Another strong performance from ace Jackson Wolf lifted West Virginia as the Mountaineers snagged its first Big 12 road win of the season against Oklahoma State on Thursday 4-3 in Stillwater.
An offensive burst in the fourth inning from Mikey Kluska gave WVU (11-9, 3-1 Big 12) the runs they needed while Wolf’s 7.1 innings helped keep the Cowboys (16-7-1, 4-3 Big 12) quiet on the scoreboard for much of the game.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand got the scoring started for Oklahoma State in the first inning with an RBI single. He was the biggest bat for the Cowboys, going 2-for-4 with a double, along with the early RBI.
WVU answered in the third, thanks to an error from Hueston Morrill. WVU leadoff hitter Tyler Doanes grounded one to Morrill, who tossed it wide of the first base bag and nearly into the WVU dugout — allowing Braden Barry to put the first run on the board for the Mountaineers.
The game got blown open in the fourth. With Vince Ippoliti and Hudson Byorick on base, Kluska drove a pitch from OSU starter Bryce Osmond into left field, widening the gap to three runs.
Wolf put in some of his best work of the season in six innings, setting a career high with eight strikeouts. He stayed on into the seventh and picked up an out, but was pulled after allowing the bases to get loaded.
Mazey called on a trio of relievers to close out that inning — Zach Ottinger, N. Short and Jacob Watters — who stopped the bleeding and kept OSU to just two runs. The skipper opted to stick with Watters for the ninth for his second save of the season.
Osmond gave up four runs on five hits in six innings of work for OSU. Kale Davis stepped in for the starter in the seventh and gave Oklahoma State the defense they needed to cut into the WVU lead, giving up just one hit while striking out three of the eight Mountaineer batters he faced.
The second game of the series gets started Friday at 7 p.m. ET in Stillwater. Adam Tulloch is set to take the mound for West Virginia, while Oklahoma State’s starter is still to be announced.