West Virginia picked up an extra-inning win over Kansas State while using just two pitchers. Jackson Wolf pitched the first eight innings for West Virginia and Jacob Watters pitched the last three innings to help WVU pick up a 4-3 win in 11 innings.
The game started with amazing pitching performances from both Wolf and Jordan Wicks. The two combined to give up just two hits in the first four innings. The first hit of the game came in the third inning as Kansas State’s (21-16, 4-9 Big 12) Terrence Spurlin managed to get a single on Wolf.
After no score through the first four innings, the Mountaineers (15-16, 6-7 Big 12) picked up a run in the fifth. Paul McIntosh struck out to start the inning but reached on a wild pitch and Vince Ippoliti hit a single to right field that advanced McIntosh to third base. Matt McCormick scored the run with a single to left but the scoring was not done.
Kevin Brophy smashed a single up the middle and Ippoliti managed to score from second base. After back-to-back strikeouts, Mikey Kluska stepped into the box and hit a two-out single that scored McCormick to give WVU a 3-0 lead.
The Wildcats answered in the bottom of the sixth inning as Cameron Thompson hit a two-out single to center. Nick Goodwin followed with a single to left of his own and with a fielding error, Thompson advanced to third. Dylan Phillips brought Thompson home with a single of his own but a Zach Kokoska strikeout ended the inning for KSU.
To lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, Chris Ceballos hit a home run to bring the game to 3-2 still in favor of West Virginia.
After neither team scored in the eighth inning, the game went to the ninth with a one-run differential. Ippoliti struck out to start the inning and the Mountaineers were only able to muster up a single in the inning to keep the game close heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Wolf walked Kokoska to start the inning and was pulled because of it ending his day with eight innings of work, six hits and two runs along with 10 strikeouts. The new pitcher, Watters, needed three outs to end the game but was unable to end it in the ninth.
Watters picked up a strikeout on his first batter faced but a wild pitch allowed Kokoska to reach second base. Spurlin was struck out but because of a wild pitch he reached first and brought Kokoska to third base. Cameron Uselton entered the game to pinch hit for Jordan Maxson, the pinch hitter grounded out but scored Kokoska to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
The Mountaineers had hope in the tenth inning with two baserunners in scoring position. But they were unable to capitalize and the game remained tied heading into the bottom of the tenth inning. After the Wildcat batters went out in order, the game went to an eleventh inning.
McCormick hit a one-out double and quickly advanced to third on a ground out. McCormick then scored on a throwing error that allowed Nathan Blasick to reach first. Watters once again needed just three outs to end the game and this time he was able to with two strikeouts and a ground out.
The Mountaineers will take on Kansas State again Saturday at five p.m. with a win in game two, WVU will win its first Big 12 series in nearly a month. The game will be televised on ESPN+.