STILLWATER, Okla. – West Virginia had a series victory in its sights, but No. 24 Oklahoma State scored nine unanswered runs to win 9-5 on Saturday.
West Virginia (18-12, 3-5 Big 12) jumped out to a 5-0 lead, knocking Cowboys starter Joe Lienhard from the game after four innings. Oklahoma State (19-10, 6-2) had all the late offense, though, taking the lead and running away with the game with a five-run eighth-inning rally.
Colin Simpson’s two-out grand slam off of WVU closer Sam Kessler (1-2) was the tiebreaker and the backbreaker. Simpson deposited the first pitch he saw from Kessler over the right-field wall to give Oklahoma State its first lead.
West Virginia used a combination of small ball and the long ball to get up early. Tevin Tucker and Austin Davis provided back-to-back RBI singles, and Tucker scampered home on a wild pitch in a three-run second inning.
Kevin Brophy’s two-run shot in the fourth was his seventh homer of the year for the Mountaineers, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped.
Things began falling apart in the sixth as two West Virginia errors allowed the Cowboys to score three unearned runs off of Mountaineer starter Jackson Wolf. The lefthander settled for a no-decision after allowing just one earned run on eight hits and seven strikeouts in his seven innings.
Logan Gragg (1-2) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win for Oklahoma State.
The rubber game of the series is Sunday.