The West Virginia baseball team’s losing streak continued on Friday night with a 6-3 loss against the Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas, to open a three-game Big 12 series.
West Virginia (11-13, 3-4 Big 12) was in control early as it led by as much as three runs before giving up a five-run eighth inning to give up the victory to Baylor (20-10, 2-5 Big 12). The Mountaineers finished the night with seven hits and one error while the Bears tallied eight hits.
West Virginia ace Jackson Wolf (3-3) earned the start on the mound and had a solid outing before struggling in the eighth inning. For the game, Wolf allowed six hits, five runs and struck out seven batters. In his start for the Bears, left-hander Tyler Thomas gave up seven hits, three runs and struck out five in 6.2 innings of work.
The scoring didn’t begin until WVU’s Mikey Kluska knocked a single into center field in the third inning to snag the lead. Following a lineout by outfielder Austin Davis, Tyler Doanes got on base with a single to left field. Then, Doanes stole second to get into scoring position for the Mountaineers.
Kluska later knocked in Doanes on a base hit to give West Virginia the lead, 1-0.
Following a quick home half of the third inning by the Baylor offense, WVU’s batters returned to the plate looking for more. The fourth inning began with a Paul McIntosh groundout, but Vince Ippoliti reached first on a single.
After a strikeout by Matt McCormick, the inning seemed as good as over. Infielder Kevin Brophy had something to say about that, as he belted a two-run home run to left field to extend WVU’s lead to 3-0.
After that electrifying fourth inning by the Mountaineers, neither team mustered any scoring until Baylor got on the board in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly to trail, 3-1. West Virginia had two baserunners on in the seventh, but both were stranded on a groundout by Victor Scott to end the inning. Baylor’s batters couldn’t put anyone on in the bottom half of the seventh inning.
In the eighth inning, things took a turn for the worse for WVU. Following a quick half inning for the West Virginia offense, Baylor came out firing. The bottom of the eighth started with back-to-back singles and a hit by pitch to load up the bases for the Bears.
A two RBI single by Andy Thomas tied the game at 3-3, and ended the night for WVU’s Wolf on the mound. Relief pitcher Jacob Watters earned a strikeout in his first at-bat, but Thomas stole second to get into scoring position with one out. Then, a single and triple on back-to-back at-bats scored three more runs for the Bears to take the lead for good, 6-3.
Noah Short took Watters’ place on the mound and struck out the next two batters to finish the inning. In the ninth inning, WVU couldn’t muster a comeback and lost, 6-3.
Game two of this three-game series is on Saturday from Waco. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. on ESPN+.