West Virginia (25-16, 10-7 Big 12) struggled to generate offense for the majority of the afternoon and fell to Oklahoma (29-16, 7-7 Big 12) by a score of 3-1 on Saturday evening.
For the first six innings of the day's second match-up West Virginia pitcher Alek Manoah mowed through Oklahoma's line-up with relative ease. After the Sooners registered back-to-back singles to start the game, the freshman pitcher retired 15 straight batters and sat down OU in order in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. The Sooners finally got a batter on base when Brandon Zaragoza drew a walk with one out in the top of the sixth, but Manoah dispatched of the next two batters and went to the seventh without allowing a hit since the game's second at-bat.
Unfortunately for the freshman pitcher, West Virginia didn't generate much offense in the stretch. With two outs in the top of the second, Kyle Davis guessed right on a 2-2 pitch and belted his seventh home run of the season to deep left field to put the Mountaineers up 1-0.
"I'm just trying to help my team in any way I can," said Davis, who finished his day 3-for-4. "I'm feeling pretty good right now and I was just trying to get a pitch over the middle and luckily I was able to do that today."
West Virginia registered at least one hit in the next four innings and got runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings, but it was unable to notch a single run. That came back to bite the Mountaineers when OU finally broke through in the seventh.
With one out Oklahoma clean up man Steele Walker was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, designated hitter Brylie Ware doubled to left field, putting runners at second and third with two outs. After a Ben Hollas walk, second baseman Kyle Mendenhall blasted a bases clearing double to give Oklahoma a 3-1 lead.
Manoah, who is starting to come into his own as one of West Virginia's best young pitchers, talked about the costly seventh inning.
"My scouting report says I throw fastballs 90 percent of the time so I' not going to change it for them. Once they were sitting on (the fastball) I threw them some junk and they kept rolling."
The 3-1 score held for the rest of the evening even though the Mountaineers were able to get two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth.
The OU win tied the series at one after the Mountaineers took game one just hours earlier. The rubber match will take place on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.