Lightning strikes twice before Texas strikes back in Game 1

West Virginia’s Brandon White connects on a first-inning triple in Friday’s 11-6 loss to No. 19 Texas.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After lightning twice delayed Friday night’s series opener, No. 19 Texas provide some electricity of its own to post an 11-6 comeback win over West Virginia.

The Longhorns (30-15, 12-4 Big 12) scored eight runs over the final three innings, badgering the Mountaineers’ bullpen after BJ Myers departed with a 6-3 lead. Freshman Matthew Whelan (1-0) closed out the game for Texas with four no-hit innings in which he fanned seven of the 12 batters he faced.

Ivan Gonzalez had a two-run single in the fifth and Darius Hill’s RBI single in the sixth extended his hitting streak to 14 games. But just when West Virginia (20-19, 4-9) seemed primed to beat Texas for the fifth straight time in Morgantown dating back to 2014, reliever Sam Kessler hit two batters to start the seventh.

After an infield error loaded the bags, Braden Zarbnisky (2-3) came on to pitch and allowed four straight hits, including Ryan Reynolds’ ground-rule double. Texas scored six times in the inning to surge ahead 9-6.

Reynolds went 4-for-5 and tacked on an RBI single in the eighth before Mason Hibbeler hit a ninth-inning solo homer off Christian Young.

Myers fired three sharp innings before a 51-minute lightning delay struck with WVU leading 2-0. He returned and threw only six pitches before another delay stopped play again for 36 minutes.

This time Myers encountered two-out trouble that began when he squandered an 0-2 count by walking Todd Austin. David Hamilton skipped a triple into left-center and Reynolds blooped a single to square the game at 2-2.

Myers allowed one hit before the stoppages and seven in three innings afterward.

West Virginia needed only five pitches to break through against Horns right-hander Nolan Kingham when Zarbnisky singled to star the first and Brandon White followed with an RBI triple to left-center.

Kyle Gray’s single in the third inning gave him a 15-game hitting streak and put runners on the corners, prefacing Kingham’s errant pickoff throw that handed WVU a 2-0 edge.

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