WVU Drops Finale, Wins Series at No. 10 Baylor

  • By Charlie Healy
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  • March 19, 2017 04:36 PM
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WACO, Texas – The West Virginia University baseball team lost the final game of a three-game series at No. 10 Baylor, 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
Despite the loss, the Mountaineers (10-8, 2-1 Big 12 Conference) return home with a series win in their first Big 12 series of the year after a 7-1 win on Friday night and a 6-5 victory on Saturday.
WVU scored one run on nine hits with no errors, while the Bears (16-4, 1-2) scored five runs on nine hits with one error. The series loss was BU’s first of the year and the two home losses were its second and third of the year in 14 games.
“Actually, this was one of our best games we’ve played all season offensively,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “We had nine hits and hit the ball really hard all day long against a pitcher that nobody else has hit. I’m encouraged by the offense today, even though we obviously didn’t get the result.
“We got some really quality innings out of some freshmen arms in the bullpen that showed they can go through a Big 12 lineup. There were a ton of positives today. To come down here and win the series, the first series of the year and on the road, says a lot about our team.”
West Virginia suffered its first loss against a ranked team, and is now 4-1 against top-25 opponents.
Offensively, sophomore designated hitter Marques Inman had three hits, going 3-4, while junior left fielder and senior first baseman Jackson Cramer both had two hits. Additionally, sophomore third baseman Cole Austin had one hit, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.
Junior right-hander Conner Dotson (3-2) suffered his second loss of the season, allowing five runs on six hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out four and walked five.
Following Dotson, four freshman right-handers combined to throw 3.2 shutout innings, allowing just three hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Kade Strowd, Sam Kessler and Alek Manoah all pitched 1.0 innings.
Baylor took its first lead of the series with a solo home run by Shea Langeliers in the first inning. BU added another run and led 2-0 in the third inning, thanks to a bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
The Bears scored three more runs in the fifth inning, on a three-run home run to right field by Kameron Esthay, to extend their lead to 5-0.
The Mountaineers had runners reach in five of the first six innings, but two double plays, a pickoff and a caught stealing in four of those innings prevented WVU from scoring.
WVU got on the board though with a run in the seventh inning. With Cramer on first, Inman doubled down the left field line to send Cramer to third. A sacrifice fly to center by sophomore right fielder Darius Hill scored Cramer to cut the Mountaineer deficit to 5-1.
Runners reached in the eighth and ninth innings, but WVU could not put more than one runner on base in each of the final two innings.
The Mountaineers travel to State College, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. ET, to face Penn State. After WVU’s home opener on Tuesday, March 14, was postponed, the game at Penn State marks the last of 19 consecutive road games to begin the season.
NOTES: West Virginia falls to 10-8 on the season, 2-1 in Big 12 Conference play and 4-1 vs. teams ranked in the top-25 … West Virginia leads the all-time series against Baylor, 8-7 and trails in Waco, 5-4 … Cole Austin extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games, the second-longest streak by a Mountaineer in 2017 … Four freshmen relievers combined to allow no runs on three hits with two strikeouts and no walks in 3.2 innings … Starter Conner Dotson pitched 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on six hits with four strikeouts and five walks.
Season tickets, single game tickets, flex plan tickets and mini packs for the 2017 WVU baseball season are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-WVU GAME, going to WVUGAME.com or visiting the Mountaineer Ticket Office in the WVU Coliseum. The 2017 schedule is available on WVUsports.com.
For more information on the Mountaineers, follow WVU Baseball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit WVUsports.com.