Final: Oklahoma 5, West Virginia 3. pic.twitter.com/S3ejvBhko6— Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) April 19, 2014
Just like the old westerns, the Sooners and Mountaineers will settle their score once and for all on the high plains at Noon on Saturday. Less than twenty-four hours after being shutout in the series opener, Oklahoma evened the series with a 5-3 win on Friday.
West Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Jacob Rice scored on a Brad Johnson sacrifice grounder to second base. Unlike Thursday night, the Sooners would have an answer this time in the form of Craig Aikin. He delivered a two-out triple in the bottom of the second scored Josh Ake, who had doubled in the previous at bat, and then came home to give OU a 3-2 lead when Taylor Alspaugh singled through the right side in the next at bat.
The Mountaineers would tie the game up, 2-2, and it would stay that way until the fifth when Mac James scored Sheldon Neuse on a sacrifice fly to center field. That wouldn't be the last we hear from James though.
With the game once again tied up, 3-3 this time, James stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 8th with Neuse already on first after a lead-off single. Facing an 0-1 pitch, he lifted the ball over the left field wall for a two-run blast to put Oklahoma up by the final score of 5-3.
"That was big. That's what you want from your four-hole hitter in the bottom of the eighth," Coach Hughes said about Mac James who is potentially setting himself up for Big Twelve weekly award with his play this weekend. After making a put out at home plate and thrown out three base runners trying to steal second on Thursday, James made his presence known on the offensive side Friday.
Adam Choplick won't get credit for the win but he sure was instrumental. The 6-8 sophomore fanned six West Virginia batters and gave up three runs over his career-high seven innings pitched. After the struggles Oklahoma's starting pitching faced in the opener on Thursday night, Choplick's performance was a welcome relief. The Mountaineers scored five runs in the top of the first on Thursday but were held to just three runs total on Friday.
The win also ended a four-game conference losing streak that started a week ago when they were swept by the Texas Longhorns.