Baseball, WVU Sports

Texas pounds No. 6 WVU to win series, but Mountaineers clinch share of first Big 12 title

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s nightmare at Texas continued, but the No. 6 Mountaineers still clinched at least a share of their first-ever Big 12 baseball title, thanks to Oklahoma.

Texas hit three home runs over the first two innings and then added one more to secure a series victory against WVU with a 10-4 win Friday in front of 7,015 fans inside UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

But, Oklahoma’s 5-0 victory against No. 25 Oklahoma State meant the Mountaineers can’t be overtaken in the Big 12 standings, although there is much to be settled in determining who will be the No. 1 seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament.


Texas (37-18, 14-9 Big 12) has slugged eight home runs and scored 22 runs in winning the first two games, which now has the Longhorns just one game back of the Mountaineers (39-15, 15-8) in the conference standings.

The final game of the series — and the final game of the regular season — is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

It will be a game with so much on the line for both schools, as well as Oklahoma State.

The only thing settled Friday was Kansas State being eliminated from a possible four-way tie at the top of the Big 12 after an 8-1 loss against TCU.

To set up the drama, here’s where everything stands: Texas and Oklahoma State could both catch WVU in the standings with wins Saturday.

In the case of a three-way tie, the Longhorns will earn the No. 1 seed, while Oklahoma State would be No. 2 and WVU would be the third seed.

If Oklahoma State loses again to the Sooners, the Big 12 title and No. 1 seed comes down to Saturday’s winner between Texas and WVU.

In that scenario, if the Mountaineers win, they are the outright conference champ and No. 1 seed, with Texas falling to the No. 3 seed. If Texas wins, it ties WVU for the title, but would earn the No. 1 seed, and WVU would be the No. 2 seed.

The Big 12 tournament starts Wednesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

As for Friday’s loss, WVU starter Blaine Traxel (7-5) struggled, allowing three home runs before he recorded his fifth out of the game.

He did settle down some but allowed another run in the fourth when Porter Brown scored Dylan Campbell with a single.

Traxel — the nation’s leader with five complete games — lasted five innings. He allowed eight runs on nine hits and a walk.

Campbell, Jared Thomas, Peyton Powell and Eric Kennedy all hit home runs for the Longhorns.

Meanwhile, WVU hitters were overpowered again by Texas’ pitching.

Texas starter Lebarron Johnson (7-2) went just 5 1/3 innings, but earned the win after striking out 11, while allowing two runs on just five hits.

WVU hitters have struck out 23 times over the two games, including 13 times on Friday.

Caleb McNeely hit two doubles for the Mountaineers and pinch hitter Sam White drove in two runs in the ninth inning with a single. Texas has won five out of its last six games against the Mountaineers.

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