STILLWATER, Okla.–The West Virginia University baseball team defeated No. 23 Oklahoma State 9-8 on Sunday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
The Mountaineers (15-10) won the series over the Cowboys (16-11).
Prior to the game beginning junior right-hander Conner Dotson suffered an injury while warming up, forcing WVU to start Kade Strowd.
The righty pitched 4.1 innings, surrendering two runs on two hits. He fanned three and walked five.
“When you have an injury, other people have to step up,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “Chase Illig has done really well filling in the last week, and today two more freshmen, Kade Strowd and Ryan McDonald, go out there and win a game on the road in the Big 12. This weekend was littered with freshmen doing really well in roles they’re not accustomed to.”
McDonald (1-1) relieved Strowd and earned his first career win, pitching 3.1 innings. He allowed four runs on four hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Ivan Gonzalez, Brandon White and Darius Hill all had two hits for the Mountaineers. Craig Illig drove in four runs and hit his first career grand slam in the third.
In the top of the second, Jimmy Galusky doubled down the left field line, scoring Illig and giving WVU a 1-0 lead.
However, Oklahoma State would regain the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Dustin Williams blasted a two-run bomb to left field.
But the Mountaineers answered in the next inning by putting up a five spot. With the bases loaded, Hill tied the game at 2-2 with a base hit. Then Illig hit a grand slam to right field to put WVU ahead 6-2.
White scored on Jackson Cramer’s groundout in the sixth to give the Mountaineers a 7-2 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Cowboys responded with a one-run home run from Colin Simpson.
WVU took a 9-3 lead in the eighth. Ivan Gonzalez tripled to center field, scoring Kyle Gray. Then Cramer’s base hit drove in Gonzalez.
Trailing by six, Simpson homered for the second time to pull Oklahoma State within four, 9-5. Bryce Fischer singled to right center, scoring Cade Cabbiness. Then Jackson Sigman got a huge strikeout to end the inning.
The Cowboys picked up two more in the ninth on a two-run home run from Garrett Benge but Braden Zarbnisky got a popup to end the game.
It was the first career save for the sophomore right-hander.
The Mountaineers return home on Tuesday to battle Marshall at 6:30 p.m.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS