A three-day break after being the wrong end of a sweep figured to be the medicine West Virginia baseball needed ahead of the Big 12 Tournament. 

There would be no cure though for Texas Tech starting pitcher Mason Molina, as the Mountaineer offense looked lifeless again, and West Virginia dropped their first round game to Texas Tech 6-2 in the Big 12 Tournament — the Mountaineers’ fourth consecutive loss. 

All season long, West Virginia’s offense has revolved around JJ Wetherholt. Wetherholt went 0-for-4 on Wednesday night, all four times with runners on base, and twice with runners in scoring position. Wetherholt now has two hits in his last 17 at-bats. 

That seemed to be the story of the night for Randy Mazey’s ballclub. They would get runners on base but could not deliver the timely hit when they needed it most. 

It started early as West Virginia had runners on second and third in the first, before Dayne Leonard struck out. Then in the third, trailing by three, the Mountaineers had Tevin Tucker on second and Landon Wallace on first with one out. Braden Barry popped out in foul territory, before Tucker was picked off at second to end the inning. 

On the flip side, Texas Tech’s offense was able to get to David Hagaman in his first career start. Hagaman had a clean first inning but ran into trouble in the second. Hagaman walked the leadoff hitter Austin Green, before he gave up back-to-back singles, including an RBI from Hudson White to get the Red Raiders on the board. 

Hagaman would hit Dillon Carter with a pitch, before walking Nolan Hester with the bases loaded to put Texas Tech in front 2-0. The Red Raiders would score again in the third, with Gavin Kash hitting his 24th home run of the season off of Hagaman. In the fourth, the wave would continue for Texas Tech as Hester singled to score another run and put Tech ahead 4-0. 

Hagaman would finish the day throwing 4.0 innings, striking out seven, but giving up four runs in the process after throwing six consecutive scoreless outings coming into Wednesday. 

Caleb McNeely got the Mountaineers on the board in the fourth with a solo home run, but that’s all West Virginia could get scratch across in the early part of the game. 

Green answered with a home run in the fifth, before the top three of West Virginia’s lineup in Tucker, Wetherholt, and Wallace were retired by Molina consecutively. 

In the seventh, West Virginia again had a prime opportunity to get back into the game. West Virginia had runners on second and third with the top of the order due up in Tucker. Tucker would score one on a sacrifice-fly, but Wetherholt flied out to end the threat. 

Molina finished his day throwing 6.0 innings, allowing just four hits and one run, while striking out six. 

After Molina came Brandon Beckel in the seventh. Beckel would be asked to get the final nine outs of the game and allowed just the one run in the seventh. Beckel finished the game throwing the final three innings, giving up just one run on two hits, and struck out four.  

McNeely and Logan Suave both had two hits for WVU, while McNeely reached base three times. The top six in West Virginia’s order went a combined 2-for-21 with two walks and eight strikeouts. 

What’s Next?

West Virginia will look to break their four-game skid on Friday in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament. First pitch against No. 2 Oklahoma State is set for 1:30 p.m. and the loser is eliminated from contention. Both Oklahoma State and West Virginia were co-champions of the Big 12 in the regular season.