AUSTIN, Texas–Sam Kessler got out of a jam in the ninth as No. 17 West Virginia held off Texas 9-8 after the Mountaineers put together a late-inning rally on Saturday.
Trailing by one run in the ninth, Darius Hill led off the inning with a single and scored on Marques Inman’s double down the right field line. WVU (26-14) took the lead on TJ Lake’s sacrifice bunt and Kessler came in to attempt and earn his seventh save after pitching two innings on Friday.
The junior right-hander gave up a leadoff single and then walked the next batter. Reynolds then hit a groundball to third baseman Phillip Dull, who was only able to get the out at second. A wild pitch moved Reynolds into scoring position. With the one out and the game on the line, Kessler gritted his teeth and struck out Tate Shaw before getting Duke Ellis to fly out.
The Mountaineers took their fifth straight series against Big 12 opponents.
WVU scored nine runs on 10 hits. The Longhorns (24-21) scored eight runs on 12 hits.
Brandon White went 2-for-4 with three RBIs for the Mountaineers. Zach Reid picked up the win.
For a second straight game, Texas jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Reynolds drove in Masen Hibbeler.
However, it didn’t take WVU long to regain the lead. In the third, Brandon White’s single scored Tevin Tucker and tying the game at 1-all. The Mountaineers took a 3-1 lead when Ivan Gonzalez knocked in two runs with a base hit through the left side.
Texas cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom half of the inning but WVU tacked on two runs in the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles from White and Darius Hill.
In the bottom of the fifth, Dillon Meadows relieved starter Jackson Wolf and surrendered a solo shot to Hibbeler to cut the Mountaineers’ lead to 5-3. Then Meadows threw a hanging curve ball to Zach Zubia, who blasted it to left field, tying the game at 5-5.
WVU took the lead back in the sixth but it didn’t last long as three-run seventh put the Longhorns in front 8-6.
The Mountaineers pulled within 8-7 in the eighth when Dull scored on a throwing error.
The series concludes on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. (ET) as WVU goes for the sweep against Texas.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS