Conlon Drives in 3, Bullpen Shuts Out Oklahoma State

STILLWATER, Okla. - Behind a season-high three RBIs by Shane Conlon and five shutout innings from the bullpen, the K-State baseball team knocked off No. 12 Oklahoma State, 4-2, on Friday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium to pick up its first Big 12 win of the season.


K-State (12-12, 1-3 Big 12), which snapped a 12-game losing streak in Big 12 road games with Friday's win, used four pitchers total in the victory, led by its stable of relievers in Corey Fischer, Jordan Floyd and Bryce Ward backing up starter Colton Kalmus' four innings of two-run baseball. The trio of Fischer, Floyd and Ward limited the offense of Oklahoma State (17-8, 2-2 Big 12) to four combined hits in the five innings, with Fischer earning the win after three shutout innings and Ward recording his first career save after inheriting a runner in the ninth.

"It was a team win overall, but those guys did exactly what we wanted them to do," said K-State head coach Brad Hill about the pitching staff. "Colton (Kalmus) got us through the order two times, (Corey) Fischer then got us through once. They all filled their roles. They made some big-time pitches."

Conlon helped K-State strike first in the early back-and-forth battle by hitting a two-out solo homer in the first, his second roundtripper of the year and first of his career in seven games against Oklahoma State. The redshirt senior tallied his other RBIs with singles in the second and fifth, both driving in Tyler Wolfe.

"(Conlon) led the charge," said Hill. "That home run seemed to give us some energy."

Wolfe matched Conlon for the team lead with a career-high three hits, adding to the Wildcats' 10 base hits in the game. K-State entered the night hitting .193 in road games and averaging less than six hits per away contest (5.8).

Max Brown drove in the other run for K-State with a single in the fourth that scored Danny Krause, who reached with a single and subsequently stole second base. The RBI for Brown, which made it 3-2 K-State, was his 15th of the season, the third highest total on the team, trailing Conlon's and Tyler Moore's 17.

"We had some big hits - the RBIs by Shane plus the one by Max (Brown), who got the ball up the middle for a nice RBI," said Hill. "We swung the bat a little bit more aggressively (on Friday) than what we did last weekend (at Texas)."

Conlon's RBI in the third and Brown's eventual game-winner in fourth were in response to Oklahoma State tying the game in the previous at-bats. Connor Costello hit a leadoff homer off Kalmus in the second to tie it at 1-1 while, after Kalmus hit Donnie Walton to lead off the third, Garrett McCain hit a double into right to plate Walton and even it at 2-2.

Kalmus stranded a pair of runners in his final inning of work in the fourth before turning it over to Fischer, who retired six straight to start his outing. The last out of the stretch was a groundout fielded by Wolfe, who made a spin-o-rama throw to get Dustin Williams out at first.

In the seventh, the K-State defense came through again when Krause threw out Corey Hassel at home from left field on Ryan Sluder's single through the left side. The outfield assist by Krause ended the inning and maintained K-State's two-run lead.

"We also had some great defensive plays throughout the course of the game," said Hill. "Just some big-time plays."

Floyd threw a perfect eighth inning, but the left-hander walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth. Ward, a native of Jenks, Oklahoma, spelled Floyd, and, after a fly out and single, induced a game-ending double play turned by Wolfe and Conlon.

Oklahoma State's starting pitcher Jon Perrin allowed four runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings of a losing decision. Cowboy reliever Trey Cobb scattered four hits in 4 2/3 shutout innings.

The two sides will meet in game two of the series on Saturday at 3 p.m. Right-hander Kyle Halbohn will get the call for his first Big 12 start for the Wildcats and be opposed by Oklahoma State's right-hander Remey Reed.


NOTES
Friday's win was the Wildcats' first in a Big 12 road game since March 23, 2014 at No. 30 Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State was the highest ranked opponent K-State has beaten in a conference road game since March 16, 2012 when it won at No. 8 Texas A&M.

K-State is 4-4 in Stillwater since 2009 (16-91 all-time).