The University of Oklahoma baseball team was shutout by West Virginia, 7-0, at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Thursday evening. The Sooners fell to 24-15 overall and 4-6 in the Big 12, while the Mountaineers went to 18-15 and 3-6.
WVU scored five runs in the top of the first on six hits, including a two-run double to the left field corner by left fielder Jacob Rice. Sophomore right-hander Corey Copping settled down after that and retired eight in a row before allowing a two-out single in the fourth.
"Look at Texas last Friday. We're chasing six," opened coach Pete Hughes. "We chased five here and the conditions aren't very offensive tonight. The wind is blowing in and you have a really good lefty on the mound. You have to be super disciplined and scratch some runs off of him. When a kid is that settled in and you are chasing five it feels like a lot more than a five-run lead. We can talk all we want about the first inning, but we have to score one run to win a game and we didn't do that."
Copping (2-1) matched a career-high with seven innings pitched and set a new career-high with six strikeouts. He allowed six runs, all earned, on 13 hits without walking a single batter.
Left-hander John Means (5-1) tossed eighth-scoreless innings for the Mountaineers. He scattered seven hits and one walk, while striking out six.
Behind the plate, junior catcher Mac James terrorized WVU base runners. He threw out three potential base stealers and picked off a runner off first.
"Mac had a plus arm back there. He kept playing the game back there too and he played it at a super high speed despite what the score was. Those are things that I look at in those situations. How our guys react to being down 5-0 in the first and energy level and tempo. (Taylor) Alspaugh is another kid who played hard all game long."
Oklahoma totaled seven hits on the day, left five runners on base and hit into four double plays.
Redshirt-junior right fielder Taylor Alspaugh went 2-for-3 and freshman designated hitter Austin O'Brien added a 2-for-4 day.
For West Virginia, second baseman Billy Fleming and center fielder Bobby Boyd each went 3-for-5. Fleming added two RBI as did designated hitter Jackson Cramer, who went 3-for-3.
Freshman righty Alec Hansen struck out two over two innings of relief for OU. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and a walk.
The Sooners and Mountaineers are in action for game two of the series Friday night at 6:00 pm. Redshirt-sophomore Adam Choplick takes on reigning Big 12 Pitcher of the Year Harrison Musgrave in a battle of left-handed starters.