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WVU Baseball Preview: Can the Mountaineers Take Down #23 OK State?

Coming off a series victory over the Sooners, WVU can begin to make up ground in the vaunted Big XII with another series victory this weekend in Stillwater.

Tyler Doanes
John Lowe/The Daily Athenaeum

The Oklahoma State Cowboys (18-9) (5-1) have really surprised some people to begin Big XII play. They earned a series victory over the always dangerous TCU Horned Frogs last weekend and have already taken 1 game against their in-state rival, the Oklahoma Sooners. However, this weekend they get to host the scrappy West Virginia Mountaineers (17-11) (2-4) in an important series for both programs.

Manoah got hit with the hard-luck loss last Friday against the Sooners after allowing just 2 runs over 7.1 innings. He didn’t have his strikeout stuff last weekend, but has racked up 54 strikeouts in just 43.2 innings so far.

Elliott got hit pretty hard last week by the Horned Frogs, losing his first game of the season after lasting just 4 innings while allowing 6 runs (5 earned). Before this start, he had given up just 9 runs in 32.2 innings. He’ll be a tough assignment for the Mountaineers in this one.

Wolf got a no-decision last Saturday as the offense decided to turn on the jets after he had already departed the game. However, he had a quality start nonetheless, allowing just 1 run in 5 innings and setting his boys up for a big 7th and 8th inning.

Lienhard got a no-decision last Saturday vs. TCU after allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in 5.1 innings.

Strowd got his 3rd win of the season last Sunday after limiting the Sooners to just 1 run over 5 innings while striking out 7. He threw 115 pitches last time out, so it’ll be interesting to see whether there are any signs of fatigue in his right arm.

Standlee threw just 3 innings in the Sunday finale against TCU, allowing 4 runs before being pulled.

Who to watch for - Oklahoma State Cowboys

  • RF Carson McCusker is batting .344 with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs and 20 RBI’s.
  • SS Andrew Navigato is hitting .290 7 home runs, 5 doubles, 1 triple and 19 RBI’s.
  • LF Colin Simpson is batting .248 with 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 22 RBI’s.
  • RHP Peyton Battenfield has been a dominant arm out of the Cowboys’ bullpen, putting up a 1.93 ERA in 28.0 innings with 32 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .162 against him.
  • RHP Ben Leeper has been a very effective closer for OSU in 2019. He has a 0.57 ERA and has picked up 4 saves in 15.2 innings with 21 strikeouts and just a .157 BAA.