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K-State loses to OU in 11 innings

By Joel Jellison

OKLAHOMA CITY — Once again, Kansas State showed it’s a team that won’t stop fighting.

Down four runs to Oklahoma going into the bottom of the ninth Saturday, the 15th-ranked Wildcats rallied to tie the game and force extra innings. In the end though, the Sooners would outlast K-State, winning 7-6 in 11 innings to eliminate the Wildcats from the Big 12 Championship.

With the loss, K-State (41-17) missed out on the opportunity to play in its second-ever Big 12 final and a chance to strengthen its case to host a regional later this week. Host sites will be selected Sunday night.

The rest of the tournament field we be selected on Monday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.

Tanner Witt started the K-State rally in the bottom of the ninth down 5-1 with a one-out single to score RJ Santigate. Shane Conlon followed with a double to score Ross Kivett and put runners at second and third.

Jared King struck out swinging and then Jon Davis was hit by the pitch to load the bases with two outs. Mitch Meyer singled up the middle to score Witt and Conlon and tie the game.

After the Sooners’ Max White doubled off the wall, Matt Oberste singled to put the OU ahead 6-5 in the 10th. Kivett had the answer in the bottom of the inning, though, singling to score Clayton Dalrymple and even the score again.

Then in the 11th, Oklahoma’s Craig Aikin singled off Jake Matthys with two outs to score Taylor Alspaugh from third and take a 7-6 lead.

Oklahoma’s Kyle Hayes recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Meyer and Alex Bee with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th to end the game. Ralph Garza Jr. earned the win and Hayes was credited with the save.

Oklahoma (39-19) tacked on the first run in the top of the second inning, getting a sacrifice fly from Anthony Hermelyn to score Oberste from third.

The Wildcats loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with two singles and a walk, but Oklahoma pitcher Jake Fisher struck out Conlon and King with curveballs in back-to-back at-bats to end the inning.

The Sooners would make K-State pay in the top of the fourth inning, getting their biggest hit of the game off Wildcats pitcher Jared Moore. Garrett Carey launched a two-out, bases-loaded double to center field to unload the bases and put Oklahoma ahead 4-0.

K-State loaded the bases again in the bottom of the fourth, chasing Fisher, who had been solid most of the day. Fisher struck out six in 3 1/3 innings, allowing six hits, with a walk and hit a batter.

With Fisher out of the game, Kivett was hit by a pitch on a full count to score the Wildcats’ first run of the game, breaking a championship record streak of 21 2/3 innings of shutout baseball from the Sooners’ pitching staff to start the tournament. K-State stranded the remaining base runners to end the inning.

Hermelyn added his second sac fly in the fifth inning to extend the Sooners’ lead to 5-1, scoring Jack Mayfield from third.

Freshman pitcher Jordan Witcig made the start for the Wildcats, pitching in place of late scratch Joe Flattery, who had shoulder soreness. Witcig came into the contest with just six appearances on the season and eight innings pitched, but had a team-leading 1.12 ERA.

Matthys took the loss for the Wildcats, giving up two runs on five hits in four innings of relief. Kivett, Witt and Conlon recorded three hits apiece for K-State, which had 17 hits and left 13 runners on base.

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