The West Virginia University baseball team dropped the opening game of its final home series of the regular season, losing 5-2 against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Monongalia County Ballpark.
West Virginia (37-13, 13-6 Big 12) took an early lead, but couldn’t score the rest of the game as Texas Tech (35-16, 10-9 Big 12) scored the final five runs of the.
The Mountaineers took the lead in the bottom of the second inning when freshman third baseman Ellis Garcia hit an RBI double. The hit scored redshirt seniors right fielder Caleb McNeely and catcher Dayne Leonard.
The Red Raiders then hit an RBI double of their own in the top of the third, making the score 2-1
TTU took the lead in the fourth inning, tying it up at 2-2 with a solo home run in the top of the fourth. An RBI groundout gave them a 3-2 lead.
WVU had an opportunity to get back into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with the bases loaded. However, the team could not muster a hit and remained behind in the game.
A ninth-inning double gave Texas Tech two more insurance runs, bringing the final score to 5-2.
It was a rough day for the WVU offense, which went 6-32 at the plate and scored only two runs. In a bright spot, the Mountaineers had six walks, although they were unable to capitalize.
Two pitchers were all head coach Randy Mazey used. Junior left-handed pitcher Ben Hampton got the start, pitching five innings before sophomore right-handed pitcher Aidan Major came in for the final four innings, striking out five batters.
The Mountaineers and Red Raiders meet again on Saturday with first pitch for Saturday set for 4 p.m. Streaming will be available on Big 12 Now via ESPN+, with sophomore righty Blaine Traxel expected to be the WVU starting pitcher.
Traxel, who has been West Virginia’s starting pitcher this season, has been the ace of the staff, pitching 86.2 innings in 12 starts, good for a rotation-leading 3.32 ERA, which is second-best among all Big 12 starters.