Flattery’s gem sends Cats to Big 12 Championship

By Joel Jellison

Junior left-hander Joe Flattery tossed K-State’s first complete game since 2009 as he helped the Wildcats punch their ticket to the Big 12 Championship with a 5-1 win over Texas Tech on Friday night at Rip Griffin Park.

With the victory, K-State earned its sixth straight appearance in the conference championship.

Additionally, the Wildcats won just their third series in Lubbock.

Flattery (6-4) stifled Texas Tech hitters the entire evening as he tossed the Wildcats’ first complete game since A.J. Morris in the 2009 NCAA Regional against Rice.

Flattery, whose previous career-long outing in Big 12 play was 6 2/3 innings against Kansas last week, needed just 104 pitches to go the distance Friday.

The Fort Dodge, Iowa, product faced the minimum in five of his nine innings and worked around two one-out singles in the second inning and a one-out double in the eighth. The left-hander sprayed just six hits and walked one batter to go along with five strikeouts.

Flattery was an out away from tossing K-State’s first-complete game shutout since 2008 until a two-out RBI single by Bo Altobelli broke up the shutout. However, the Wildcat offense scored four runs over the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to hand Flattery a five-run advantage entering the final frame.

Coupled with Kayvon Bahramzadeh’s performance on Thursday, the Wildcats’ two starting pitchers allowed just three runs in 17 innings, while Texas Tech mustered just a .164 batting average against the duo.

The Wildcats were led offensively by RJ Santigate, who was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and one RBI. The third baseman scored the Wildcats’ first run of the game in the second inning on a two-out single by Blair DeBord, while he pushed across K-State’s second run on a successful squeeze bunt in the sixth.

Jared King and Jon Davis added two hits apiece. It was King’s Big 12-leading 26th multi-hit game of the season as he pushed his season average to .385, which is also a Big 12 best.

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