OKLAHOMA CITY–The theme of the first day of the Big 12 baseball tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Wednesday was the underdogs prevail.
First, No. 5 Baylor downed No. 4 Oklahoma and then No. 8 Kansas upset No. 1 Texas. And the trend continued when No. 7 West Virginia knocked off No. 2 Oklahoma State 8-5.
The Mountaineers overcame several defensive miscues with a combination of offense and good pitching.
WVU (28-25) tallied eight runs on 13 hits while the Cowboys (29-23-1) scored five on 10 hits. The Mountaineers committed four errors and Oklahoma State had five.
BJ Myers (2-2) picked up the win for WVU. The senior tossed three scoreless frames. He surrendered three hits and fanned two.
Braden Zarbnisky (2) earned the save.
Peyton Battenfield (2-3) suffered the loss for the Cowboys. He lasted just one inning, giving up three runs on five hits.
Brandon White led the Mountaineers with three hits. Darius Hill and Ivan Gonzalez both had two RBIs.
WVU took a 3-0 lead in the second. First, Gonzalez drove in Tyler Doanes and Kyle Gray with a base hit through the left side. Gonzalez scored on Jimmy Galusky’s single up the middle.
In the fourth inning, the Mountaineers tacked on three more runs. Three straight singles loaded the bases for Hill. The junior singled to Matt Kroon but his throwing error allowed all three runners to score.
Oklahoma State got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Kroon’s sacrifice fly knocked in a run.
However, WVU got the run right back in the sixth when Hill flied out, plating Zarbnisky.
The wheels came loose for the Mountaineers in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth Tristan Hudson issued a leadoff double to Jon Littell. Christian Funk’s single to center field scored Littell. Funk advanced to third on a double and pulled the Cowboys within 7-3 on Michael Neustifter’s sacrifice fly.
Next inning, Oklahoma State scored two runs on a pair of WVU miscues.
The Mountaineers got a run back in the eighth when Galusky scored on a wild pitch, extending WVU’s lead to 8-5.
With the game on the line in the ninth, Zarbnisky walked a batter, struck out Colin Simpson, gave up a base hit, fanned Funk walked Trevor Boone but closed out the game unscathed.
The Mountaineers face the winner of the Texas Tech-TCU game on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
Cover Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS