Bounceback

West Virginia rode the long ball and a strong pitching performance by starting pitcher Dan Dierdorff to knock off Oklahoma 9-3 on Saturday. The win evened the series in front of 2,250 at Appalachian Power Park on Saturday, and was WVU's first victory over a top 10 ranked team since 2002.

Ryan Tuntland‘s two run homer into a strong wind gave WVU a 4-3 lead in the sixth, and the Mountaineers blew the game open with five runs in the eighth behind a two-run Ryan McBroom blast to give WVU (28-20, 10-7 Big 12) the victory on another picture perfect day.

Dierdorff (4-5, 4.31) threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing all three Oklahoma runs, two earned, on seven hits, while striking out eight and walking one. Pascal Paul (7 saves) came on with two outs and two on in the seventh and held Oklahoma scoreless for the final 2 1/3 innings to pick up the save.

Head coach Randy Mazey changed things up right off the bat as he sent assistant coach Steve Trout to the plate with the lineup card for the first time all season. It was also the first time all season that Mazey didn't rush from the meeting with the umpires into the mosh pit of players before the Mountaineers took the field.

"You know, the guys really like to knock me around quite a bit and I was still pretty sore from yesterday," said Mazey, with tongue apparently firmly in cheek. "I let Trout go out there and let them beat on him for a while."

The changeup appararently helped, as Taylor Munden, who finished 3-5 on the day, led the game off for WVU with a single. Brady Wilson then laid down a beautiful bunt that he beat out for a hit. Jacob Rice then laid down another perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up.

Ryan Tuntland then grounded to second to drive in Munden in a third consecutive basic fundamental at bat, and the Mountaineers had manufactured a first inning lead. That was important because Oklahoma was 30-2 when scoring first this season.

Dierdorff got into a bit of trouble in the fourth as he allowed a one-out double to Jack Mayfield. Catcher Anthony Hermelyn then fought off the first pitch, which he contacted just above his grip and the bat, and got it just over the outstretched arm of McBroom to tie the game 1-1.

Oklahoma (34-13, 11-6) then tied it up in the fifth. Dierdorff hit number eight hitter Garrett Carey to lead off the inning. One out later Craig Aikin singled through the right side to advance Carey to second. Max White then laid an excellent bunt down the third base line which Tuntland threw into right field. That error allowed Carey to score and take the lead 2-1.

West Virginia didn't stay down for long, though. In the sixth, Munden stroked a one-out single up the middle. WVU then caught its first real break of the game as Brady Wilson grounded hard to third baseman Carey. Carey bobbled the ball and then unwisely tried to rush his throw to retire Munden. His throw sailed off Hector Lorenzana's glove into right field and allowed Munden to reach third base. Jacob Rice then grounded to Lorenzana, but beat out the attempted double play as Munden scored to tie the game.

After Rice stole second on the first pitch Tuntland belted his two run shot onto the walkway behind the left field wall to give WVU the 4-2 lead.

The Sooners came right back in the seventh, showing their grit as a top 10 team. Aikin stroked a two-out single to center and Max White singled off Munden's glove to put two men on for Big 12 batting, RBI and home run leader Matt Obreste. After getting Obreste down 0-2, Dierdorff left one over the heart of the plate that Obreste hammered into center to score Aikin to cut the WVU lead to 4-3.

Mazey then brought in Pascal Paul in a move that showed that he wasn't fooling around with the Big 12's top team. Paul induced Jack Mayfield into a routine grounder to end the inning and preserve the lead.

After Paul retired the Sooners in order in the eighth it appeared that Sooner reliever Ralph Garza, Jr. would do the same. However, Ryan Tuntland followed up his fifth inning blast with a two-out single to get the large crowd on its feet once again. With Mountaineer Jonathan Kimble firing up the crowd, Ryan McBroom blasted a 2-2 fastball out to left to extend WVU's lead to 6-3.

"It was the first time in my career that the crowd gave me chills," Dierdorff noted.

The Mountaineers were not done. After Billy Fleming was hit with a pitch, Alan Filauro stroked a single into center. Mazey brought in Nitro High School's Matt Frazer to face the right handed Garza, and he laced a double into left center off the glove of the diving Max White to score Fleming and extend the lead to 7-3.

Mazey then put Michael Constantini on at second for Frazer, who left to a huge round of applause. Bobby Boyd then ripped the first pitch he saw for a two-run single to send the lead to 9-3. Munden then lined out to Garza to end the inning, who caught the ball, dropped it and then stared into the WVU dugout after giving up five runs.

Paul came in and promptly plunked Carey. After a nice 4-6-3 double play, Paul induced Max White to fly to center to end the game.

The Mountaineers and Sooners will square off on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for series supremacy. John Means is scheduled to pitch for WVU, which is tied with Kansas State for second at 10-7 in the Big 12 Conference standings. Oklahoma is one game ahead of the Mountaineers and Wildcats at 11-8.


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