OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.–The fourth-seeded West Virginia baseball team suffered its first loss to No.1-seeded Texas Tech, 10-3, in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship on Saturday afternoon.
The Mountaineers picked up three runs on eight hits and the Red Raiders scored 10 runs on nine hits.
Control was an issue that hurt WVU. Starting pitcher Kade Strowd walked five batters and Jackson Wolf came on in relief and issued five free passes.
Strowd (5-6) tossed four innings and gave up five runs on three hits. He struck out seven.
Marques Inman and Ivan Gonzalez both had two hits for the Mountaineers.
WVU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Tyler Doanes led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on Brandon White’s bunt. Then Doanes scored on Inman’s single to left field.
But in the bottom half of the inning, Texas Tech responded with a run. Strowd walked leadoff hitter Gabe Holt, who then stole second. Brian Klein’s single to left center plated Holt and tied the game at 1-1.
In the second, the Mountaineers took the lead back when Doanes’ sacrifice fly scored Gonzalez.
However, the Red Raiders tied it in the bottom half. Strowd walked two batters and hit Braxton Fulford to load the bases. Holt’s fielder’s choice allowed Cody Masters to score.
TJ Lake put WVU ahead 3-2 in the fourth with a solo shot to straight away center field.
In the bottom of the fifth, Strowd hit Max Marusak with a pitch and he scored on Klein’s double to left field. Josh Jung followed with a two-run homer to left center to give Texas Tech a 5-3 lead.
The Red Raiders weren’t done there. Kurt Wilson’s groundout scored Cameron Warren from third to make it a 6-3 contest.
Texas Tech tacked on two more runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
The two teams will play a winner-take-all game on Saturday night for the right to advance to the Big 12 Championship on Sunday.
Cover Photo Creedit: Jeff Ruff, BGS