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West Virginia Drops Big 12 Championship Opener to Oklahoma

The Mountaineers mustered up a late rally but fell short

Arlington, TX - The West Virginia Mountaineers (33-21) left seven runners in scoring position in the 6-4 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners (34-20) Wednesday night in the opening round of the Big 12 Championship. 

Oklahoma did most of its damage in the second, beginning with freshman Wallace Clark leading off the bottom of the inning with a slow chopping groundball over to short for a single. West Virginia starting pitcher Jacob Watters struggled with command early walking two and loading the bases with one out setting up John Spikerman for an RBI single back up the middle. Then, Peyton Graham crushed a 427-foot grand slam, giving the Sooners a 5-0 lead. 

Watters' evening ended in the third after walking consecutive batters to begin the bottom of the inning. Head coach Randy Mazey turned the game over to sophomore right-hander Carlson Reed. 

On Reed's third pitch, Kendall Pettis popped up back to Reed on a bunt attempt, and Reed quickly turned the double play at second before striking out Peyton Graham to get out of the inning unscathed. 

Oklahoma added another run in the fourth after Reed hit Blake Robertson to start the bottom of the inning and Tanner Tredaway followed, flaring an RBI single into right-centerfield, pushing the lead to 6-0. 

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In the seventh, Reed walked two, placing runners at second and first with one out before Mazey called Noah Short from the Bullpen. He began his evening walking the first batter he faced, loading the bases. Short caught Graham looking, and Robertson grounded to first, ending the inning. 

West Virginia put a run on the board in the eighth when J.J. Wetherholt hit a leadoff single, then McGwire Holbrook ripped a double down the left field line, placing runners at second and third before a wild pitch from reliever Chazz Martinez gave Wetherholt home plate. 

Grant Hussey hit his 11th home run of the season in the ninth with a solo shot over the right field wall, giving the Mountaineers some life. Austin Davis delivered a two-out single on a check swing before J.J. Wetherholt smacked a two-run home run, cutting the deficit to two, 6-4. However, WVU could not complete the comeback, slips to the loser's bracket, and faces Kansas State at approximately 1:30 pm EST and streaming on ESPN.  

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