LUBBOCK, Texas–The West Virginia University baseball team saw its 10-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday night as No.5 Texas Tech defeated the Mountaineers 2-1.
WVU (32-20) freshman Michael Grove and Red Raiders’ starter Davis Martin locked in for a pitchers’ duel from the first pitch.
Grove pitched 6.2 innings of three hit baseball. The right-hander gave up two runs and struck out four.
“Grove pitched really, really well,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “We played well against one of the best teams in the country. I thought we out-played them and out-hit them, they’re just a veteran team that scored two runs when they needed to.”
Martin gave up one run on one hit through 5.1 innings for the Red Raiders (39-13). He walked four and struck out one.
Junior catcher Ray Guerrini went 3-for-4 for the Mountaineers.
Back-to-back walks in the first inning set WVU up to take an early lead. Sophomore Kyle Davis and freshman Darius Hill reach via free passes. Both runners moved up on freshman Ivan Vera’s sacrifice bunt. With one out, Jackson Cramer hit a fly ball to center field, allowing Davis to score and giving the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead.
WVU squandered several opportunities to tack on to its lead. Runners reached base in the second, fourth and sixth inning.
The Mountaineers had their best opportunity to score in the seventh. Guerrini singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, freshman Cole Austin singled but Texas Tech right fielder Stephen Smith gunned down Guerrini at home to end the inning.
The Red Raiders staged their rally in the bottom half of the seventh. Grove walked leadoff batter Michael Davis, who went to second on a wild pitch and third on a sacrifice fly.
Tyler Neslony singled to right field, driving home Davis. Eric Gutierrez followed with a base hit and forced Mazey to call upon the bullpen. He went to sophomore reliever BJ Myers to get the final out but a passed ball gave Texas Tech a 2-1 advantage.
The series resumes action on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. (ET) when Chad Donato takes the hill against Steven Gingery.