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Oklahoma Holds On With 4-3 Win In Series Opener Over West Virginia

Two of the best squared off on the mound as Oklahoma's Johnathan Gray, leader in Big 12 strikeouts and ERA, was paired against West Virginia's Harrison Musgrave, the national pitcher of the week from two weeks ago.

Friday's Big 12 Scores

West Virginia

3

Oklahoma

4

Appalachian Power Park; Charleston, W. Va.

10 INN

Kansas

3

Baylor

2

Lawrence, Kan.

-

Texas Tech

5

Oklahoma State

2

Lubbock, Texas

-

Texas

2

Kansas State

3

Austin, Texas

-

Southern California

9

TCU

3

Los Angeles, Calif.

-

The duo found themselves in a bit of a dual as the score was tied 2-2 after three innings. After getting off to a rough start, Gray gave up a season high nine hits that allowed three runs in eight innings of work to only six strikeouts. His counterpart, Musgrave looked like his usual self and gave the Mountaineers a one run lead heading into the eighth inning.

Had Musgrave pitched a complete game, we may have been looking at a different outcome but each starter was over 100 pitches in the seventh inning. The decision was made to pull him in favor of Corey Walter. In the top of the eighth, Walter gave up a run to equal the output of three runs a piece.

Oklahoma followed suit and pulled Gray after the eighth for Jacob Evans, a reliable closer, and close he did. Evans gave up a single hit to West Virginia without a run scored in three innings of work which allowed the Oklahoma bats to put the pressure on the home team as the game went into extra innings.

After being in control for most of the game, the Mountaineers and Walter faced a relentless Craig Aiken. With the game on the line, Aiken fouled off four consecutive 2-2 pitches. Finally he connected with a hit to the shortstop that forced the fielder to make a choice. The play resulted in an out at second as Garrett Carey crossed the plate for the game-winning run.

With the win and the Baylor loss, the Sooners find themselves with some breathing room in the conference standings. As of late, the Bears have made a push to regain the top standing over Oklahoma. Of course, OU remains the favorite to win the conference regular season but in a race this close, you never want to drop a series.

Kansas St. is the other team looking to give Oklahoma a run for their money. The meeting between the two teams in the last series of the season could decide who wins the conference outright.