WACO, Texas — West Virginia collected nine hits only to be thwarted by two double plays, a picked-off runner and another who was caught stealing during a 5-1 loss at No. 10 Baylor on Sunday.
The Mountaineers completed the weekend 10-8 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12, having clinched the series by winning the opening two games 7-1 and 6-5.
Kameron Esthay hit his fourth homer, a three-run shot that chased WVU starter Conner Dotson (3-2) with one out in the fifth. Dotson allowed five runs on six hits, struck out four and walked five.
Baylor’s Cody Bradford (3-1) scattered seven hits over 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and lowering his ERA to 2.38.
“Actually, this was one of our best games we’ve played all season offensively,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “We had nine hits and hit the ball really hard all day long against a pitcher that nobody else has hit. I’m encouraged by the offense today, even though we obviously didn’t get the result.
“To come down here and win the series, the first series of the year and on the road, says a lot about our team.”
Sophomore designated hitter Marques Inman went 3-for-4, while Jackson Cramer had two hits. Third baseman Cole Austin had one hit to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.
WVU scored in the seventh on Darius Hill’s sac-fly.
That was all the freshman left-hander Bradford allowed, despite registering just two strikeouts.
“Cody’s ability to come from a different angle from the left side and be able to throw fastballs in and fastballs away and mix in a couple breaking balls — that’s what he does,” said Baylor coach Steve Rodriguez. “He throws strikes with each of those pitches, and as a hitter you have to respect all of his pitches.”
The Bears (16-4, 1-2), off to their best 20-game start since 2000, took their first lead of the series on a first-inning solo homer by Shea Langeliers, his third. Baylor added a sac-fly for a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
Following Dotson, freshman right-handers Kade Strowd, Sam Kessler and Alek Manoah combined to throw 3 2/3 shutout innings.