WVU Falls to No. 23 Texas Tech in Extras

WVU Falls to No. 23 Texas Tech in Extras

In the first of a crucial three-game series against No. 23 Texas Tech, West Virginia came into Friday night knowing how important the game was.

Fighting for its first NCAA tournament bid since 1996, the Mountaineers needed a good showing to start their final series of the season before heading to Oklahoma City for the Big 12 tournament. But late miscues led to the Red Raiders coming away with a 4-3 victory against the Mountaineers in 11 innings.

The Red Raiders got the game-winning hit from Hunter Redman, whose single into centerfield against Sean Carley brought in Alec Humphreys to end the game.

A costly Bobby Boyd error in center on a dropped fly ball allowed Texas Tech to get runners on second and third with one out to set the table for Redman's late heroics.

The setback is the fifth loss in a row for the Mountaineer.

Neither team was able to get on the board for the first four innings of the game, as both West Virginia starter Harrison Musgrave and Texas Tech pitchers Corey Taylor and Johnny Drozd did not let opposing hitters take advantage of the chances they had very often in the first few frames.

The Mountaineers got on the board first in the top of the fifth inning, when Taylor Munden scored Michael Constantini from second base on a triple.

Texas Tech would seize the momentum not long after that, putting one run across the plate in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to grab a 3-1 lead. Eric Gutierrez drove in Bryant Burleson with a double to tie it up and start the scoring for the Red Raiders. They would go on to take the lead the next inning when Devon Conley scored on a wild pitch.

An Alec Humphreys single plated Zach Davis and put all the pressure on the Mountaineers to claw their way back into it. And as WVU head coach Randy Mazey has said time and time again, when his team's backs were against the wall, they responded to the adversity.

After both Ryan McBroom and Brad Johnson were hit by pitches, Cam O'Brien made the Red Raiders pay with a double down the left field line that scored McBroom to bring WVU within a run. The equalizer came on the next batter when Jackson Cramer grounded out but brought in pinch runner Trevor Simms to tie the game.

Then the Mountaineers had to find a way to fend off the No. 23 Red Raiders in order to take the game into extras, and they almost weren't able to keep TTU off the board.

Carley came into the game to pitch the ninth inning, his first appearance since blowing his first save of the season last Friday against Kansas, and walked Tim Proudfoot on five pitches to start the inning. After getting in scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, and moved to third on a passed ball, Proudfoot was sent home to try to end the game on a wild pitch by Carley but was tagged out in time for the Mountaineers to keep the game alive.

Musgrave went eight innings in the no decision for the Mountaineers. The redshirt junior allowed three runs on 10 hits while striking out seven batters and walking just one.

The win went to Cameron Smith, who struck out the only batter he faced in the 11th inning.

Munden was the only Mountaineer to have a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-5 with a double and a triple with one RBI.

The Mountaineers and Red Raiders will square off again Friday at 7:30 p.m., as West Virginia sends sophomore Ross Vance to the mound for the start.

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