NORMAN, Okla. — Tanner Witt’s two-out RBI single completed a two-run eighth inning as Kansas State came from behind to defeat No. 24 Oklahoma, 8-7, Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
With the win, K-State improved to 14-12 overall and 3-5 in Big 12 play and will look for its first Big 12 series win Sunday afternoon. The Sooners fell to 17-11 on the year and 3-5 in league action.
The victory came in the Wildcats’ first one-run game of the year after 23 a year ago, while it was just the first victory this year when trailing after the seventh inning.
K-State jumped out to leads of 4-0 and 6-3, but a four-run OU fifth inning – which was boosted by an opposite field three-run homer by Hunter Lockwood – gave the Sooners a 7-6 lead.
Following a pair of scoreless frames, Jon Davis started the eighth-inning rally with a one-out double down the right-field line and the junior moved to third when OU right-fielder Cody Reine couldn’t field the ball cleanly. Jake Brown was next and laid down a successful squeeze bunt to tie the game at 7-7.
Ross Kivett followed and was hit by the third pitch he saw before stealing second base during Witt’s at-bat to put the go-ahead run into scoring position. Witt worked the count to 3-1 before singling through the right side of the infield to give K-State its one-run advantage.
Freshman Nate Williams came out of the bullpen in the ninth and worked around a one-out hit batter to pick up his third save of the season and second in as many weekends.
“When you compete like that, win or lose, you can still talk about the game,” head coach Brad Hill said. “Yesterday, we couldn’t talk about it because when you don’t show up, there’s nothing to talk about. Win or lose, give me today’s effort every time and we’ll take our chances.”
Gerardo Esquivel (2-1) gave up the three-run shot to Lockwood that put Oklahoma on top, 7-6, but the right-hander retired nine of the final 11 batters he faced, including a stretch of nine straight, before handing the game over to Williams.
Oklahoma reliever Steven Okert (3-3) suffered the loss by allowing the two eighth-inning runs. He finished the game with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings of work.
Kansas State, which recorded six two-out RBI in the contest, saw four players record two-hit games, including Witt, Davis, Jared King and Blair DeBord. DeBord, who drove in three runs, turned a one-run lead into a 6-3 contest in the fifth with his first home run of the year, a two-run shot over the left-field wall.
“We had been lacking two-out RBI for the last three or four games,” Hill said. “To me, one of the biggest things was after two bad at-bats in the fifth, Matt Giller steps up, takes a depth breath, hits a base hit through the middle and gives Blair an opportunity for the two-run homer. He gets the base hit, and then all of a sudden, we get a mistake and Blair hits it out. That’s what senior mature is.”
The Wildcats jumped on the Sooners early with two runs in the second inning thanks to RBI singles by Dan Klein and Brown, while DeBord followed a Matt Giller sacrifice fly in the third with a run-scoring double to make the score 4-3.
The Sooners were paced offensively by Lockwood’s 2-for-5 day with five RBI, including a two-run double in the fourth inning that began a three-run frame. Caleb Bushyhead, who also had two hits, followed with a RBI single. Jack Mayfield drove in a run on a single in the fifth.
The rubber match between the Wildcats and Sooners is slated for a 1 p.m., first pitch Sunday at L. Dale Mitchell Park. K-State is expected to start right-hander Kayvon Bahramzadeh, while OU will counter with right-hander Jonathan Gray.
OKLAHOMA 5, K-STATE 1
NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma’s Jordan John surrendered a Kansas State run in the first inning but shut down the Wildcats over the final eight frames as the 24th-ranked Sooners picked up a 5-1 win Friday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
With the win, the Sooners improved to 17-10 on the year and 3-4 in Big 12 play. K-State, which fell to 13-12 overall and 2-5 in conference action, dropped its first Big 12 series-opener of the year against a ranked opponent as it defeated No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 21 Texas the previous two weeks.
John (4-4) allowed a two-out RBI single to Wade Hinkle in the first inning, but he gave up just two hits over the next seven frames. The left-hander, who picked up his first career complete game, struck out 11 batters, the most by a single pitcher against the Wildcats since 2009.
K-State tried to mount a comeback in the ninth inning as a consecutive one-out hits put runners on second and third with the tying run on the on-deck circle. However, John came back with his 10th and 11th strikeouts of the evening to end the contest.