The Kansas State baseball game began Saturday afternoon with a promising start for the Wildcats, but the good times for KSU were short-lived in Tointon Family Stadium.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys let loose in the top of the fourth inning, and cruised the rest of the way with a 13-3 win.
The victory sets up OSU (25-17, 10-7) with a chance to sweep the series with today’s finale at noon.
The Cowboys took the Friday night game 5-0, while K-State (19-25, 3-14) goes into today’s conclusion lacking a Big 12 win since March 31 at Oklahoma.
The overall seven-game skid is the longest losing streak for the Wildcats since 2003, and it’s the longest conference losing streak (nine games) since K-State lost 15 straight Big 12 games in 2004.
“We’re in a position right now where it starts to go bad we allow it to go bad and we can’t stop it,” Wildcats head coach Brad Hill said. “We just couldn’t finish off innings. We had a lot of hitters behind the count.. 0-2, 1-2… and then we just didn’t make good pitches to finish guys off.
“Right now, our resiliency is not good when we get down or something bad happens.”
K-State began the game strong when sophomore third baseman RJ Santigate hit a two-run home run over right field in the bottom of the second inning. The Wildcats held off the Cowboys in the top of the third and plated another in the bottom of the frame when Jared King hit a sacrifice fly to center that brought home right-fielder Tanner Witt, who doubled down the left-field line to lead off the order.
But the good vibes and 3-0 lead didn’t last much longer.
Oklahoma State junior Jarrett Higgins led off the top of the fourth with a single and the following hitter, Hunter Bailey, drew a walk. Both at-bats were worked to 3-2 counts, and second baseman Robbie Rea loaded the bases with a single to left on a 0-2 pitch.
The Cowboys got on the scoreboard with a fielder’s choice and a single before K-State starting pitcher Joe Flattery was relieved in favor of freshman Matt Wivinis, but OSU didn’t relent and plated three more runs before the right-hander recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
It was a quick fifth for both sides with both clubs posting zeros, but Oklahoma State added three in the top of the sixth and four more in the top of the seventh.
The Wildcats couldn’t find an answer offensively.
Flattery pitched the first 3 1/3 innings for K-State and gave up four runs on three hits, walked one and struck out two in the loss. Wivinis finished the top of the fourth and sophomore Gerardo Esquivel threw the next 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs — six earned — on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Junior Jake Doller finished the game’s final 2 1/3 innings for the Cats.
Sophomore Vince Wheeland began the game on the mound for OSU and pitched the first 2 1/3. He gave up three runs on five hits, walked none and struck out one. Kenton Bevarqua relieved Wheeland but only lasted an out before being pulled in favor of junior Chase Stevens, who pitched the rest of the game for the Cowboys and notched the win.
Stevens went 6 1/3 innings and allowed no runs on just three hits, walked none and struck out six.
“We played pretty good for three innings,” Hill said. “Our offense was okay and we had some good things happen, but then one bad thing happens and we just overreact to it.
“We just have to find some personal pride and that comes from the top. That’s our plan as coaches… that’s our job. We’re going to keep on coaching and keep trying to be enthusiastic and positive. That’s how we’re going to come out of this thing.”
Left fielder Jon Davis was the top bat for K-State with a 2-for-3 outing and a run scored while teammate Ross Kivett also totaled two hits.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, had four batters with multiple hits. Rea led the team with a 3-for-4 effort and outfielder Trey Whaley was 3-for-5.
OKLAHOMA STATE 13, K-STATE 3
Oklahoma State 0 0 0 5 0 3 4 0 1 — 13 12 0
Kansas State 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 3 8 2
WP — Steven (5-4). LP — Flattery (4-3).
2B — Oklahoma State 2 (Higgins, Whaley). K-State 2 (Witt, Davis). 3B — K-State (Kivett). HR — K-State (Santigate).
The Cowboys opened the game with a two-run lead by the beginning of the third inning and a three-run top of the fifth was enough cushion to hold off K-State with a 5-0 win.
Oklahoma State was also greatly helped by the efforts junior leftie Andrew Heaney, who started the game for the Cowboys and went 8 1/3 innings.
Heaney, who is expected by some to be a first-round pick in this year’s Major League draft, shut-out K-State and allowed just four hits. He walked two and struck out eight.
“No runs on four hits? That was good,” Hill said following the game. “That’s one of the best guys we’ve seen, period. We had a couple opportunities to score, but then he made even better pitches. He’s got great command of what he’s doing and when he was pressed, he didn’t act like he was pressed.”
Senior Kayvon Bahramzadeh got the start for the Wildcats.
The right-hander pitched six innings and gave up five runs — four earned — on seven hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Sophomore leftie Jared Moore finished the game for K-State and posted no runs and no hits with a walk and five strike outs.
Oklahoma State’s Rea and designated hitter Randy McCurry led the game offensively with both going 2-for-4 at the plate.
OKLAHOMA STATE 5, K-STATE 0
Oklahoma State 1 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 — 5 7 1
Kansas State 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 4 2
WP — Heaney (6-1). LP: Bahramzadeh (4-3).
2B — None. 3B — None. HR — None.