NORMAN, Okla. — Redshirt-freshman Nate Griep pitched a three-hit shutout in his first-career Big 12 start to help lead the Kansas State baseball team to a 5-0 win over Oklahoma in the series finale on Sunday at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Griep (2-0), who had not gone more than 5 2/3 innings in an outing this season, used 106 pitches to turn in his first-career complete game and shutout for K-State (14-9, 1-2 Big 12). In just his third start, the right-hander struck out two and walked one, helping K-State prevent a three-game sweep by the Sooners (18-7, 2-1).
“In this league, when you get swept, it puts you in a bad, bad spot,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said. “To be able to scrape one out here on the road, and with a lot of pressure on the freshman — his first Big 12 start — (Griep) handled it extremely well. I’m proud of him on how he went out there, held his composure, and did a great job against a very good hitting ballclub.”
The shutout win was the first for K-State at Oklahoma since April 24, 1971. It was also the Wildcats’ first shutout in a Big 12 road game since April 26, 1992 at Nebraska.
Griep’s complete-game shutout is the second thrown by a Wildcat pitcher this season. Levi MaVorhis pitched a two-hit shutout against Northern Colorado on March 14 at Tointon Family Stadium.
Fellow freshman Tanner DeVinny came through with two outs for the second time in the series when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the third inning. The designated hitter roped a single to right field to drive in two runs and provide K-State with a 4-0 lead. DeVinny had four RBIs in the series, all with two outs.
“We scored two (in an inning) a couple times in this series, but two hasn’t been enough,” Hill said. “With four runs, though, you can breathe a little bit. It feels like there is a little bit of pressure off of you.”
The four-run third inning for K-State was started when senior Blair DeBord drew a leadoff walk off OU starting pitcher Jake Elliot. The Wildcats went on to load the bases for Ross Kivett, who delivered an RBI single through the left side to make it 1-0 K-State. With the bases still loaded, Austin Fisher plated Carter Yagi with a sacrifice fly to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
K-State added breathing room in the top of the ninth when Yagi scored on the second Oklahoma passed ball of the game. Yagi drew a one-out walk to reach base before advancing to third on a hit-and-run with a single from Kivett.
“The big one was also the run in the top of the ninth,” Hill said. “Everyone felt like they could breathe because you are still sitting on pins and needles. As offensive as Oklahoma has been — they scored eight runs in an inning twice in this series — the run in the top of the ninth was crucial.”
Kivett’s had a game-high three hits to lead the Wildcats, who finished with knocks on the day. RJ Santigate went 2 for 3 with a walk to join Kivett as the two Wildcats with multi-hit efforts.
Elliott took the loss for the Sooners after allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in four innings.
K-State will return home for a brief two-game midweek homestan starting on Tuesday against Omaha. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.