OKLAHOMA CITY– A catastrophic seven-run fourth inning led to the downfall of No. 7 West Virginia as the Mountaineers fell 7-3 to No. 6 TCU in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Saturday afternoon.
WVU (29-27) scored three runs on nine hits while stranding 10 base runners. The Horned Frogs (33-22) scored seven runs on 10 hits.
Darius Hill had three hits for the Mountaineers and Kyle Gray had two.
Starter Kade Strowd (4-7) suffered the loss for WVU. The Sophomore threw 3.2 innings, surrendering five runs on five hits. He fanned five but had three costly walks.
Alek Manoah pitched 4.1 innings and gave up no runs on three hits.
TCU Starter Russell Smith pitched 2.2 innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking four.
Charles King (2-2) earned the win for the Horned Frogs. He pitched 4.0 innings and gave up two runs on five hits.
Smith issued a leadoff walk to Gray and with one out walked Ivan Gonzalez. Jimmy Galusky’s single to right field plated Gray and gave the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, WVU had bases loaded but Gonzalez grounded out to end the frame.
With one out in the fourth, Strowd walked three straight batters and TCU took a 2-1 lead.
Shane Ennis came in to relive Strowd but served a two-run double to Josh Watson to give the Horned Frogs a 4-1 advantage.
Then Tristen Hudson gave up a two-run double to A.J. Balta to give TCU a 6-1 edge. Michael Landestoy doubled in a run off Manoah before the sophomore got the last out to end the disastrous inning.
Tyler Doanes RBI groundout cut the Mountaineers’ deficit to 7-2 in the fifth.
WVU pulled within 7-3 in the seventh. Gray led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on Marques Inman’s groundout. Darius Hill knocked Gray home with a sacrifice fly to right field.
But that was as close as the Mountaineers would get.
The Horned Frogs play No. 4 Baylor on Sunday for the championship.
Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS