Down but not out: Mountaineers fall in first Big 12 semifinal

WVU Baseball

A four-run fifth inning for top-seed Texas Tech lifted the Red Raiders past WVU 10-3, forcing a final play-in game for a spot in the Big 12 tournament championship later today.

The Mountaineers had a big advantage entering the semifinal round, as Texas Tech would need to defeat them twice in a matter of hours to eliminate them, but head coach Randy Mazey doesn’t think WVU has squandered its head start. 

“Our at-bats, when the next game starts, will be in a tie ballgame,” said Mazey. “That’s why 80 percent of all doubleheaders get split, because the losing team has a big advantage going into game two.”

Starting pitcher Kade Strowd’s day ended in that game-changing fifth inning. Strowd gave up five earned runs and walked seven, while also issuing a free pass to the first batter of the inning on four occasions. 

That trend continued when Jackson Wolf took the ball in the fifth inning. Wolf — who moved into a relief role for the tournament, according to Mazey — also gave up five earned runs and walked five. In total, WVU pitchers walked the first batter they faced in seven different innings. 

“What a disadvantage against a team like that to start with a man on first, nobody out, every single inning, but it is what it is,” said Mazey. 

West Virginia will get another crack at Texas Tech after three-seed Oklahoma State and six-seed TCU play their semifinal contest. The start time for the Mountaineers’ game has not been announced. Follow West Virginia Illustrated on Facebook and Twitter for updates from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. 

Watch the full postgame press conference with Mazey below: 

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