May 8, 2016
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University baseball team swept Texas with a 9-5 victory as the offense stayed hot on Sunday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
In the three-game series sweep, the Mountaineers (27-19, 11-9 Big 12) outscored the Longhorns (21-27, 9-12) 34-14 and out-hit them 38-22. WVU posted a .369 batting average to UT’s .218. West Virginia’s bullpen held Texas to one run on four hits in 9.1 innings, while WVU scored 14 runs on 18 hits off the UT bullpen in 13 innings.
“We took away the strength of their team, their three starting pitchers are as good as anyone in the league,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “We scored early in all three games, so that neutralized everything that they’re about, the way we came out and took the game to them. (Aside from the first two innings Friday, there wasn’t) any point this entire weekend where we didn’t have a lead. That enables you to be looser, a little more aggressive. That was a great weekend for us.”
It was the third three-game sweep in Big 12 Conference play for WVU since joining the league in 2013. It is West Virginia’s fourth sweep of the year, along with a three-game sweep at UNLV (Feb. 26-28), a two-game sweep at Kansas (March 25-26) and a sweep of the season series against in-state rival Marshall (April 5 and 27).
“It’s hard to put into words where we are right now,” added Mazey “When we joined the Big 12 four years ago, I think everybody was holding their breath, waiting to see how this whole thing was going to go with the baseball program. I think right now, people can look around and say ‘we belong in this league.’ We’re beating some of the most storied traditions in all of college baseball. We’re just getting started. There are a lot bigger things ahead for Mountaineer baseball.”
Dotson was making his first start of the season and eighth of his career. While he allowed five runs, four of them earned, on seven hits in 6.0 innings, he recovered nicely from a three-run third inning with a scoreless fifth and sixth. He earned his fifth win of the season.
Texas answered with a run in the top of the second, but the Mountaineers responded right back with four runs in the bottom half.
WVU took a 7-1 lead into the third inning when Texas’ Zane Gurwitz launched a three-run home run to cut the lead to 7-4. UT added another run in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to trim the West Virginia advantage to 7-5.
The Mountaineers would not let the Longhorns to get any closer and answered in the bottom of the fourth. Hill doubled, and with two outs scored on Cramer’s single up the middle.
After Dotson held UT off the scoreboard in the fifth and sixth innings, WVU added a run in the bottom half of the sixth, the final tally of the game. Cramer again drove in Hill with a single after the freshman singled with two outs.
With a 9-5 lead, Dotson’s day was over and the bullpen was called into action. Once again, it stepped up in a big way.
Junior righty Jackson entered in the seventh inning with a runner on and no outs. Making his third appearance of the series, Sigman retired the first three batters he faced to get out of the inning. In the eighth, a runner reached on an error, but that was it. In 2.0 innings, Sigman did not allow a hit and struck out one.