcus Inman hit a sacrifice groundball to bring in Doanes for the first run of the game. Ivan Gonzalez followed it up with an RBI double into left-centerfield.
Texas Tech got their first run of the series in the fourth after West Virginia starting pitcher Jackson Wolfe walked Dylan Neuse to start the inning, took second on a wild pitch, Brian Klein moved him to third on a groundball to second, then came home on a sacrifice grounder from Cameron Warren.
In the fifth, the Red Raider offense heated up, getting singles from Max Marusak and Gabe Holt. Cole Stilwell drove a single into leftfield that brought the runners home to take a 3-2 lead.
After a Josh Young single that put runners on first and third with one out, Randy Mazey came out to the mound to bring in Zach Ottinger that ended the inning with a strikeout and a groundball over to first.
“He came in with first and third with one out today in the middle of their lineup – that’s a big difference holding that to 3-2 right there, if they score another one, that changes the whole game.” Stated Mazey. “He’s been super valuable for us in that role. That’s not the first time he’s done that. He’s that kid. He doesn’t get rattled by anything. He’s the guy you want in that situation.”
The Mountaineers responded in the bottom of the inning when Marcus Inman drove a hard line-drive into leftfield, then Paul McIntosh hit a little line-drive back up the middle to get two on with two outs. That ended the day for starting Red Raider pitcher Micah Dallas and head coach Tim Tadlock went to his bullpen for Taylor Floyd.
Ivan Gonzalez was unphased and brought in the tying run dropping the ball opposite field as Inman charged home from second, safely sliding home to get the Mountaineers even with the Red Raiders.
The game was still tied at three heading to the bottom of the inning and a record-setting crowd of 3,494 were on their feet following closer Sam Kessler’s three-straight outs in just 12 pitches.
Floyd walked Tevin Tucker to begin the inning and another call to the bullpen brought in Dane Haveman.
Tyler Doanes flared one to the shortstop of the end of his bat, nonetheless Doanes raced down the first baseline as Dru Baker didn’t even attempt to make the throw, giving the Mountaineers two on with no outs.
Then with one out, Texas Tech decided to intentionally walk Darius Hill to load the bases and another trip to the mound brought in Clayton Beeter who threw four-straight balls to Inman for an RBI walk as West Virginia takes the series over the No. 11 Red Raiders.
“What a great atmosphere, I know the football game had a lot do with it, but whatever it takes for people to come and see that we’re a really fun team to watch.” Commented Mazey after the game. “We love to run, we love to hit, we got great pitching and we’re exciting to watch on defense. You can see web gems and highlight reel play all the time. You like baseball, this is a great team to watch.”
The Mountaineers look to sweep Texas Tech Sunday at noon est inside Monongalia County Ballpark.
|Team Batting Totals||35||4||10||4||2||0||0||5||12||0||0||0||8||4||0||27||11||0||—|