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Mountaineers Earn Series Win Over No. 19 Oklahoma

Strong pitching and timely offense propelled West Virginia to 2 wins over Oklahoma this weekend, good for a series victory and momentum going into next week.

John Lowe/The Daily Athenaeum

After losing a nailbiter on Friday night, the Mountaineers (16-11) (2-4) came back with a vengeance as they beat the #22 Sooners (22-7) (4-2) on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon to earn the series victory.

Saturday, March 30th

West Virginia Mountaineers: 12

Oklahoma Sooners: 4

The Mountaineers put up a lot of runs in this one, but waited until the late innings to turn on the jets. After the Sooners tied the game up at 3 on a RBI single in the top of the 6th, the Mountaineers took the lead for good in the bottom of the 7th.

Tyler Doanes hit a single through the left side to score Tevin Tucker and put WVU up 4-3. Then, the offensive explosion happened.

Kevin Brophy crushed a 2-run double to deep left-center field and was followed by another double by Tucker, who then scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-3. After TJ Lake drew a bases-loaded walk, Paul McIntosh hit a 2-RBI single to center field and Ivan Gonzalez smacked another base hit through the middle to finish the scoring and putting WVU up 12-3 after 8 innings.

The Sooners got a run back in the 9th, but Zach Ottinger was able to record 3 outs and deliver the Mountaineers their first Big XII victory of the season.

Starting pitcher Jackson Wolf pitched well: allowing just 1 earned run in 5.0 innings. He pitched around trouble, as he gave up 6 hits and 4 walks, but was able to get timely outs to get himself out of jams.

Sunday, March 31st

West Virginia Mountaineers: 5

Oklahoma Sooners: 1

Levi Prater, the Sooners starting pitcher, entered this game with a sparkling 0.98 ERA on the season, so the Mountaineers knew they needed to get some runs early in this one, and that they did.

Marques Inman scored Tyler Doanes on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the 1st after OU 1B Tyler Hardman committed a throwing error that allowed the baserunners to move up an extra bag. Then, Inman added a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 3rd to put WVU up 3-0 and knock Prater from this ballgame.

The Sooners got a run back in the 4th on a RBI groundout by Jordan Vujovich, but Kade Strowd, the Mountaineers starting pitcher, was able to limit the damage to just that one run.

WVU answered right back in the bottom of the frame, getting 2 more runs on a sacrifice fly by Doanes and a RBI groundout by Darius Hill. After staking this 5-1 lead early, the West Virginia pitching staff took it from there.

Strowd allowed just 1 earned run in 5.0 innings of work, striking out 7. He did walk an astronomical amount of batters (8), similar to the Oregon State game earlier this season, after which he was named Big XII Pitcher of the Week. He’s learned to be effectively wild, and it works for him.

After Strowd exited the game, Coach Mazey went to freshman Ryan Bergert out of the bullpen. The young hurler has struggled a bit in the early part of his collegiate career, but he was fantastic on Sunday: 2.2 innings, 0 runs, 3 strikeouts. He can be sure to get some more work moving forward.

Finally, the ever-reliable Sam Kessler came in with 2 outs in the 8th and recorded 4 outs to send WVU to their second consecutive win and a series victory against the #22 ranked Sooners.

This series was a crucial one for WVU to win, so the club has to be feeling good going into their 4 games next week. On Wednesday, the Mountaineers will host our friend-emy’s from Pittsburgh (8-18) (2-10 ACC) on Wednesday at 6:30PM before heading to Stillwater, Oklahoma for a weekend matchup against the OK State Cowboys (17-8) (4-1).