West Virginia whips Texas 12-6 in fond farewell to Hawley Field

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Enjoying their final game on a field that could soon become a parking lot, the West Virginia Mountaineers sang “Country Roads” and celebrated with fans after a highly satisfying accomplishment: Beating No. 19 Texas.

Leadoff man Taylor Munden homered and drove in three runs, and Ryan McBroom produced a three-hit performance on Senior Day, boosting West Virginia to a 12-6 series-clinching win that wrote the final chapter for Hawley Field.

It also marked the second straight season the Mountaineers took a series from the vaunted Longhorns (34-15, 11-10), the most illustrious program in the Big 12.

“We’ve got a lot of kids from Texas who don’t like Texas because they didn’t get to go there,” said reliever Pascal Paul, who got five outs to bridge the gap between starter John Means and closer Sean Carley.

With 2,237 fans on hand Sunday, the three-game weekend total of 5,413 represented the most for a series at the Hawley Field, whose 44-year run is ending as the university constructs a new off-campus ballpark.

When second-year coach Randy Mazey absorbed the atmosphere and saw fans covering the hillside along the left-field line, he admitted reflecting, “Look how far we’ve come in such a short period of time.”

The same could be said for Mazey’s current team, which won its third straight Big 12 series to make a distant memory of a seven-game midseason losing streak and stay in prime position for the program’s first NCAA regional bid since 1996. West Virginia’s RPI stood at No. 21 after the win.

Freshman designated hitter Jackson Cramer had three hits and Billy Fleming added two more, part of a 14-hit attack for the Mountaineers (26-17, 9-8), who hit .330 this weekend against a Texas staff that’s holding opponents 100 points below that mark.

“We got a lot of hits off some great pitching,” Mazey said.

Longhorns starter Lukas Schiraldi (6-3) was the victim Sunday, leaving with none out in the third inning and WVU leading 5-2.

The Mountaineers struck for four more in the fourth against Morgan Cooper. And though Texas touched up Means to pull within 9-5 in the fifth, WVU countered with three in the bottom half. Two of those came on Munden’s second homer of the season before McBroom grounded a two-out single to left.

McBroom, after coming up empty in two run-producing situations Saturday, made amends 24 hours later by driving in two runs and increasing his team-leading RBI total to 42.

“We had a special day,” he said.

Means (6-1) allowed 11 hits over 6 1/3 innings, though only three go his six runs were earned. He struck out three, walked three and threw 102 pitches.

After Paul finished off the seventh inning and added a scoreless eighth, Mazey turned to Carley despite a six-run lead.

“With the wind blowing out in a game like this, you never feel good about it until the last out is recorded,” Mazey said.

West Virginia will host Virginia Tech (19-27) on Tuesday night at 1,700-seat Hunnicutt Field in Princeton, W.Va. The school announced Sunday the game is a sellout.

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