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May 6, 2013

Not so lonely at the top: Sooners’ loss to Mountaineers invites three-way tie atop Big 12

CHARLESTON, W.V. — Thanks to Sunday’s 9-6 loss to West Virginia, Oklahoma has company atop the Big 12 Conference standings.

The Mountaineers and Kansas State, which topped Texas Sunday, join the Sooners in a three-way tie with two weeks left in the regular season.

OU (34-14, 11-7 Big 12) opened the door by dropping two of three West Virginia (29-20, 11-7) games.

What happened to have been the Sooners’ strength all season — starting pitching — was its weakness Sunday. Billy Waltrip lasted just two innings, allowing six runs (only two earned) on five hits and walking four.

West Virginia inflicted the brunt of the damage in the second inning. Waltrip (2-3) hit designated hitter Matt Frazer with a pitch and loaded the bases after allowing a walk and bunt single. Shortstop Taylor Munden scored Frazer with a sacrifice fly to score the first of five runs WVU scored in the inning.

The next four West Virginia runs were unearned. With two outs, Brady Wilson reached base when a high chopper was

misplayed by OU shortstop Jack Mayfield. Bobby Boyd, Wilson, Jacob Rice and Ryan Tuntland would score before Billy Fleming grounded out.

The Sooners, who have now lost four of their last five games, actually outhit the Mountaineers, 16-11. Mayfield went 5 for 5 and drove in three runs. Matt Oberste had a 2-for-4 afternoon and drove in a run. But the Sooners left 13 on base and also committed four errors.

John Means (4-2) picked up the win for West Virginia. He allowed 11 hits, but gave up just two runs over six innings.

OU doesn’t play a midweek game this week due to finals. It returns to action 7 p.m. Friday at ONEOK Field in Tulsa for the first game of the Bedlam series against Oklahoma State.

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