NORMAN, Okla.–The West Virginia University baseball team scored 10 unanswered runs to rally and beat Oklahoma 12-7 on Sunday afternoon at Dale Mitchell Park.
The Mountaineers (20-18, 6-8 Big 12) fell behind 7-2 in the first inning but slowly chipped away at the Sooners (20-20-1, 6-9) lead.
“We basically outplayed them the whole weekend we thought,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “Super proud of our guys. This one goes out to Michael Grove. Who knew? That’s really, really nice. That is a premium Big 12 pitcher we’ve got in Michael Grove.”
After a horrendous start from sophomore BJ Myers, right-hander Grove came on in relief and went the distance for WVU. The freshman tossed 8.1 scoreless innings. He struck out 13 and gave up four hits.
“The Mountaineers outhit Oklahoma 14-10. Freshman shortstop Jimmy Galusky went 3-for-5 with an RBI.
Junior catcher Ray Guerrini put WVU ahead in the fifth with a two-run bomb to center. Freshman Cole Austin tacked on some insurance runs in the seventh when he hit his first career-grand slam to give the Mountaineers a 12-7 lead.
“Ray has relished the role of leader on this team,” Mazey said. “As a leader. He’s settled down some, he’s not as erratic at the plate, he’s not over swinging. He’s turning into a nice mature hitter, and it’s starting to show. All the credit goes to him, it’s his work ethic, it’s his demeanor, it’s the fact that he sticks with it. He deserves everything that happens.”
WVU took a 2-0 lead in the first innings because of a two-base error. First baseman Jackson Cramer drove home freshman Darius Hill with a double to right field. Cramer scored on right fielder Alex Wise’s throwing error.
The Sooners answered in the bottom half of the inning when they scored seven runs on seven hits. Wise and junior center fielder Ben Hollas led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Freshman Steele Walker tied the game with a two-run double to right. Six straight got on base before freshman catcher Domenic DeRenzo hit a three-run home run to put Oklahoma ahead 7-2.
However, the Mountaineers refused to go away. WVU made it a 7-3 deficit in the second when Braden Zarbnisky’s base hit scored Guerrini from second.
The Mountaineers added two more runs in the fourth.
Sophomore Kyle Davis single up the middle scored Cramer in the fifth. Guerrini followed with a two-run homer off the top of the batter’s eye.
Austin’s grand slam over the left field wall put WVU up 12-7, a lead that Grove and the Mountaineers refused to relinquish.
WVU returns home on Tuesday to take on in state rival Marshall at 6:30 p.m. (ET) at Monongalia County Ballpark