The West Virginia Mountaineers welcomed in Baylor on Friday night and by Sunday afternoon they were sending the Bears home with a three-game losing streak after sweeping them. The sweep also pushed West Virginia into sole possession of first place in the Big 12 standings with a 5-1 record (0.833%) which bests Texas Tech’s 7-2 mark.
On Saturday, starter Ben Hampton had a shaky first inning when he found himself with runners on the corners and no outs following the first batter of the game doubling down the line and then advancing to third on a wild pitch - followed by a walk. A one-out single pushed across the first run of the game but Hampton was able to induce a double play and escape the jam. West Virgina would answer with two runs in the first inning, the first coming from Victor Scott’s single.
Hampton would then set down ten straight Bears before back to back singles threatened to tie the game but two fly outs would end the Baylor threat in the top of the fifth inning with the Mountaineers still leading 2-1. In the 6th inning, the Bears would finally push across that tying run when Hampton gave up a solo homerun. However, West Virginia continued to match Bears punch for punch as they pushed across three in the bottom of the sixth inning. Once again Victor Scott game up to bat with men on base and delivered.
West Virginia would push across three more runs in the 7th inning and take a commanding 8-2 lead. Starter Ben Hampton would be pulled in the top of the 8th inning after recording 2 outs. He finished the day with 7.2 IP, 5 Ks, 1 BB and 2 ER while allowing 6 hits.
Chase Smith would relieve Hampton in the 8th inning but run into trouble in the ninth inning. Zach Ottinger would need to come in to record the last out for a save and a 8-4 win for the Mountaineers. Saturday also marked the 500th game Randy Mazey has managed at West Virginia.
Sunday’s game looked like it was going to be an easy one for the Mountaineers as they chased Baylor starter Jake Jackson after just one inning. It was a rough inning for Jackson, who gave up four runs in that one inning. West Virginia didn’t treat the Baylor reliever much better as they roughed him up for two more runs in the second and before 6 Mountaineers had been called out, West Virginia was up 6-0.
Baylor wouldn’t roll over as they somehow managed to score five runs in the 4th inning on one hit. Walk. Walk. Sac Fly (runners to 2nd and 3rd). Walk. Fielders Choice, out at 2nd, run scores. Walk. Hit by pitch (run scores). Hit by pitch. (run scores). Three runs scored in the inning without a single ball being put in play. A single would drive in the next two runs and suddenly it was a 6-5 game.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Austin Davis, who finished a triple shy of the cycle, homered to give the Mountaineers a 7-5 lead, where the score would remain until the end.
West Virginia will take on Penn State on Tuesday in State College before hosting Oklahoma State, who currently sits third in conference with a 6-2 mark and is 8-2 on the road this season. They follow that series with a road game at Pitt in PNC Park the following Tuesday (April 19), before traveling to Lubbock, Texas to take on Texas Tech, who sits second in conference.