Mountaineers Drop Two on Saturday at Texas Tech

LUBBOCK, Texas – The West Virginia University baseball team dropped a pair of games to No. 8 Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

The Mountaineers fell, 7-5, in the opening game of a Big 12 Conference doubleheader, before it dropped a 12-2 decision in eight innings in the nightcap. Texas Tech right-handed pitchers Andrew Morris and Brandon Birdsell claimed wins on the mound, as both registered complete-game performances.

Meanwhile, junior right-hander Jacob Watters took the loss for WVU in Game 1, dropping his record to 2-3 on the season, while sophomore left-hander Ben Hampton fell in Game 2 and is now 6-3 on the year.

“They had two complete games in a doubleheader – that’s exactly what you need to do in order to win,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said of Texas Tech.

In Game 1, Texas Tech (29-13, 9-5 Big 12) needed just one pitch to take an early lead on a leadoff, solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. But the Mountaineers (23-14, 6-5 Big 12) came right back with a run in the top of the second, thanks to freshman infielder Grant Hussey’s RBI single.

Then, a wild, third inning saw nine total runs. First, WVU plated four to take a 5-1 lead, despite not hitting a ball out of the infield. West Virginia capitalized on an infield hit, as well as two Red Raider errors to take control.

The hosts answered right back, though, with five runs in the bottom half to retake the lead at 6-5. TTU scored once more in the fourth to stretch it to a two-run ballgame.

From there, the Mountaineers went in order in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. In the ninth, however, WVU got the tying run to the plate but could not formulate a rally.

Watters allowed six runs with three strikeouts and three walks in 3.0 innings. Following his exit, freshman right-hander Chris Sleeper pitched the final 5.0 innings, striking out a pair without allowing a run.

The Red Raiders continued to showcase their hard-hitting ability in the second game of the twin bill. Tech tallied a run in the second, three each in the third and fourth and another in the fifth to lead it, 8-0.

Hampton allowed seven runs in 3.0 innings, while striking out five. He was relieved by sophomore right-hander Carlson Reed, who, like Sleeper in Game 1, was able to provide some length out of the bullpen. The Marietta, Georgia, native allowed just one run on two hits with two strikeouts in 3.0 innings of work.

It took until the eighth inning for West Virginia to get on the board. That’s when freshman outfielder Evan Smith smacked a two-run double off the wall in left to cut the deficit to six.

However, TTU scored four more in the bottom half of the inning to claim the Saturday sweep. In all, the Red Raiders tallied 16 hits as a team in Game 2.

At the plate, WVU was led by junior outfielder Austin Davis and sophomore Braden Barrywho each totaled two hits in the two games.

“We have to come out and play well (on Sunday),” Mazey said. “You do not want to go anywhere and get swept, especially when we’re in the position that we’re in. We really need one.”

Next up, the two teams meet in the series finale of this weekend’s three-game set on Sunday afternoon. First pitch in Lubbock is scheduled for 2 pm ET.

For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVUBaseball on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Leave a Comment

News Msuica