Mountaineers give up two Saturdays at Texas Tech
LUBBOCK, Texas — The West Virginia University baseball team lost two games to No. 8 Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field in Rip Griffin Park.
The Mountaineers fell 7-5 in the opener of a Big 12 Conference doubleheader before losing an eight-inning 12-2 decision in the nightcap. Texas Tech right-handed pitchers Andrew Morris and Brandon Birdsell had wins on the mound, with both recording all-around performances.
Meanwhile, the junior right-hander Jacob Watters took the loss for WVU in Game 1, reducing his record to 2-3 this season, while the sophomore southpaw Ben Hampton fell in Game 2 and is now 6-3 on the year.
“They went two full games in a doubleheader – that’s exactly what you need to do to win,” the WVU coach said. 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 first solo home run late in 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 a freshman infielder by Grant Hussey Simple RBI.
Then a crazy third inning saw nine total runs. First, WVU tackled four to take a 5-1 lead, despite not hitting a ball out of the infield. West Virginia capitalized on a hit in the field, as well as two errors from Red Raider to take control.
The hosts responded straight away, however, with five points in the bottom half to reclaim the lead at 6-5. TTU scored once more in the fourth to extend it to a two-point ball game.
From there, the Mountaineers went in order in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. In the ninth, however, WVU got the tying run but couldn’t formulate a rally.
Watters allowed six runs with three strikeouts and three walks in 3.0 innings. After his release, straight rookie Chris Sleeper pitched the last 5.0 innings, striking out a pair without allowing a run.
The Red Raiders continued to show their striking ability in Game 2 of the twin bill. Tech scored a point in the second, three apiece 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 the second right-hander Carlson Roseau, 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 the freshman outfielder Evan Smith hit a two-run double off the wall on the left to cut the deficit to six.
However, TTU scored four more in the bottom half of the inning to win the Saturday sweep. In all, the Red Raiders had 16 team hits in Game 2.
At home plate, WVU was led by the junior outfielder austin davis and second Braden Barrywho each had two hits in both games.
“We have to go out and play well (Sunday),” Mazey said. “You don’t want to go anywhere and get swept away, especially when we’re in the position we’re in. We really need that.”
Then the two teams will meet in this weekend’s three-game series final on Sunday afternoon. The first pitch in Lubbock is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
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