Bobby Boyd and the West Virginia Mountaineers were eliminated from the Big 12 tournament with a 9-4 loss to Baylor on Friday afternoon.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Sporting camouflage jerseys, the West Virginia Mountaineers were unable to extend their stay in Bricktown, falling 9-4 to Baylor in a Big 12 tournament elimination game Friday.
Sixth-seeded WVU (28-26) needed a win to improve its NCAA bubble position, but leaves OKC having dropped nine of its last 10 games. Nothing short of a tournament championship will keep the seventh-seeded Bears (26-30) alive next week.
Nick Lewis brought a 2-2 record and 5.76 ERA into Friday’s elimination game against West Virginia, but delivered six innings of two-hit pitching.
Left-hander Ross Vance got the start for West Virginia, while Baylor countered with freshman Nick Lewis, who shined in making only his third start of the season.
Check below for a recap of the live updates from the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark:
BOTTOM 9th: Baylor leads 9-4
Singles by Rice and pinch-hitters Cody Semler and Ray Guerrini pushed across one run before Justin Fox’s sac-fly scored another. But that’s the extent of the damage as the Mountaineers are eliminated from the Big 12 tournament.
TOP 9th: Baylor leads 9-2
Mazey replaces Bargeron with another senior reliever, Joby Lapkowicz, allowing the upperclassman to get a taste of Big 12 tournament action. If West Virginia doesn’t qualify for an NCAA regional, eight seniors—and perhaps several draft-eligible juniors—will have played their final college game.
BOTTOM 8th: Baylor leads 9-2
Despite having the top of the order up, West Virginia couldn’t cut into the Bears lead. Boyd served a one-out single into center, but Fleming and McBroom followed with pop-outs.
The Mountaineers will have one last chance in the ninth to mount a Kansas-style rally.
TOP 8th: Baylor leads 9-2
Carley was tagged for three hits, including Logan Brown’s two-run triple, a the Bears padded their cushion. The big right-hander exited with two out in the inning, replace by Zach Bargeron.
BOTTOM 7th: Baylor leads 7-2
Doug Ashby relieved Lewis, who squelched WVU with six innings of two-hit pitching. Based on that performance, he’s a guy the Mountaineers should expect to see again in coming seasons.
The only noise in the inning came on a walk to Cramer. Time is running out on WVU.
TOP 7th: Baylor leads 7-2
Two West Virginia errors landed Vance in a pickle, and some wildness by Sean Carley only exacerbated the struggle as Baylor mounted a five-run inning using only three hits.
Singles by Adam Toth and Aaron Dobson (complicated by right fielder Shaun Wood’s error) set up Baylor, before Vance issued a one-out intentional walk to load the bases. Joe Sabatini’s grounder could have been WVU’s fourth double play of the day, but Munden threw the ball into right field and two go-ahead runs scored.
After a safety squeeze made it 5-2, Vance caught a line drive for the second out before giving way to Carley. WVU’s closer, who had thrown 53 pitches in Wednesday’s appearance, walked Doe to force in a run and hit Toth with an 0-2 pitch to make it 7-2.
Vance’s line: Seven runs (four earned) on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
BOTTOM 6th: Score tied 2-2
The Mountaineers scored the equalizer but had the go-ahead run cut down on what appeared to be a phantom tag at home. To recount:
Taylor Munden, mired in a 1-for-16 slump, draws a full-count walk and promptly steals second, advancing to third when the throw from Baylor catcher Nate Goodwin sails into center field. Boyd made the Bears pay by lifting a game-tying sac-fly into right field.
McBroom later drew a two-out walk before Rice lined a double into the left-field corner. A tremendous relay throw from Doe made it close at the plate, where McBroom appeared to evade Goodwin’s tag. But umpire Josh Schepsis saw it differently and punched out McBroom as coach Randy Mazey came down the baseline to dispute the call.
TOP 6th: Baylor leads 2-1
After Logan Brown’s leadoff single, Baylor’s Lawton Langford pops up a bunt attempt that the hard-charging McBroom catches. Vance then benefits from his third double play of the afternoon, retiring Doe for the first time.
BOTTOM 5th: Baylor leads 2-1
Shaun Wood, inserted into right field for starter Brad Johnson, drew a leadoff walk, but Lewis continued handcuffing WVU by fanning Cam O’Brien and Jackson Cramer before Constantini popped up on the infield.
The lone hit for West Virginia remains Fleming’s first-inning homer. Lewis has five strikeouts and has thrown 76 pitches.
TOP 5th: Baylor leads 2-1
The home run bites Vance again, this time on a knee-high first-pitch breaking ball that Aaron Dodson lifted into the West Virginia bullpen in left-center. It was the third homer and 16th RBI of the season for Dodson, who came in hitting .219.
Vance followed up the dinger with two walks but escaped the jam when Nate Goodwin grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
BOTTOM 4th: Score tied 1-1
Lewis made Boyd and Fleming look bad on strikeouts before a fastball skimmed the left arm of McBroom. When Lewis tried to pick off McBroom (who has one stolen base this season), the throw was mishandled by first baseman Aaron Dobson and skipped into foul territory, allowing McBroom to go to third.
Alas, he was stranded there on Jacob Rice’s groundout.
TOP 4th: Score tied 1-1
Doe repaid Vance for the first-inning pickoff by ripping a solo shot into the left-field seats. It was the first Division I homer for Doe—a senior who transferred from the junior college ranks—and the third Vance has allowed in his last 12 1/3 innings.
Otherwise, Vance looked sharp, striking out two in the inning, giving him three for the day. His pitch-count stands at 50.
BOTTOM 3rd: WVU leads 1-0
After Cramer, Constantini and Munden go quietly in the third, West Virginia has scored in only four of 21 tournament innings. (Of course, one of those innings featured an eight-run snowman against Kansas.)
TOP 3rd: WVU leads 1-0
Though Vance hit Duncan Wendel with a pitch, a crisply executed 3-6 double play erased the threat. McBroom tagged first before making an on-the-money throw to second base to nip Wendel.
An ensuing groundout ended the frame, and kept Vance facing the minimum through three innings.
BOTTOM 2nd: WVU leads 1-0
Nothing stirring for West Virginia in the second inning as Lewis sets down Rice, Johnson and O’Brien in order.
The Baylor right-hander made 16 relief appearances this season before making starts in two late-season Big 12 series. He comes in having allowed 31 hits in 29 2/3 innings and owning a 15-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
TOP 2nd: WVU leads 1-0
According to the stadium radar display, Vance has touched 80 mph only once through two innings, but his soft-toss approach seems to be giving Baylor problems. They go 1-2-3 in the second inning as Vance throws 10 pitches.
BOTTOM 1st: WVU leads 1-0
Billy Fleming launched a two-out, 0-1 pitch from Lewis way, way, way out to left field for his second career homer (and his second in 12 days after going 144 college games without one).
His homer carried over the 350-foot sign and beyond the left-field bleachers before ricocheting off a 15-foot high video board. It was a blast worthy of occurring so close to Mickey Mantle Drive.
TOP 1st: Score tied 0-0
Vance retired the first two Baylor batters quickly before Brett Doe singled to left. That began a series of tosses toward first, on the fourth of which, Doe was caught leaning and easily picked off by the left-hander. Strange that Doe would be so aggressive, considering he was only 2-of-2 in stolen bases this season.
Vance threw 15 pitches in the inning, but he’s probably dealing with a flexible pitchcount, considering he has thrown 147 and 153 in two past starts.