Missed Chances Lead to WVU Loss

For the majority of West Virginia's recent winning streak, the Mountaineers have been successful thanks in part to some timely hitting with runners on base and in scoring position.

During the first six games of its current homestand, West Virginia was hitting .369 with runners in scoring position and was averaging more than eight runs per game.

But the bounces that had been going WVU's way went away Saturday, as the Mountaineers missed out on several opportunities to get runs across the plate in a 2-0 loss to No. 11 Texas.

The Mountaineers outhit the Longhorns 11-6, but were hitless in their seven at bats with runners in scoring position.

"Obviously, it was the difference in the game," said West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey. "When you outhit a team, you expect to win, but they're a good team. Their pitchers buckled down and made good pitches when they had to."

WVU got another solid performance on the mound from Ross Vance, who was making his second Big 12 start of his career. The sophomore went 8.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and one walk.

He was able to silence the Texas bats for the majority of the game, but eventually left the game with his first loss of the season.

"Both teams played good defense, that was just a good college baseball game," Mazey said. "It could have gone either way."

WVU had its first chance in the third inning, getting runners on second and third with two outs for Ryan McBroom - who went on to fly out to centerfield to end the inning.

Texas would seize its opportunity in the top of the fourth when C.J. Hinojosa's single would score Longhorn designated hitter Madison Carter from second base to give UT a 1-0 lead, all the run support the Texas staff would need Saturday.

West Virginia would leave the bases loaded in the fourth and would leave two men on in both the fifth and seventh innings as the Longhorns continued to find ways to end rally after rally.

Zane Gurwitz's single through the left side brought Hinojosa in from second to give Texas a 2-0 lead before bringing in John Curtiss for the three-inning save, his eighth of the season.

Emotions flared after Jackson Cramer struck out to end the bottom of the eighth inning for WVU, Texas catcher Tres Barrera began to exchange words with Cramer and other members of the WVU team, causing the benches to clear momentarily. No physical confrontations followed, but several players were given warnings by the umpires.

"That was just two competitive teams going at each other," Mazey said. "That's part of college baseball."

WVU and Texas will square off again Sunday, with John Means getting the start for the Mountaineers in the rubber match.

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