West Virginia's starting pitcher, the junk-balling southpaw Ross Vance, gave his team 7.1 strong innings of work today and helped the Mountaineers clinch a second-straight win over No. 16 Oklahoma State 4-3 this afternoon.
Vance gave up three runs on four hits while striking out three OSU batters. He was credited with the win, which moves his record to 4-1 on the year. WVU now sits at 14-10 overall and 4-3 in the Big 12, while Oklahoma State fell to 18-9 overall and 3-2 in conference.
Vance’s good outing was bolstered by 11 Mountaineer hits, including back-to-back home runs by KC Huth and Darius Hill in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The seventh inning outburst was enough to chase Oklahoma State starter Trey Cobb from the game. After some early trouble, Cobb had settled in to put up three straight zeros in the middle innings.
But when Huth stepped up for his third at bat of the day, he said he had plenty of mental notes from his first two at-bats to aid him. The third time was indeed the charm, as Huth launched his third home run of the season down the left field line and into the opposing bullpen.
“You know, once you see a guy one or two times you kind of get in a routine of what he’s been doing, and you adjust to that. He was throwing a lot of breaking balls, so we made some adjustments up in the box to catch him up. We told ourselves we were going to get one pitch and we were going to hit that pitch. If we don’t get it, then we’re going to wait until we get it,” Huth said.
Hill’s homer that came on the heels of Huth’s blast proved to be the difference, as Oklahoma State struck back for two of its own in the top of the eighth. But Conner Dotson was able to walk the tightrope and come up with a five out save.
The win all but erases the memories of two straight losses to Canisius in the middle of the week, and sets the Mountaineers up with a chance to pull off a sweep of a top-20 team tomorrow afternoon with BJ Myers on the hill.
Getting the sweep would undoubtedly do wonders for this team’s momentum, but the fact that it was able to recover from what happened Tuesday and Wednesday to come back and win this series says a lot according to Huth.
“It already means a lot that we’ve won the series, but we have a motto where anything that’s happened in the past, we let it go and move on to the next day. So, tomorrow is a brand new day,” Huth said.
“We look at it as a 0-0 series and we’re just coming out for our first win. I feel if we keep playing like we’re playing, as a group, were going to have a lot of success; especially in the future.”