Oklahoma evened its series with West Virginia in an 11-inning thriller, just holding the Mountaineers off for an 8-7 victory in Morgantown.
The visitor’s bullpen in left field was used as a baseball depository in the opening game of the double-header as the two clubs combined for five home runs — all of which went over the fence in left. Oklahoma’s Jimmy Crooks gave the Sooners the last laugh, however, with a two-run shot in the eleventh to give his team the final lead.
Peyton Graham of OU put the first run on the board with his own solo shot, sending just the second pitch he saw from WVU starter Jake Carr over the fence in left field.
West Virginia answered in the bottom of the first, taking advantage of Sooner starter Jake Bennett for four runs on five hits, with RBI hits from Paul McIntosh and Hudson Byorick. Alec Burns followed that up with a two-run homer over the left field fence.
Oklahoma took the lead back with a pair of two-run innings in the fourth and the sixth, adding one more insurance run in the eighth to build a two-run lead. It wasn’t enough insurance, howver, as WVU’s Austin Davis poked a home run in the eighth, setting up the game-tying dinger from Burns to send it to extra innings.
After Crooks’s go-ahead homer in the eleventh, West Virginia attempted to mount a comeback with no outs and the bases loaded, but just one run was not enough to make up the two-run deficit imposed by Crooks.
The homer in the eleventh was the only hit for the designated hitter, but four other Sooners — Graham, Braxton Borohfen, Justin Mitchell and Breydon Daniel — each knocked two. Mitchell also added a pair of RBIs.
Burns had his first two-homer game for West Virginia, knocking in a trio of RBIs. Byorick, McIntosh and Davis each had a multi-hit game as well.
Jaret Godman (1-2) got the win with an inning of work, but reliever Jason Ruffcorn put in most of the work on the day as he took the rubber from the struggling Bennett. Ruffcorn worked for 7.1 innings and gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out seven. Luke Taggart got the save after an inning on the mound.
Madison Jeffery (2-1) took the loss after tossing for 1.2 innings, allowing a hit and the two winning runs in the eleventh. Carr gave WVU five innings to start the contest, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out eight.
The series will close with game two of the double-header on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.