Miscues Cost WVU in Loss to No. 18 OSU

For six innings, West Virginia and Oklahoma State was locked in a stiff pitcher's duel as WVU junior Harrison Musgrave and OSU junior Jon Perrin both were on a roll from the beginning of the game.

But a few bad breaks in the top of the seventh, including a pair of infield singles and a bobbled ball on the ensuing sacrifice bunt gave the No. 18 Cowboys the opportunity to get on the board first in their 6-0 win against the Mountaineers Friday night in the first of a three-game series – the first Big 12 Conference series WVU has played in Morgantown since joining the conference.

After third baseman Michael Constantini could not get a handle of the Tim Arakawa bunt that loaded the bases for the Cowboys, Musgrave was able to strike out the next Oklahoma State hitter he faced before a Gage Green sacrifice fly to right field brought in the game's first run.

"I've been excited for (people in Morgantown) to see Big 12 baseball all along, and that's what they saw tonight," said WVU head coach Randy Mazey. "All three of those guys (Oklahoma State) pitched out there tonight were really good pitchers and we ran a really, really good pitcher out there.

"For seven innings, that was about as good a college baseball game as there's going to be."

That was the first time either team was able to take advantage of any of the momentum it was gaining up to that point in the game.

West Virginia was able to get runners on base and in scoring position in the first and fourth innings, but failed to get runners any closer than second base in the early going. The Mountaineers did not record a hit with two outs against Perrin – who has been successful with two outs so far this season as opposing hitters are batting just .152 against him with two outs – until a Ryan McBroom single with two outs in the sixth inning that was followed by a Jacob Rice groundout to end the inning a pitch later.

"They made the most of their opportunities. Their starter pitched really well and both of the guys they brought out of the pen pitched really well," Mazey said. "We knew they were going to do that. That was when it became the battle of the bullpens."

And once Musgrave left the game with two on and one out in the eighth inning, the Cowboys began to go to work against the Mountaineer bullpen. After Pascal Paul intentionally walked the bases loaded before recording a strikeout, Oklahoma State struck for two runs on a Arakawa single into right field to extend the lead to 3-0.

McConaughy followed that by driving in two runs of his own and the Mountaineers found themselves with six outs left and time running out to make up the five-run deficit.

"Give them credit," Mazey said. "With two outs and two strikes on them, they get two two-RBI singles. That's what good teams do."

Oklahoma State was able to shut down WVU's final rallies, which included a jam with two runners on in the bottom half of the eighth.

The Mountaineers have now lost five games in a row, matching their longest losing streak under Mazey.

Musgrave suffered the loss on the mound, running his record to 3-2 on the season after three straight no decisions. The southpaw went 7.1 innings, allowing five hits and three runs (none of which were earned) while striking five Cowboy batters out.

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