GRANVILLE, W.Va.–Clean-up hitter Jackson Cramer hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the West Virginia Mountaineers to a 6-5 win over No. 23 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
2,871 fans packed the ballpark to watch the Mountaineers even the series. It was the third largest crowd to witness a West Virginia baseball game.
The Mountaineers were down 5-3 going into the bottom of the seventh. Catcher Cam O’Brien led off the inning with a base hit to right and moved to second on a passed ball. Third baseman Justin Fox would bring home O’Brien when the senior doubled down the left field line. After two fly ball outs and a pitching change to force a match-up of left-handers, Cramer smashed the game-winner off reliever Shawn Hunter.
West Virginia (22-14, 5-6) finished with six runs on nine hits, and the Sooners (25-16, 9-5) had five runs on 11 hits.
Left-hander Ross Vance picked up his sixth win of the season. The senior allowed five runs on 10 hits in 7.1 innings while walking one and fanning seven.
“He didn’t give them free passes. Not the last time out, but the time before that he walked six and hit two, and he can’t do that,” coach Randy Mazey said. “Even the hits he gave up in the middle of the game were ground balls in the holes, so if he gives up any free passes and pitched that way giving up 10 hits, they would’ve scored a lot more.”
Junior Blake Smith earned his third save, pitching the final 1.2 innings. He gave up one hit and struck out two, while stranding two Oklahoma runners to end the game.
The Sooners jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first. Kolbey Carpenter doubled down the right field line and scored on Anthony Hermelyn double down the left field line. Then Sheldon Neuse hit a two run bomb to left center
Freshman Kyle Davis, Cramer, and senior left fielder Brad Johnson put together three straight singles in the bottom of the first. Davis scored on the Johnson base hit to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Senior shortstop Taylor Munden made it 3-2 in the second with a bases loaded single.
Designated hitter Shaun Corso tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth with a double to left.
Oklahoma answered in the top of the fifth to take a 5-3 lead. An RBI single up the middle by Joshua Ake made it 4-3 and Craig Aikin reached on a fielder’s choice to make it 5-3.
Cramer posted the only multi-hit game for WVU as he went 2-for-4.
The Sooners’ starter Alec Hansen was pulled in just 3.1 innings after giving up three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Chad Donato will take the mound for the rubber match on Sunday to face right-hander Robert Tasin. The game begins at 11 a.m.