The WVU baseball team salvaged its series with Texas Tech on Saturday. The Mountaineers hung with the No. 5 Red Raiders in the first two games in Lubbock, then finally got the best of them in the final regular season game of the 2016 campaign.
A five-run fourth inning lifted the Mountaineer to victory. Like in Friday’s game, the WVU baseball team trailed early on. This time around, West Virginia jumped on Tech and held on from there.
A 5-1 lead was short lived, though, as the Red Raiders answered back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. A run in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the difference in the Mountaineers’ favor.
“This was a character game,” said WVU head coach Randy Mazey. “We score, they score, we score, they score. After losing the first two, we could have gone down but we didn’t. This was a game to show who had the biggest heart. Every guy in the dugout, every guy in the lineup played like it was the last games of their careers.”
As if the 10-game winning streak wasn’t enough for the confidence of this team, a win over one of the best teams in the country should do the trick as West Virginia prepares to head to the Big 12 Conference Tournament. One thing about that, though, Mazey feels his Mountaineers are one of the best teams in the country.
They have certainly been proving themselves, already. Saturday’s win may have just lifted them into an elite class.
“We’re one of the hottest teams in the country right now,” Mazey said. “We have a lot of confidence heading into the Big 12 Tournament as the No. 4 seed. This was a good atmosphere for us to play in, a packed house here in Lubbock and our guys responded really well.”
The winning run was brought in by freshman Kyle Gray, who plated Cole Austin with a single in the ninth inning. Gray led the team offensively with three hits and four total RBI.
Gray is one of the freshman who will benefit from this successful stretch. He looks to be a big part of the WVU baseball team’s future plans, so having a career day against the best team in the conference should set him up for even more success next week in Oklahoma City.
The Mountaineers have ended the 2016 campaign with a record of 33-21, tied for the highest number of wins in Mazey’s four-year coaching career at West Virginia. The Mountaineers can certainly extend that mark with a strong showing in the Big 12 Conference Tournament.