STILLWATER, Okla. — Bobby Boyd’s speed factored into three runs out of the leadoff spot and Matt Frazer hit his seventh homer as West Virginia beat Oklahoma State 5-4 to close the regular season Saturday.
In avoiding a series sweep, WVU (31-25, 13-11) snapped a five-game skid and subsequently guaranteed itself a third-place Big 12 finish later Saturday when Oklahoma lost at Kansas State.
“With our backs against the wall, we talked about playing for the pride of the Mountaineers,” said WVU’s Randy Mazey, seemingly a cinch to take conference coach of the year honors next week. “Our guys showed they had some fight in them.”
And Boyd showed he had some speed as he jumpstarted the Mountaineers offense. He singled and stole second in the first inning before scoring on Jacob Rice’s sac-fly line out. Then Boyd walked and stole another base in the third inning, putting him in position to score on Rice’s grounder.
In the top of the ninth, with WVU leading 4-2, Boyd bunted himself aboard before scoring on Ryan Tuntland’s RBI single.
“We kind of go how Bobby Boyd goes,” Mazey said. “If he shows up to play and he’s aggressive and running and doing his deal, the team seems to respond to that.”
Boyd’s final run proved to be crucial when Oklahoma State’s Tanner Krietemeier and Randy McCurry hit back-to-back, two-out homers in the last of the ninth after reliever Ryan Tezak (4-0) struck out the first two hitters of the inning. That led Mazey to bring on Pascal Paul, who picked up his eighth save by enticing Robbie Rea to ground out to second.
Despite the late homers, Mazey liked what Tezak showed in a 76-pitch relief stint that covered 4 1/3 innings. The junior right-hander, who entered in the fifth inning and promptly issued a base-loaded walk that tied the game at 2, settled down quickly and retired the next two batters to leave the bags loaded. Tezak’s final line: Four hits, two runs , six strikeouts.
“Last time out (against TCU) he threw two innings and walked four guys,” Mazey said. “Today he had some fastball command.”
While Tezak’s overall ERA stands at a respectable 3.93, his conference-only ERA is 6.75.
“Yeah, this was my best outing,” he said. “I was able to command my fastball on the corners and get ahead of a lot of batters. I’m not really having a great year compared to what I’ve had in the past, so it was good leading into the Big 12 tournament.”
Making his first career Big 12 start, freshman right-hander Brock Dykxhoorn gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits with four strikeouts in a no-decision.
WVU pulled ahead 3-2 in the sixth when Rice and Tuntland singled, setting the stage for Billy Fleming’s RBI groundout. That ended the night for Cowboys starter Mark Robinette (5-1), who allowed three runs on six hits in 5 1/3.
In the eighth, Frazer homered to left field off OSU John Perrin.
“I’ve been in a little slump there, and to finally get a pitch and drive it, it felt great,” Frazer said.