West Virginia baseball’s trip to Waco got off to a sore start as the Mountaineers dropped their first game against Baylor, 6-3.
West Virginia held a solid lead until the eighth inning when Baylor rallied with a five-run eighth inning, finally getting a hold of starter Jackson Wolf after seven strong innings from the lefty.
While the Mountaineers led by two heading into the eighth, Wolf gave up a pair of singles (the second of which came on a defensive communication) followed by a hit batsman to load up the bases. Andy Thomas got the scoring going with an RBI single, which prompted WVU skipper Randy Mazey to put Jacob Watters on the mound. He gave up a pair of hits as well, including a triple from Davion Downey to clear the bases and bump Baylor’s run total to six.
That eighth inning was not indicative of Wolf’s full performance, however — in fact, he was en route to another gem. In his first seven innings of work, he gave up just one earned run on three hits, while striking out seven. Without an out in the eighth, though, he finished with five earned runs on six hits in 7.0 innings and the loss.
Wolf’s strong start gave the Mountaineers the momentum they needed to hold the lead for seven innings. WVU got to Baylor starter Tyler Thomas, who allowed a trio of earned runs on seven hits, forcing the Bears to switch to Ryan Leckich, the eventual winner. Luke Boyd earned the save with two strikeouts in an inning of work.
WVU’s offensive showing was led at the top of the order. Tyler Doanes and Mikey Kluska, the one and two hitters, each nabbed a pair of hits, while Kluska drove home an RBI with a single in the fourth inning.
An inning later, Kevin Brophy put the Mountaineers square in front with a two-run home run, his team-high sixth of the season.
Thomas, Jack Pineda and Jared McKenzie all added a pair of hits to the Bears’ winning effort, while Thomas added a pair of RBIs and a steal.
West Virginia has two more chances to take wins in Waco on Saturday and Sunday. Game two gets started Saturday at 4 p.m. and will feature WVU lefty Adam Tulloch squaring off against Baylor righty Blake Helton. That contest will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.