WVU baseball’s weekend got off to a sour start after falling to No. 7 Texas Tech at home, 7-2.
The Mountaineers staged a quick rally in the bottom of the ninth, mustering a pair of runs on four hits, but the offense was too late after they struggled to get runners on base against the arm of Red Raider starter Patrick Monteverde.
“He went out and threw three pitches for strikes, he had three walks in the game and they were all in the same inning, and that’s really the only legitimate scoring chance we had for most of the game,” said WVU coach Randy Mazey.
Monteverde (6-1) earned the win after 7.0 innings of work on the mound, striking out seven batters while allowing two hits.
He went up against WVU lefty Jackson Wolf (3-4), who earned the loss. Wolf tossed 5.2 innings and allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits, while striking out nine batters.
Wolf was struck with some bad luck in the first inning as the first batter of the game reached base off an error. The Red Raiders took advantage, following up with an RBI triple from Braxton Fulford and an RBI double from Jace Jung, putting WVU down early.
The WVU ace didn’t take that lying down, striking out six of the next eight Red Raider batters while preventing another score until the fourth inning.
“I was proud of Jackson,” Mazey said. “I think he’s turned the corner as a legitimate Friday night starter in this league, and the pitches they hit were pretty good pitches, and that’s why they’re ranked in the top ten, because they’re a pretty good offensive team.”
Texas Tech built a 7-0 lead heading into the ninth before WVU was able to threaten with offense. They did give the Red Raiders a scare, nearly bringing the tying run to the plate.
“We always say when we get into the ninth inning, always try to get the tying run to home plate, it’s hard to win the game if you don’t get the tying run to home plate,” Mazey said. “Albeit, it’s a little bit easier when you’re only down two or three, it’s hard to do when you’re down seven, but each guy that got on base gave the next guy a little bit more energy coming up there.”
Fulford was a thorn in the Mountaineers’ side, logging a 3-for-4 night with a triple, a home run and four RBIs. Parker Kelly added a strong night, going 2-for-4 with a double.
Paul McIntosh added a pair of doubles for West Virginia with two doubles, including one in the bottom of the ninth to spark the late rally. Matt McCormick eventually hit him home, capping off his own two-hit night with an RBI.
The Mountaineers and the Red Raiders continue their three-game series at Monongalia County Ballpark at 4 p.m. on Saturday, with the series conclusion set for 1 p.m. on Sunday. Both contests will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.