West Virginia upset the No. 16 Oklahoma State Cowboys, 4-3, behind eight strikeouts from left-hander Jackson Wolf on Thursday night in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
WVU (11-9, 3-1 Big 12) only tallied six hits, but utilized a three-run fourth inning to gain the lead from Oklahoma State (16-7-1, 4-3 Big 12) and fight off a late rally to earn the upset. Wolf (3-2) was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week following his outstanding performance against Kansas on March 26 and he continued his hot streak against the Cowboys.
In 6.1 innings of work, Wolf allowed five hits, three runs, one walk and struck out eight batters.
The Mountaineers finished the opening frame with only one baserunner following a walk drawn by Victor Scott. Scott attempted to steal second, but was thrown out to end the inning. Oklahoma State wasted no time in getting the bats started as sophomore third baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand doubled to left field to score Nolan McLean.
In the third inning, WVU’s Barry Braden singled to center field before stealing second to put himself in scoring position as the tying run. An Austin Davis strikeout left Braden on the verge of being stranded on second before Tyler Doanes stepped into the batter’s box.
On a routine groundout to shortstop, Doanes reached first on a throwing error and Braden scored from second to tie the game at 1-1. Matt McCormick ended the inning on a groundout to second base.
West Virginia took off in the fifth inning with Hudson Byorick waking the bats up in the inning with a single to center field. Following a flyout by Paul McIntosh, Vince Ippoliti earned a walk that advanced Byorick into scoring position at second base. Next up, freshman power hitter, Mikey Kluska, blasted a three-run home run to left field to take the lead for WVU at 4-1.
From there, the Mountaineers were in defensive mode as they looked to defend against an impending Oklahoma State comeback.
The Cowboys cut the deficit to one after they scored two runs in the seventh inning. Justin Campbell scored the first run with a single to center field to score Carson McCusker from third. In the next at-bat, Max Hewitt sent a single to right field to score another run and make it 4-3.
Oklahoma State ended the inning with back-to-back strikeouts to send the game to the eighth inning. In the final two innings, West Virginia only mustered one hit as right-handed pitcher Jacob Watters took the mound for the Mountaineers.
In the ninth inning, Oklahoma State needed a spark and it nearly got it with a triple from freshman outfielder Jaxson Crull with two outs in the game. Caeden Trenkle backed up the hit with a walk to be the winning run on first base with McLean stepping up to the plate.
With his back against the wall, Watters finished off the Cowboys. McLean struck out to leave two runners stranded as Oklahoma State lost, 4-3. Watters earned the save for WVU as he pitched 2.1 innings and only gave up three hits while striking out four.
West Virginia faces Oklahoma State in game two on Friday night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN+.