The West Virginia University baseball team earned a 9-8 win over No. 21 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
WVU (30-19, 11-9 Big 12) tallied seven, two-out hits in the win and outhit the Sooners (30-18, 12-8 Big 12), 14-8, on the day. The Mountaineers scored two in the third and fourth innings, one each in the fifth, seventh and eighth and two in the ninth.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Ben Hampton earned the win, pushing his record to 7-4 on the year, while fifth-year senior right-hander Trey Braithwaite recorded his seventh save. OU’s David Sandlin was tacked with the loss.
After a pair of scoreless innings on a hot, sunny day in Norman, the Mountaineers took a 2-0 lead with two runs in the top of the third. First, freshman infielder JJ Wetherholt opened the scoring with an RBI single up the middle, before junior outfielder Victor Scott II sent a sacrifice fly to center field.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Sooners answered with a three-run home run to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third. Then, WVU went ahead for the second time with redshirt junior infielder Tevin Tucker’s two-out, two-run double down the right-field line to make it 4-3 in the fourth.
Sophomore outfielder Braden Barry added to the Mountaineers’ two-out success with an RBI double in the fifth to extend the advantage to two.
On the mound, Hampton produced a quality start for WVU, allowing three runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked five on 104 pitches.
West Virginia made it a 6-3 ballgame in the top of seventh when sophomore catcher McGwire Holbrook singled up the middle to score a run. But Oklahoma got within one of the lead with its second long ball of the day – a two-run shot – in the bottom half.
Senior outfielder Austin Davis provided some temporary breathing room for the Mountaineers in the eighth with an RBI single before being caught in a rundown to end the inning. That made it 7-5.
OU scratched to make it a one-run game again in the bottom of the eighth and threatened for more. But an unassisted double play by Tucker squandering the rally. Moments later, Barry smacked a two-run homer to push the WVU advantage to 9-6 in the ninth.
The big fly was the Louisville, Kentucky, native’s fifth of the year and fourth in the month of May.
From there, the Sooners plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth and got the tying run to third base. That’s when Braithwaite, who pitched the final 2.2 innings, induced a ground ball to end the game.
With the win, WVU has now won 30 or more games in five of coach Randy Mazey’s 10 seasons in Morgantown. The victory also evened this weekend’s series following OU’s 15-1 win in Friday night’s series opener.
Scott II finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in the win, while Davis, Wetherholt and Barry all tallied two hits on the day. Barry also registered three RBI.
Up next, the two squads meet in the rubber game of this weekend’s three-game series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET.