WVU Comes From Behind to Beat OU

For the first five innings of Saturday's game against Oklahoma, it looked as if West Virginia was well on its way its second loss in a row and its third-straight series loss to a Big 12 opponent.

But a three-run home run by catcher Cameron O'Brien sparked an impressive comeback as the Mountaineers erased what had been a commanding 4-0 Oklahoma lead by scoring nine runs in the last four innings to leave Norman, Okla., with a 9-5 victory.

Things got off to a rocky start for West Virginia and starting pitcher Corey Walter, getting in a quick hole in the first inning.

After the Mountaineers were retired in order in the top half of the first inning, the Sooners wasted no time getting on the board - striking for three runs on back-to-back home runs from Mac James and Hunter Haley. Oklahoma struck again the next inning, getting an RBI single from Craig Alkin.

West Virginia was able to give itself a few chances over the course of the first five innings, with the best opportunity to get on the board coming in the third inning. Taylor Munden was thrown out at the plate on a Bobby Boyd single that would have given WVU its chance for its first run of the game.

But through all the rally attempts WVU would have early on, OU starter Jacob Evans was able to shut it down and keep the Mountaineers off the scoreboard.

Walter started to settle down after the second inning, and Ryan Tezak came in and gave his second consecutive quality outing out of the bullpen for a WVU team that has needed to find some consistency from its relievers if it wanted a chance to get back in the game.

And the Mountaineers finally came through and found a way to do that in the sixth inning. Back-to-back singles by Jacob Rice and Brad Johnson set the table for O'Brien's three-run homer that started to shift the momentum over to the WVU side.

The comeback continued in the next inning as the Mountaineers took the lead for good after striking for three more runs.

Rice tied the game with an RBI single that brought home Boyd and Johnson's single on the next pitch gave WVU a 5-4 lead before a Jackson Cramer double gave the Mountaineers a two-run cushion for Tezak, who got the next two outs before head coach Randy Mazey gave the ball to Sean Carley to finish out the game.

Oklahoma was able to strike for one more run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, but by that point WVU was already up 9-4 thanks to a solo home run by Michael Constantini in the eighth inning and a two-run double by O'Brien.

After finishing with just six hits in Friday's loss to the Sooners, the Mountaineers finished the game with 18 hits Saturday afternoon, led by four-hit performances by Boyd and Johnson. O'Brien had five RBI hitting out of the No. 8 spot in the batting order and Rice also had three hits and an RBI.

Walter finished with four innings pitched and four runs while scattering six hits in a no decision. Tezak earned his second win of the year, throwing 2.2 innings of no-hit baseball - although he walked three OU batters - and Carley shut the door over the last 2.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits.

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