OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- West Virginia's improbable baseball season continued Saturday night, but only for a few hours.
The Mountaineers rallied from a 5-0 deficit to beat Oklahoma State, 6-5 in 10 innings, Saturday on the final day of pool play in the Big 12 tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Leftfielder Jacob Rice's single in the 10th scored Bobby Boyd with the walk-off winning run.
But as it turned out, that wasn't enough to get the third-seeded Mountaineers (33-26) into today's 2 p.m. tournament title game against fourth-seeded Oklahoma. A few hours after WVU finished off Oklahoma State, Kansas blanked TCU, 4-0, to win the pool and advance to the title game.
Sixth-seeded Kansas won the pool with a 3-0 mark, including WVU's only loss in the event, 7-2 on Thursday night. West Virginia's only chance to advance was if No. 7 seed TCU won to make WVU, KU and TCU all 2-1. In that event the third-seeded Mountaineers would have won the trip to the title game because it was the highest seed among the three.
Still, what the Mountaineers accomplished in their first trip through the Big 12 and its tournament was fairly remarkable, finishing as the No. 3 seed after being unanimously picked to finish last in the preseason. And Saturday's win over Oklahoma State fit right into that storyline.
The game ended after WVU wasted a leadoff double by first baseman Ryan McBroom in the ninth, tied at 5-5. But West Virginia took advantage of Boyd's leadoff single in the 10th. After Billy Fleming bunted Boyd into scoring position, Rice singled to right and Boyd just beat the tag to score the winning run.
That West Virginia was even in position to win the game was rather remarkable. The Mountaineers needed a five-run sixth inning to wipe out a 5-0 deficit and needed three double plays to avoid falling behind by more.
Trailing 5-0 after bumbling through five errors in the first 51/2 innings, West Virginia had managed only two base runners against Mark Robinette, who had retired 13 straight going into the sixth. When he walked the No. 9 hitter, shortstop Michael Constantini, it didn't seem of much concern because he immediately got Boyd and Fleming.
But then it happened. Rice got WVU's first hit since the first inning on a bunt, then a wild pitch advanced both Constantini and Rice. Ryan Tuntland followed with a single to score both runners, then McBroom blasted his Big 12-leading 12th home run of the season to leftfield to make it 4-0. After falling behind 0-2, Brady Wilson then followed with a solo home run to left to tie the score and mark the first back-to-back home runs in Big 12 tournament play since 1997.