MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Twice West Virginia advanced runners into scoring position with its top run-producer at the plate, and twice Ryan McBroom couldn’t get his teammates home.
Those failures were too common on Saturday when West Virginia piled up 11 hits only to strand 12 runners in a 2-0 loss to No. 19 Texas that evened the weekend series.
The game drew 1,624 fans, narrowly topping Friday’s crowd for the third-largest in Hawley Field history. Another big gathering is anticipated for Sunday afternoon when the Mountaineers (25-17, 8-8) and Longhorns (34-14, 11-9) stage the final game at the 43-year-old ballpark.
“Sure would be nice to put the old girl to bed on a win,” said West Virginia coach Randy Mazey, whose team will be aiming to spark another win streak after having its seven-game run stopped by three Texas pitchers on Saturday.
After Nathan Thornhill delivered four scoreless innings despite scattering seven hits, Texas turned to Chad Hollingsworth (2-0), who pitched two innings of one-hit ball. John Curtis went the final three innings for his eighth save of the season, though he had to escape a pickle in the bottom of the seventh.
Bobby Boyd reached on Texas shortstop C.J. Hinojosa’s one-out error and took third on Billy Fleming’s single to right. That brought up West Virginia’s cleanup hitter McBroom, sporting a team-high 40 RBIs. He was ahead in the count 3-1 when he grounded to Hinojosa to start an inning-ending double play.
That followed McBroom’s missed opportunity in the third inning when he flied out to center with Boyd and Fleming in scoring position.
McBroom, who ended the day still tied for third in the Big 12 in RBIs, wasn’t alone in his frustration. Taylor Munden flew out with the bases loaded to end the fourth. West Virginia was shut out for the third time this season and dropped to 3-12 when scoring three runs or fewer.
“Their pitchers buckled down with men on base and made good pitchers when they had to,” Mazey said. “We outhit them 11-6. We pitched well, they pitched well. Both teams played good defense. It was just one of those games that could have went either way.”
Though WVU left-hander Ross Vance (3-1) didn’t have his strikeout stuff of recent outings, he was steady enough to last 8 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and two runs.
Hinojosa, who had struck out with the tying runs aboard late in the Longhorns’ 5-3 loss Friday night, began making amends with a two-out RBI single against Vance in the fourth.
In the seventh, Hinojosa was hit by Vance leading off, moved to second on a bunt Kacy Clemens (the son of Roger Clemens) and scored on Zane Gurwitz’s one-out single through the left side.
“With runners in scoring position, I didn’t make some of the pitches I needed to make,” Vance said. “When it mattered, I left them over (the plate) a little bit. Neither one of those two should have scored.”