In the first two games of the Big 12 Tournament, the Mountaineers lost their starting pitchers to injury. Michael Groves was lost one out and 6 pitches into the game against the Oklahoma Sooners. Mountaineer ace Chad Donato was lost 4 outs into the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. In today's game against the Sooners, Conner Dotson made sure the bullpen was only needed for the last two outs.
The Oklahoma Sooners came in with a scorching hot offense. After being shutout by the Mountaineers in the first game of the tournament, the Sooners hitting came on strong. Against the Kansas State Wildcats, the Sooners scored 13 runs. Against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma invoked the 10-run mercy against the Red Raiders, beating the regular season champs 17-4.
Making only his fifth start, Conner allowed the Sooners to score a run on two hits in the first inning. Once he settled down, Dotson would only allow two more hits the rest of the game. He would strike out 9 including 7 through the first four innings.
The Mountaineers would tie the game at 1-1 in the second inning when Jackson Cramer scored on Cole Austin's sacrifice fly, beating the throw home. The Mountaineers would add two more runs and lead 3-1 at the end of the second.
The Mountaineers would threaten again in the fourth inning when Jimmy Galuski took a 1-1 pitch back up the middle to bring up Kyle Davis. Davis has hit 7-15 in the Big 12 Tournament including his second home run of the tournament. Davis took a 1-2 curveball deep to left field and made the score 5-1.
.@WVUBaseball's Kyle Davis gives this one a ride out to deep left field for a two-out homer! #Big12BSB https://t.co/SCCijbhzoq— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) May 28, 2016
The Mountaineers would continue to score. They added another run after the Davis homer to make it 6-1. In the fifth inning, Cole Austin drew a one-out walk and proceeded to steal second and third base. A Kyle Gray safety squeeze made it 7-1 and the Mountaineers would just continue to score.
- West Virginia improves to 6-5 all-time in the Big 12 Championship, as the Mountaineers advance to make their first-ever Big 12 Championship game appearance.
- Additionally, it is WVU's first appearance in a conference title game since 1996 (Big East). With today's 11-1 victory, West Virginia moves to 3-0 in the 2016 Big 12 Championship for the first time in program history. Previously, the Mountaineers had never won more than two games and never played in more than three games in a single championship.
- The Mountaineers have outscored opponents 26-5 in this year's championship, and leads the 2016 championship field with a 1.44 ERA as a pitching staff. The lowest team ERA in a single championship is 1.25, set by Oklahoma State in 2015.
- WVU has allowed only four earned runs through three games in championship play, OSU holds the all-time record for fewest earned runs allowed in a single championship with five (2015) during four games played.
You can see full highlights below and check out the full box score here. The Mountaineers will face the winner of Texas - TCU. Texas beat TCU 2-1 in the first game of the Division 2 semi-finals to invoke the "if necessary" game. You can watch that live here.
WVU is headed to the Big 12 championship game! Check out the highlights from the win that got them there: https://t.co/c1c9X5ZiQH— WVU Baseball (@WVUBaseball) May 28, 2016