MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University baseball team lost the series finale to Oklahoma State, 6-4, on Sunday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The Mountaineers (16-17, 2-7 Big 12) led 3-0 after three innings, but the Cowboys (20-13-1, 9-3 Big 12) rallied with three in the sixth and two in the seventh to stay in second place in the Big 12 Conference standings. WVU scored four runs on 11 hits, while OSU tallied six runs on eight hits. Both teams committed one error.
“We’re on a pretty good roll offensively,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “I think we had double-digit hits in all three of the games. So, we’re swinging it pretty well right now. When we score four, we need to hold them to three. That’s what we haven’t been doing.
“The guys are out there competing pretty well. I think the toughest part of our schedule is over; we’ve played three out of the top-four teams in the league now, so hopefully we have an opportunity to get on a roll and make some noise here coming down the stretch.”
Sophomore first baseman Marques Inman led the Mountaineers with three hits, his third consecutive multi-hit game. He added an RBI and a run scored.
Junior right-handed starter/designated hitter Braden Zarbnisky pitched 6.0 innings and allowed four runs on five hits. He struck out five and walked two. Freshman left-hander Jackson Wolf suffered the loss, the first of his career. He allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits with a walk in 1.2 innings. Both runs came on passed balls.
For the first time all series, both OSU and WVU were held scoreless in the first inning. The Mountaineers got on the board in the second to take a 2-0 lead.
Inman singled up the middle to lead off the inning, and junior third baseman Andrew Zitel followed with a single to put two on. A wild pitch put runners on second and third for junior shortstop Jimmy Galusky, who reached on an infield single. The Oklahoma State shortstop bobbled the high-hopper, which allowed both Inman and Zitel to score.
West Virginia extended its lead to 3-0 in the third on an Inman groundout. That scored junior right fielder Darius Hill, who led off the inning with a triple.
The Cowboys cut into the deficit with a leadoff home run by Colin Simpson in the fourth. However, the Mountaineers got the run back in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Hill led off the frame with a single and scored from second on a double by junior second baseman Kyle Gray.
Oklahoma State tied the game, 4-4, in the sixth. An RBI double was followed by a two-out, two run home run by Simpson. OSU took its first lead of the day in the seventh, scoring two runs on back-to-back passed balls against Wolf. The first run was unearned.
WVU left a runner on in the seventh after a two-out single and stranded two in the eighth.
Sophomore right-hander Cody Wood, who relieved Wolf with two outs in the eighth, stranded the bases loaded in the ninth inning to keep the West Virginia deficit at two. Inman singled in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, but a strikeout ended the game.
West Virginia makes the short trip north to Pittsburgh to play Pitt on Tuesday, April 11, at 6 p.m. ET. The contest is one of just three games away from Morgantown for the Mountaineers in the month of April, and it’s the only true road game outside the state of West Virginia.
Press Release credit: WVU Sports Communications
Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS