The WVU baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader to the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, losing game one by a 5-2 score and dropping the second in a lopsided 11-0 final at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The Mountaineers, now 27-17 and 9-8 in the conference after losing the first two against Texas, continue to fall slowly in the Big 12 standings with one more to go against the Longhorns.
Game One: Texas 5, WVU 2
While West Virginia’s offense struggled to get going, the story in Saturday’s first game was the performance of Mountaineers starting pitcher Jacob Watters.
The right-hander delivered one of the most dominant pitching performances in recent memory for the program, finishing with 15 strikeouts in 6.1 innings of two-run ball against a potent Longhorns lineup.
Even with Watter’s impressive display on the mound, WVU failed to capitalize. The Longhorns were the first team on the board in game one, as Texas right fielder Murphy Stehly hit a solo long ball to break a scoreless stalemate in the fourth.
The Longhorns got to Watters again in the sixth when first baseman Ivan Melendez connected on another solo homer for Texas, putting the deficit at 2-0 for the blue and gold.
Watters would get just one batter out in the seventh, allowing a base hit and a walk in consecutive at bats before finally being pulled. Chris Sleeper took the mound for WVU in his place, but struggled out of the bullpen.
Sleeper walked the first two Longhorns he faced to push in a run before allowing a sacrifice fly to put the score at 4-0.
The Mountaineers offense was shutout until the bottom half of the seventh, when catcher Dayne Leonard ripped a two-run home run over the right field wall to cut the deficit in half.
Texas quickly responded in the top of the eighth, though, with a run-scoring double off the bat of the Longhorns infielder Dylan Campbell.
That would be the last run of game one, as WVU failed to mount any sort of comeback effort in the final two frames and they lost 5-2.
Game Two: Texas 11, WVU 0
Game two was far less competitive on WVU’s side, as the Longhorns potent offense truly broke open with 11 unanswered runs to win a shortened game in seven innings.
It was Ben Hampton who got the starting nod for game two, as the lefty continued to show some struggles. He lasted just 3.1 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out six.
The scoring got started with a first inning homer off the bat of Melendez to score two; his second of the double header.
The Longhorns would score on an error in the second before getting a solo homer in the fourth and two two-run long balls in the fifth. The Big 12 rivals had a firm 8-0 lead ahead of the seventh inning stretch.
Texas continued to pile on in the later innings, as Melendez once again got the best of the Mountaineers pitching with his third home run of the day. The Longhorns led 11-0 going into the bottom of the seventh.
The West Virginia lineup could not amount any offensive traction, finishing the second game of the double header with just two total hits and no runs.
The three-game finale against the Longhorns gets underway at 1 p.m. in Wagener Field on Sunday. The game will be broadcast via ESPN+, or fans can catch the call on 100.9 WZST-FM.