Means, Mountaineers Shut Out Oklahoma - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Means, Mountaineers Shut Out Oklahoma

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West Virginia and Oklahoma both needed Big 12 wins in the worst way after getting swept in conference play last weekend. The Mountaineers went on the road and handled business first with a 7-0 victory Thursday night in what will be a three-game series in Norman.

Left-handed starter John Means (5-1) took the mound for his first outing since an early exit against TCU and he pitched well for Randy Mazey's squad, allowing no runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk in seven innings of work.

It didn't hurt that Means had all the run support he would need before he ever threw a single pitch. West Virginia (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) got out to a quick lead with five runs on six hits in the top of the first inning, sending eight batters to the plate along the way.

Junior shortstop Taylor Munden singled before center fielder Bobby Boyd and second baseman Billy Fleming followed suit with Fleming's hit scoring Munden to get the Mountaineers on the board.

Fleming, left fielder Jacob Rice and designated hitter Jackson Cramer each drove in two runs with the other RBI coming courtesy of junior catcher Cam O'Brien.

Mazey's team had lost six-straight in the Big 12 and recognized the importance of a game like Thursday's as WVU has plummeted down the conference standings and down the RPI. The Mountaineers had once been as high as 13 in the RPI, but now are in the 39th position.

"It's big. We're next to the bottom in the Big 12 right now. The Big 12 is a big jumbled mess like we knew it was going to be. One good weekend can get you right back in it," Mazey said. "Oklahoma was right at the top going into last weekend and they lost all three like we did, so now they're at the bottom of the pack. Whoever wins this series between us will get back to the top. It's going to be like that the whole season."

Adding some significance to the weekend series is the fact that West Virginia is returning to the area where the Mountaineers helped in tornado relief efforts last year. Mazey says the team will not go into Moore, Okla. on this trip, but for a coach who still wears the Oklahoma state outline on his helmet, he understands what the area means to WVU now.

"I know we made some fans in Oklahoma last year when we did what we did," Mazey said. "Hopefully they'll come out. I don't expect them to be wearing gold and blue, but I know there are some people down there that are anxious to see us come."

Junior lefty Harrison Musgrave gets the start for WVU on Friday with the game scheduled for a 7 p.m. EST start. 

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