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WVU bounced from Big 12 Conference Tournament with 3-2 loss to Oklahoma State

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Throughout the last two seasons, West Virginia’s baseball team has been able to avoid lengthy losing streaks and prolonged slumps. However, an 0-5 trip to the state of Texas has likely cost the Mountaineers a chance at hosting an NCAA Regional for the second time in five years.

West Virginia (39-18) was eliminated on Day 2 of the Big 12 Conference Tournament in Arlington, Texas with a 3-2 loss to Oklahoma State. After a series sweep at Texas to wrap their regular season, the Mountaineers were the second team eliminated in the eight-team tourney. Ironically, fellow Big 12 co-champion Texas was also knocked out on the second day. The Longhorns fell to Kansas State, 6-0.

For the sixth consecutive game, West Virginia’s opponent scored first. The Cowboys plated a pair of runs in the first inning. Zach Ehrhard scored on a sacrifice fly and Roc Riggio later scored on a groundout. Both runs scored off starter Ben Hampton were unearned.

Hampton delivered a quality start for the Mountaineers. He went six innings, allowed just three hits and walked one batter.

West Virginia cut their early deficit in half in the top of the second inning. Braden Barry’s RBI groundout scored Landon Wallace, pulling the Mountaineers within a run at 2-1.

The teams traded zeroes on the scoreboard until the sixth inning. Big 12 Player of the Year JJ Wetherholt led off the frame with a double. After Wallace singled to send Wetherholt to third, Sam White grounded out. Wetherholt scored on the play to pull the Mountaineers even.

The Cowboys (38-17) wrestled the lead back in the bottom of the eighth inning off WVU relief pitcher Carlson Reed. Riggio singled to right field, allowing David Mendham to score the eventual game-winning run.

West Virginia loaded the bases in the ninth inning with two outs. However, Juaron Watts-Brown got Wallace to strike out, ending the game.

Reed (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season after pitching the final two innings of the game.

Wallace and Wetherholt each had two hits but WVU was held to just six hits in the contest.

West Virginia, who recently entered the top ten in several national polls, will enter the NCAA Tournament with five consecutive losses. The Mountaineers are winless in their last two Big 12 Tournaments.

NCAA Regional host sites will be announced on Sunday and the entire tournament field will be unveiled on Monday.

The Mountaineers will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since hosting a regional in 2019.

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