AUSTIN, Texas — Billy Fleming’s hit-and-run single broke a 10th-inning deadlock and West Virginia beat Texas 6-3 on Sunday to win the best-of-3 weekend series.
Fleming’s single put WVU ahead after Texas reliever Corey Knebel (3-3) issued one-out walks to Ryan Tuntland and Ryan McBroom. Jacob Rice’s two-run single provided some some breathing room for WVU (23-18, 6-6), which had not won a Big 12 road series in its previous two tries.
While West Virginia was a unanimous preseason choice of coaches to finish last in the league, it’s Texas (21-17, 5-10) that now resides at the bottom of the Big 12 standings. The Longhorns managed only four hits Sunday, while Fleming and Rice had three each for the Mountaineers.
Rice belted a solo homer to give WVU a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth.
West Virginia’s Corey Walter (3-4) earned the victory with 4 2/3 innings of one-run relief after starter John Means exited in the fifth. Walter threw 82 pitches as the worked around five walks and two hits.
One of those hits came on a two-out double by Jacob Felts in the bottom of the eighth. But after an intentional walk to Ty Marlow, Walter coaxed an inning-ending fly ball out of Alex Silver.
Texas put the leadoff man aboard in the ninth when Collin Shaw reached on Fleming’s error at second base. The Longhorns failed to convert, however, as Brooks Marlow bunted into a forceout and Weston Hall grounded into a double play.
“I really did think we had our chances to win that game in the eighth,” said Texas coach Augie Garrido. “I think we could’ve won the game there and I think we should’ve won the game in the bottom of the ninth had we executed properly.”
Walter walked Erich Weiss leading off the Texas 10th. C.J. Hinojosa followed with a single before WVU turned to closer Paul Pascal, who set down the next three batters for his sixth save.
WVU won Friday’s game 1-0 before Texas rebounded for a 12-0 equalizer Saturday.
“It becomes bitterly disappointing and very difficult to lose this third game and not capitalize on the opportunities we had with the momentum of what we saw yesterday,” Garrido said.
WVU trailed 3-2 in the top of the sixth before tying the game on consecutive singles by McBroom, Fleming and Matt Frazer.
Means allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Texas’ Nathan Thornhill gave up three runs on five hits with five strikeouts in six innings.
WVU plays a non-conference matchup at Youngstown State on Wednesday before hosting Kansas in a Big 12 series Friday through Sunday in Beckley.