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WVU Offense Struggles in Game Two Loss

The West Virginia University baseball team lost game two of their series against Oklahoma State on Friday by a final score of 7-2. 

Oklahoma State’s (17-7-1, 5-3 Big 12) offense was able to capitalize on West Virginia’s early mistakes. Junior Adam Tulloch got the start for the Mountaineers and struggled early. Tullock (0-2) walked three batters in the first inning, including walking home the first run of the game to put Oklahoma State up 1-0. 

The West Virginia (11-10, 3-2 Big 12) miscues continued in the third inning. After a Carson McCusker double, Max Hewitt hit a single, but then a throwing error by Hudson Byorick allowed McCusker to score, to put Oklahoma State up 2-0. 

The Mountaineers threatened to score for the first time in the fourth inning. After two quick outs, Byorick doubled, followed by a Vince Ippoliti hit by pitch. Paul McIntosh then reached on an error to load the bases for freshman Mikey Kluska. Kluska grounded out for the third out of the inning ending the Mountaineers chances.

In the bottom of the fourth the Oklahoma State offense was able to get Tulloch out of the game. After a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases Tulloch was replaced by redshirt sophomore Noah Short. Short was due to face Oklahoma State cleanup hitter Christian Encarnacion-Strand. After a first pitch strike, Short gave up a grand slam, extending Oklahoma State’s lead to 6-0. 

Head coach Randy Mazey said, “one swing of the bat changed the whole game. We had the bases loaded (in the fourth), put a good swing on a ball and hit it to the shortstop. They had the same situation the following inning and hit what we thought was just a fly ball to left, but it got up in the wind and blew it over the fence. Sometimes, that’s just baseball.”

Tulloch’s final line for his outing was 3.1 innings pitched, giving up five runs, on six hits, walking five, and striking out four. 

The Mountaineer offense was stifled for the most part by a solid performance from Oklahoma State starter Justin Campbell. In the sixth inning, the Mountaineers were able to score their first run of the game, as Ippoliti singled to right field scoring Victor Scott, to cut the lead to 6-1. 

“I thought we had a good approach at the plate,” Mazey said. “The next time we’re hitting, it’s going to be 0-0. So, if we have the same approach and the same good at-bats tomorrow, then we’ll have a good day at the plate.”

Campbell (3-0) picked up his third win of the year for Oklahoma State, pitching seven innings, giving up one run, on six hits, and striking out six. 

The Mountaineers were able to get its second run of the game after a Byorick home run to center field. It was too little too late however, as the Mountaineers ended up losing 7-2. 

The Mountaineers will try to win the series tomorrow in game three of the series, with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. 

Photo by Dale Sparks, WVU

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