Losers of four-straight games, West Virginia can be eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament Wednesday.
The No. 3 seed Mountaineers dropped their first-round matchup to No. 6 seed Texas Tech 6-2 Wednesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
David Hagaman made his first collegiate start on the mound Wednesday for WVU. Coming into the first round, Hagaman delivered 13.1 straight scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He struck out 14 hitters and only walked two during that stretch, earning him Wednesday night’s start.
He worked a clean first inning but ran into trouble in the second when he allowed an RBI single and walked in a run with the bases loaded. Raider-slugger Gavin Kash also homered off Hagaman. He allowed four earned runs on six hits while striking out seven in four innings of work.
“[Hagaman] is one of our best arms,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “He went out there and threw up a zero [in the first inning], and I thought he did a really good job. He threw a lot of pitches that they swung and missed at. I was really, really encouraged by David Hagaman today. He’s earned the right, if we make it that far in the postseason, to start another game.”
Caleb McNeely slugged for the first Mountaineer run of the tournament when he muscled a solo home run to left-center field off the second deck of bleachers. It was McNeely’s 13th long ball of the season to narrow the Raider lead to 4-1. McNeely and designated hitter Logan Sauve each recorded two hits. WVU went 6-for-31 (.196) on the night, while Texas Tech went 11-for-36 (.306).
Big 12 Player of the Year J.J. Wetherholt did not record a hit in an 0-for-4 performance. Wetherholt has now gone hitless in back-to-back games for the first time this season and for the seventh time in his collegiate career.
The Raiders responded with a run in each of the next two innings off reliever Aidan Major. Major recorded five outs and allowed a pair of runs.
Lefty Maxx Yehl pitched three innings of scoreless relief while striking out four Raiders and cooling the Texas Tech offense. Noah Short recorded one out on one pitch.
With the loss, the Mountaineers drop to the single-elimination bracket. They will play No. 3 seed Oklahoma State at 1:30 p.m. ET in Arlington. Starting pitchers are yet to be announced.
“We can’t worry about hosting a regional at this point,” Mazey said. “We have to worry about winning tomorrow.”