MORGANTOWN. W.Va. — Even with his Mountaineers in a deadlocked game and his bullpen in disarray, coach Randy Mazey wasn’t tempted to send starting pitcher Sean Carley back out for the eighth inning.
Not after 127 pitches.
That turned out to be the prudent call, even though Oklahoma State scored eight times against the West Virginia bullpen in what became a 9-2 blowout.
“We refuse to abuse those starting pitchers,” said Mazey, declining to second-guess his decision. “They’re so good and they’re so valuable, we’re not going to run them into 150 pitches. We’re just not going to do that to our kids.”
Yes, West Virginia’s relievers have been collectively abysmal of late, and sure, the Mountaineers desperately need to escape their six-game swoon that has them only a half-game out of the Big 12 cellar. But this wasn’t an NCAA regional elimination game—it was regular-season game No. 28, with another 22 to follow.
Plus, Carley appeared to be nearly gassed while toiling through a 24-pitch seventh, when he walked home a run to tie the game at 1-all.
“Sean Carley went out there, pitched really well and gave us a chance to win,” Mazey said. “It was just one of those games where they out-hit us at the end.”