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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cramer’s walkoff home run lifts WVU past No.16 Oklahoma State

Chad Donato (2) delivers a pitch against No. 16 Oklahoma State on Friday, April 1, 2016.  (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

Chad Donato (2) delivers a pitch against No. 16 Oklahoma State on Friday, April 1, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– Jackson Cramer’s extra inning heroics carried the West Virginia University baseball team past No.16 Oklahoma State 5-4 on Friday evening at Monongalia County Ballpark.

The junior first baseman hit a walkoff home run on the first pitch over the center field wall in the bottom of the tenth inning. It was Cramer’s second long ball of the night.

“That was my first walk-off homerun, I never had one before,” Cramer said. “I’ve always dreamed about it as a little kid. Everyone wants to do that once in their life. I’m glad I finally got mine.”

The loss snapped the Cowboys’ (18-8, 3-1 Big 12) five game winning streak.

Jimmy Galusky had three hits for the Mountaineers (13-10, 3-3) and Cramer had two.

WVU head coach Randy Mazey and freshman Jimmy Galusky (3). (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

WVU head coach Randy Mazey and freshman Jimmy Galusky (3).
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

“I knew we were going to play well today,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “When you face adversity with a young team, you have to convince them that the way to get out of it is to work to get out of it, and that’s exactly what we did. I couldn’t be happier for all these guys, what an unbelievable win for our program. This stadium, and Big 12 baseball in Morgantown, playing Country Roads after you win after a big game, this has a chance to be one of the best college baseball atmospheres in the nation.”

Junior Chad Donato pitched nine innings of three-hit baseball, surrendering four runs. He struck out eight.

The right-hander was one out away from pitching a complete game when sophomore Garrett Benge drilled a three-run bomb over the right-center field wall to give OSU its first lead of the game at 4-3.

But WVU refused to give up.

Marques Inman pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth and sent the game to extra frames. With one out, Galusky doubled and the Cowboys intentionally walked sophomore Kyle Davis. On Inman’s single to right field, the speedy Galusky trucked it around third and beat right fielder Corey Hassel’s throw home to make it a 4-4 game.

“After they hit the three run home run to go up 4-3, our guys ran off the field with energy, with passion,” Mazey said. “They stayed together. They really thought they were going to win after one of the most crushing, crushing pitches, home runs we’ve ever had hit against us. For our guys to run off the field and still think they can win that game says a lot about the guys in that uniform.”

WVU celebrates a walkoff win over No.16 Oklahoma State on Friday, April 1, 2016. (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

WVU celebrates a walkoff win over No.16 Oklahoma State on Friday, April 1, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

“It was interesting,” Cramer said. “In years past I don’t think we win that game. We came back off the field. We were kind of upset but as soon as we got in the dugout we said we can win this game.”

The Mountaineers scored first in the fifth. Junior Ray Guerrini led off the inning with a walk and scored from third on a groundout by Davis.

OSU answered in the top of the sixth with a solo shot from Collin Theroux.

WVU regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Cramer hit his first home run of the game over the right field wall.

WVU players clear the bench after Jackson Cramer's 10th inning homer on Friday, April 1, 2016. (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

WVU players clear the bench after Jackson Cramer’s 10th inning homer on Friday, April 1, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst, BGS)

The Mountaineers would tack on another run in the eighth when senior center fielder KC Huth’s sacrifice fly scored freshman right fielder Darius Hill.

Donato’s mound opponent Thomas Hatch pitched an outstanding game. He gave up two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks.

Reliever Blake Smith pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning and earned the win.

Friday’s attendance was 1,818, which was the sixth best all-time in ballpark history and 18th largest in program history

Cramer extended his on-base streak to a team-high 43 games.

The series continues on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. (ET).

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