First inning homers and Wolf’s 11 strikeouts lift West Virginia over Oklahoma

Gold and Blue Nation

West Virginia is back in the Big 12 win column.

The Mountaineers opened their series with Oklahoma with an early burst of offense for a 7-1 victory at Monongalia County Ballpark on Friday, West Virginia’s first conference win in six games.

A pair of first inning homers — one over the fence, and one inside the park — were enough for the victory, but it was solidified by a strong seven-inning game from starting pitcher Jackson Wolf.

Wolf (4-5) earned the win, allowing just three hits and an unearned run as he struck out 11 Sooners on the night. This contest was his third straight double-digit strikeout game of the season, and that total tied his season-high, which was set in his previous start.

“Everything was working good and I felt very comfortable out on the mound,” Wolf said.

West Virginia got the offense it needed almost immediately. With two outs on the board, Paul McIntosh opened the scoring with a solo home run — his second in two games — that soared over the video board in left center. Nathan Blasick added another trio of runs three batters later when he rounded the bases for an inside-the-park homer, sending Hudson Byorick and Alec Burns across the plate ahead of him.

“Paul has been that way since he’s been here. The first half of the season, he’s just kind of feeling his way through it, and the second half of the season, he usually gets really hot,” said WVU skipper Randy Mazey. “He’s standing in there and seeing the ball really good right now.”

WVU added two more runs in the second off RBIs from Matt McCormick and Byorick. McIntosh capped the scoring off in the seventh, reaching home on a wild pitch.

All of WVU’s runs came at the hands of starter Wyatt Olds (3-5), who took the loss. The sophomore righty gave the Sooners 6.2 innings of work, striking out eight batters but allowing six hits and seven runs — six of which were earned. Ben Abram and Javier Ramos finished the contest out, tossing the last 1.1 innings without giving up a run.

Noah Short was the sole bullpen arm for West Virginia, closing out the last two innings without allowing a hit, with two strikeouts.

McIntosh and Byorick each had a pair of hits and an RBI for West Virginia, while both of McIntosh’s went form extra bases. Blasick’s sole hit of the night was his homer, which was good for three RBIs.

Connor McKenna’s fourth inning single was the only RBI for Oklahoma, as he sent Jimmy Crooks across the plate to break the shutout. McKenna, Diego Muniz and Justin Mitchell were the only Sooners to log a hit on the night.

The series is set to close with a double-header on Saturday starting at 3 p.m. The first contest is set for a matchup between WVU lefty Jake Carr (1-4, 10.09 ERA) and OU lefty Jake Bennett (3-3, 6.46 ERA), followed by another lefty showdown between WVU’s Ben Hampton (3-1, 3.72 ERA) and OU’s Braden Carmichael (5-1, 4.41 ERA).

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