GRANVILLE, W.Va. – The University of Oklahoma baseball team earned a split with No. 25 West Virginia, capped by a come-from-behind 3-1 win in game two, at Monongalia County Ballpark on Saturday afternoon. The Sooners (29-16, 7-7 Big 12) fell in the conclusion of game one, which was suspended on Friday night due to lightning, 4-2.
Game two was a pitcher's duel between OU sophomore right-hander Kyle Tyler (Oklahoma City) and WVU righty Alek Manoah. Tyler allowed just one run in 5.2 innings; a solo home run by Mountaineer left fielder Kyle Davis in the second. Manoah dealt for eight innings and needed just 63 pitches to get through the first six innings. The Sooners got the first two batters of the game to reach against him before he sat down 15 in a row. Manoah (0-1) took the loss with all three runs scored against him in the seventh.
With a runner at first and two down, sophomore designated hitter Brylie Ware (Sedgwick, Kan.) crushed a double to left to put two runners in scoring position. After a walk loaded the bases, junior second baseman Kyle Mendenhall (Carlsbad, Calif.) ripped a double past third into the left field corner to clear the bases and flip the game in favor of Oklahoma, 3-1.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Connor Berry (Sugar Land, Texas) took over for Tyler to finish the sixth inning. Berry (2-0), making his first appearance in nearly three weeks, went on to toss 1.1 innings of scoreless-relief to get the win with three strikeouts and one walk. Senior right-hander JB Olson (Shady Shores, Texas) entered for the eighth and went the rest of the way for his seventh save of the season.
In the opener, Oklahoma took a 2-1 lead into the day after the game was suspended due to lightning after the fifth on Friday night before falling, 4-2.
The game went into its first delay after the top of the fifth and was in a one-hour, 40-minute delay before play was resumed. Only one more half inning was played before a second stoppage was called for as lightning returned.
Sophomore right-hander Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) pitched the first four innings for Oklahoma and worked himself into and out of trouble in each inning. Ultimately, he allowed just one run and six hits and five strikeouts. Freshman RHP Nathan Wiles (Overland Park, Kan.) recorded three outs on the three batters faced in the fifth.
The Sooners struck for the first two runs of the night in the top of the third. Sophomore left fielder Cade Harris (Leona, Texas) smashed a triple to the track in dead center to score Mendenhall, who reached on a leadoff-hit-by-pitch. Senior third baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.) then lifted a sacrifice-fly to score Harris and double the OU lead.
The Mountaineers got a run back against Irvin in the third with a two-out rally, aided by a wild pitch. Wiles (4-3) returned to the mound for the sixth on Saturday and WVU got to him for two runs after loading the bases with nobody out. A double play tied the game and a single from second baseman Kyle Gray off of Olson.
Trailing by two heading to the ninth, the Sooners got the first two aboard with an error at third and the third hit of the game for senior right fielder Ben Hollas (Longview, Texas). Oklahoma loaded the bases with two gone before righty Braden Zarbnisky locked down his third save of the season.
Right-hander Sam Kessler (1-2) took the hill at the start of the day for the Mountaineers and earned the win in 2.2 innings of relief. On Friday, RHP BJ Myers lasted five innings in the start as he allowed two runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
Sunday's rubber-match is slated for 10:30 a.m. CT with OU junior right-hander Devon Perez (Ashburn, Va.) on the mound. Sportstalk 1400 AM/99.3 FM will join the game in progress at 11 a.m. The game can be heard in its entirety on the Oklahoma Sooners Sports Network channel on the TuneIn Radio app for mobile devices.