STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State scored two runs in the eighth inning to complete a four-run comeback as the Cowboys edged Kansas State, 7-6, Saturday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
With the win, OSU improved to 27-10 on the year and 7-6 in Big 12 play, while the Wildcats fell to 27-13 overall and 6-5 in league play.
After both teams scored two runs in the second inning, K-State plated four in the third to take a 6-2 lead. However, Oklahoma State came back with three in the fifth inning. Randy McCurry began the scoring with two-out infield single with the bases loaded. On the play, Austin Fisher tried to throw out Tanner Krietemeier at second base, but his throw went into right field as another run scored.
Krietemeier tried to score on the play, but K-State right-fielder Jon Davis threw him out at the plate. However, obstruction was called on second baseman Ross Kivett, which allowed the third run to come across as OSU got to within one and captured the momentum.
Following a scoreless sixth and seventh inning, Zach Fish hit a two-out, two-strike fastball off Gerardo Esquivel (0-2) over the wall in center field to tie the game at six. Esquivel was unable to limit the damage as Trey Whaley immediately doubled off the right-hander.
K-State went to the bullpen to bring in Jared Moore. Moore proceeded to walk pinch-hitter Corey Hassel before Saulyer Saxon lined the eventual game-winning hit into left field.
K-State, which tallied 13 hits for a second straight game, didn’t do itself any favors offensively as the Wildcats were shut out after their four-run third inning. During that stretch against Kenton Bevacqua and Vince Wheeland (8-0), K-State stranded seven of its 10 base runners. K-State had an opportunity to extend its one-run lead in the seventh inning when it loaded the bases with one out, but an infield fly and a out on a bunt attempt by Kivett ended the frame.
“We didn’t finish again today,” KSU coach Brad Hill said. “We got up and didn’t score for six innings. That can’t happen. We were into their bullpen. Give their bullpen credit, but we didn’t finish today. We couldn’t do it offensively, and then the big innings happen. We gave up mistakes and panicked in different situations.”
Wheeland earned his eighth victory of the season by allowing just one hit in 2 2/3 innings.
K-State starter Matt Wivinis could not make it out of the fifth inning despite being given a four-run advantage. However, the Wildcat bullpen held the lead through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Levi MaVorhis worked around three hits in two scoreless innings before Esquivel finished off the seventh with a strikeout and produced a double play in the eighth before giving up the game-tying homer.
“I thought we pitched well enough today,” Hill said. “We just didn’t put them away from an offensive standpoint. Gerardo was outstanding. He just made one mistake against a guy that can hit one out.”
Davis tied his career high with four hits, including two doubles, as he hit a RBI double in the second and a run-scoring single in the third. The other second-inning run scored on a passed ball.
The first three Wildcats reached in the third inning, including a RBI double by Shane Conlon and a RBI single up the middle by Jared King. Following a sacrifice bunt and Davis’ single, Blair DeBord hit a sacrifice fly to right field, completing the four-run inning.
Fisher and Tanner Witt also added multi-hit games with two hits apiece.
K-State concludes its weekend series at Oklahoma State today with a 1 p.m. contest at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. The game will be shown to a national audience on Fox College Sports, and can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN.
OKLAHOMA ST. 9, K-STATE 2
A four-run Oklahoma State first inning set the tone for the night as the 27th-ranked Cowboys scored seven runs over the first three frames en route to 9-2 win over K-State Friday evening at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
Oklahoma State improved to 26-10 with the win and evened its Big 12 record at 6-6. K-State dropped to 27-12 on the year and 6-4 in conference action.
K-State came up empty in the first inning despite having the bases loaded with no outs, and the bottom of the first began innocently with a Tanner Krietemeier RBI double. With two outs and Krietemeier on third base, Joe Flattery (2-4) struck out Trey Whaley, but a passed ball scored a run and extended the frame.
Oklahoma State made the Wildcats pay as Zach Fish followed with a RBI double and Victor Romero singled home a run as Oklahoma State took a 4-0 lead.
That was all the support Jason Hursh (4-3) needed as he struck out seven batters and forced the Wildcats to ground into a season-high tying three double plays. The right-hander, who surrendered a Jared King RBI single in the third inning and a Ross Kivett solo homer in the seventh, worked around 11 hits and two walks in his seven innings.
“It was a huge momentum swing in the first inning,” Hill said. “We didn’t get any runs in the first inning, and when it’s time to make pitches, we just don’t put anyone away. They hit them hard. That first inning really turned on us and it was just an uphill battle from there. We come back and get one, but they score three. They punched us right back and we couldn’t get any momentum after that.”
Hursh threw 121 pitches in the contest, 87 of which went for strikes, as he forced the Wildcats to strand six base runners. Alex Hackerott struck out the side in the eighth inning before Randy McCurry worked around two hits to toss a scoreless ninth. Hursh and Hackerott combined to strike out the Wildcats 10 times, marking just the third time this season K-State had 10 or more strikeouts.
Robbie Rea led four Oklahoma State batters that had two-hit games as he hit homers in consecutive at-bats in the fifth and seventh innings. The third baseman also recorded a third-inning sacrifice fly to end the night with a game-high three RBIs. Fisher and Saulyer Saxon recorded two hits and one RBI apiece.
The top four hitters in the K-State lineup each produced multi-hit games, including a three-hit night by Kivett. The Broadview Heights, Ohio, product hammered his first-career home run over the wall in left-center field. King, Tanner Witt and Shane Conlon also produced two-hit games.
The Wildcats, which had seven hits over the first four innings but were hurt by the three double plays, totaled 13 hits in the contest. The Wildcats picked up their 29th game with 10 or more base hits but also stranded 10 base runners.
“We competed at the plate,” Hill said. “We just didn’t drive any runs in. It was good pitching too. That was a good guy, and he (Hursh) made pitches with runners in scoring position. We hit into some double plays in those situations. We competed pretty hard at the plate. There weren’t too many easy outs tonight.”