Randy Mazey asked for a quality start from Jackson Wolf and he got a complete game gem.
The lefty led eighth-seeded West Virginia to a second round upset over top-seeded Texas, 5-1, as the Mountaineers advance to the winner’s bracket of the Big 12 Tournament.
“To be honest, I knew how big this game was,” Wolf said. “Looking at the bracket, I know that this is gonna make our road to the championship game a bit more easy if we can get this win under our belts, and so…I had a purpose for every pitch I threw tonight and I gave it everything that I had tonight.”
Wolf battled the Longhorns from the pitcher’s mound, allowing just one run on five hits in the contest with seven strikeouts and five walks. Mazey hoped the ace would give his squad triple digit pitches, which he did — tossing a total of 138 across all nine innings.
Wolf (6-5) made the gem happen with some clutch performances in his later innings. In the seventh with a 3-1 Mountaineer lead, he let the Longhorns load up the bases with two outs, but got out of the jam by forcing a short pop fly. He gave another crunch time performance in the eighth, striking out the side after allowing a leadoff walk.
“Eliminating free passes and eliminating the damages that the free passes could bring about was pretty huge,” “Once I got deeper into the game, I felt like I understood my body even more and more as the innings went on, and I felt better in the eighth and ninth innings than I did one through seven. So I was set on finishing this ballgame tonight.”
West Virginia gave him some early run support. Hudson Byorick dinged a solo homer off of Texas starter Ty Madden, the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, in the second inning to put the first run on the board. WVU added two more in the fifth to give themselves some insurance.
Madden (6-4) had a strong outing himself, giving up three hits and three runs in 6.2 innings while striking out five, but was credited with the loss. He was replaced by Cole Quintanilla, before Tanner Witt came in to close out the last 1.2 innings.
Kevin Brophy logged the only multi-hit game for West Virginia, hitting a double and a triple while crossing the plate twice. Alec Burns added a pair of runs and a hit, while Byorick’s homer added another RBI.
“We had a bunch of guys that threw their heart on their sleeve tonight and played as good as they could for the Mountaineers,” Mazey said.
Trey Kennedy recorded the only RBI of the game for Texas with a solo home run off of Wolf in the sixth inning.
The Mountaineers gear up for the next round, in which they will face the winner of the four/five matchup between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Mazey has one major advantage heading in, however, as his squad is armed with a fresh bullpen.
“Complete games in a tournament setting are worth their weight in gold,” Mazey said.
That contest is currently slated to begin at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU, however its actual start time is dependent on Game 8 between No. 2 TCU and No. 3 Texas Tech.