Times West Virginian
LUBBOCK, Texas —
Despite a brilliant pitching performance by sophomore left-hander Ross Vance, the WVU baseball team dropped its second-straight walk-off game at Texas Tech, falling 3-2 on Friday evening at Rip Griffin Park.
“You have two choices now, you can either get bitter or get better,” coach Randy Mazey says. “We’re going to try our best to get better.”
The loss is the sixth straight for WVU and drops the overall record to 27-23, including 9-13 in Big 12 play. Despite only recording five hits, the Mountaineers had plenty of chances to score, stranding 13 base runners.
Vance (3-3) took his third-straight loss, pitching an 8.2 inning complete game, giving up three runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and three walks. He also induced three double plays.
“I was a little worried that Vance was losing his edge a bit from where he started, but after watching him pitch tonight he has that back,” Mazey says. “I’ll feel good about him pitching next week in Oklahoma City.”
Junior center fielder Bobby Boyd had two hits for WVU and scored one run. Senior left fielder Jacob Rice went 0-for-1 with a season-high four walks. Rice’s four walks are the most since Stan Posluszny drew four against Rutgers in 2005.
Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Texas Tech pinch runner Zach Davis scored from second base on a single up the middle by Tim Proudfoot for the game-winning run. Davis pinch ran for Adam Kirsch who walked with one out.
Senior first baseman Ryan McBroom gave WVU a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth as he smoked a single up the middle to score Boyd from second base. Boyd recorded a one-out infield single to shortstop and then stole second, his second stolen base of the game. Following a walk to junior second baseman Billy Fleming, McBroom drove in his team-leading 47th run of the season. The run scored was Boyd’s team-leading 45th of the year.
The Mountaineer lead extended to 2-0 in the top of the sixth as junior catcher Cam O’Brien scored on a wild pitch. O’Brien began the inning with an infield single to shortstop.
Texas Tech’s Bryant Burleson crushed a solo home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth, quickly cutting the WVU lead to 2-1.
Another Red Raider solo home run to left field tied the game at 2-2, this time off the bat of Kirsch on the first pitch in the bottom of the seventh.
Texas Tech nearly took the lead with two outs in the top of the ninth, but senior left fielder Jacob Rice threw Burleson out at home to keep the game tied. Burleson singled to right center field with two outs, followed by a single to center field by Tyler Neslony. Boyd made a diving attempt, but the ball went past him and Burleson attempted to score from first base. Rice was able to gather the ball and his throw beat Burleson to the plate.
Red Raider starting pitcher Chris Sadberry (4-2) took a no-decision in 5.1 innings. Sadberry allowed two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and a season-high six walks. Reliever Cameron Smith (7-2) picked up his second win in as many days, going 3.2 no-hit relief innings. Smith struck out four and walked one.
The teams return to action for game three on Saturday at 3 p.m. Links to live video and live stats are available on WVUsports.com, while the radio broadcast will be on select affiliates of the Mountaineers Sports Network from IMG College.