West Virginia again got off to a rough start in its second game against Texas at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, Texas, but the night ended with a positive note.
Despite falling to the Longhorns 10-4 on Friday, the No. 6 Mountaineers claimed at least a share of their first-ever Big 12 regular-season title with Oklahoma State’s loss to Oklahoma.
After WVU (39-15 overall, 15-8 Big 12) fell 12-2 to the Longhorns (37-18, 14-9) on Thursday in the series opener, the start Friday looked much more promising.
Landon Wallace gave the Mountaineers an early lead with a solo home run in the first, but it didn’t last long.
The Longhorns scored a combined seven runs in the first and second innings, hit four more homers after tallying four in the opener and again finished with a convincing win over the Mountaineers.
Dylan Campbell tied the game with an RBI ground-rule double in the bottom of the first and Garrett Guillemette gave the Longhorns the lead with a sacrifice fly. Eric Kennedy added a two-run homer to make it a 4-1 game after an inning.
Jared Thomas cracked a two-run blast and Campbell hit a solo homer in the second to make it a 7-1 lead.
Braden Barry drove home WVU’s second run in the third, but the Mountaineers struggled to catch up from there as Texas kept piling on the runs.
Porter Brown hit an RBI single in the fourth, Peyton Powell added a solo shot in the sixth and Jack O’Dowd posted a run-scoring single in the seventh to make it a 10-2 game.
WVU tallied two more runs on a single from Sam White in the ninth, but the deficit was too much to overcome as the Longhorns closed out the 10-4 win.
Lebarron Johnson earned the win in the start, allowing just two runs on five hits and two walks in 5⅓ innings. He struck out 11 Mountaineers. Ace Whitehead threw 2⅔ innings, allowing two runs, and Heston Tole and David Shaw combined to record the final three outs.
Blaine Traxel took the loss after allowing eight runs in five innings. He gave up nine hits, a walk and hit two batters. He had three strikeouts. Keegan Allen allowed two runs -- one earned -- in 1⅔ innings, and Kevin Dowdell and Noah Short combined to throw the final 1⅓ innings without allowing a run.
The Mountaineers entered the series needing a win or an Oklahoma State loss at Oklahoma to claim at least a share of the league title. The Cowboys fell 5-0 to the Sooners on Friday in Norman, Oklahoma. Texas can clinch a share with another win Saturday in the series finale, but Kansas State -- which also entered the week with an opportunity to claim a share with a sweep of TCU -- fell 8-1 on Friday to fall out of that race. WVU can still claim the title outright with a win Saturday.
The series finale between WVU and Texas is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Austin.