Cramer, who was set to come to the plate in a 4-4 tie against Oklahoma State in the top of the ninth, crushed a double off the right field wall, driving home Ray Guerrini with the winning run. The victory moved the Mountaineers to 25-23 overall and 7-12 in the Big 12."I just told myself not to get myself out," Cramer said of facing a left curveballer in his critical at-bat. "I missed fastball but he made another mistake."
That mistake was a bit of a hanging curve that Cramer nearly smacked out of the park, bouncing it off the upper part of the wall to put West Virginia ahead.
With the lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, West Virginia elected to go with Sunday starter Chad Donato, in the hopes of nailing down a much-needed win. That move looked a bit shaky after Donato yielded a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth, but he bounced back quickly with three strikeouts to secure the victory.
"We really needed this win, and hopefully it carries on to Sunday," Donato said on IMG Sports. "I didn't throw a lot of pitches so I should be able to come back."
"We couldn't wait to see how Cramer did to decide on a pitcher. Chad had a really good bullpen session when we got out here."
Indeed, Donato threw just 17 pitches, which will allow him to return on Sunday for his normal start. The fact that WVU went with a starter, rather than a relief pitcher, in this situation speaks volumes about the importance of each of these final six league games. The Mountaineers are now tied with Kansas at 7-12 in the league, with five conference games remaining for each squad. The Jayhawks are facing TCU this weekend.
"I hope it gives us a lot of momentum, because they have their best pitcher on the mound for this game," Mazey said. "We'll take a good approach and hopefully scratch some runs across."
The loss dropped Oklahoma State to 14-8 in the league and 31-15 overall. West Virginia won a series opener against a Big 12 team for the first time since the Texas set last year -- a span of eight league series.
Today's regularly scheduled game is slated to begin at approximately 1:05 Eastern.