To return to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, West Virginia likely needs to win the Big 12 Tournament. And on Wednesday, the Mountaineers started their tournament run right with an 8-5 win over No. 2 seed Oklahoma State.
Mountaineers WIN!! WVU opens the #Big12BSB Championship with an 8-5 win over 2nd-seeded Oklahoma State.
— WVU Baseball (@WVUBaseball) May 24, 2018
West Virginia’s new all-hands-on-deck style of handling the pitching staff paid off on Wednesday. Starter BJ Myers, who will likely start several games during the Big 12 Tournament, threw 3 scoreless innings and let the offense and the bullpen do the rest of the work.
The game was error-filled: West Virginia committed 4 errors and Oklahoma State made five, and just 2 of the 5 runs the Mountaineers allowed were earned. But West Virginia didn’t need the Cowboys defense’s help to start the scoring early.
West Virginia scored 3 runs in the second to chase Oklahoma State’s Peyton Battenfield early. In the fifth, the Mountaineers added 3 more runs, aided by a throwing error, after Darius Hill singled with the bases loaded.
With that 6-0 lead in hand, West Virginia fought off a Cowboys rally. The Cowboys clawed back to make it as close as 7-5 in the seventh but scored a critical insurance run on a wild pitch in the eighth.
Junior Braden Zarbnisky, who started the game in left field, loaded the bases in the ninth inning before completing a five-out save. Now positioned in the winners’ bracket, West Virginia will play the winner of TCU-Texas Tech on Wednesday.