Cats Limited to Two Hits in 4-1 Loss

STILLWATER, Okla. -- The K-State baseball team was held to two hits on Sunday by Oklahoma State starting pitcher Michael Freeman, who carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning, as the Wildcats fell to the No. 12 Cowboys, 4-1, to lose the Big 12 series at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

Despite being no-hit for 8 1/3 innings, the Wildcats (12-14, 1-5 Big 12) jumped out to a lead over Oklahoma State (19-8, 4-2 Big 12) in the sixth inning. Jake Wodtke led off the frame by reaching on an error by Cowboy second baseman Tim Arakawa. After Wodtke advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and then to third on a groundout, the redshirt sophomore scored on a passed ball to make it 1-0 Wildcats.

Oklahoma State, however, answered the lone Wildcat run in the bottom of the sixth with a sacrifice fly by Donnie Walton. The RBI by Walton, one of his game-high three, was set up when K-State starting pitcher Brandon Courville issued a leadoff walk to Jacob Chappell, who stole second base on the first pitch delivered by reliever Brandon Erickson to the next batter, Arakawa. Arakawa then moved Chappell to third with a sacrifice bunt to set up the game-tying play.

The Wildcats surrendered the game-deciding runs in the seventh when the Cowboys had six of their seven batters that came to the plate reach base with four hits and two walks. K-State reliever Corey Fischer was responsible for the first two runners, who reached via singles, while Jordan Floyd allowed one of the two runners to score. Although catcher Tyler Moore cleared the base paths by throwing out two attempted base stealers, Floyd allowed a two-out, two-run double to Walton that capped the scoring at 4-1.

Freeman improved to 5-0 on the season by throwing his second straight complete game. The southpaw struck out six and walked one.

"(Freeman) is really good," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "He's shown that time and time again. This was not a one-time effort. He was great last weekend at TCU. We were able to score a run without a hit, and then Max (Brown) puts a really good swing on a ball (in the seventh inning) that could have changed the game, but (left fielder Ryan Sluder) made the play. That's all (Freeman) gave us except for the last inning."

Fischer suffered the loss for K-State after being responsible for the eventual game-winning run. The right-hander did not record an out to the two batters he faced in the seventh.

Courville gave the Wildcats five shutout innings before allowing the leadoff walk in the sixth. In his first career start at K-State, the junior threw four perfect innings and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third with an inning-ending double play.

Clayton Dalrymple was responsible for breaking up Freeman's no-hitter with a one-out single, his second hit of the season in Big 12 play. The Wildcats were able to follow up Dalrymple's base hit by putting two runners on base as Moore hit a two-out single to move Shane Conlon, who reached with a fielder's choice, to second base. Pinch-hitter Keith Browning ended the game, though, with a strikeout.

K-State stranded four runners in the game, including one in the top of the first. Freeman hit leadoff hitter Danny Krause with a 1-2 pitch to start the day, and the K-State left fielder worked his way to third with two outs. The inning ended, however, when Moore grounded out to short.

The groundout by Moore was one of 20 by K-State in the game. Conversely, the Wildcats had only one fly out, a ball to left field hit by Brown that ended the top of the seventh with Moore, representing the go-ahead run at the time, standing at second base.

The Wildcats will now return home for a Thursday-Saturday series against West Virginia at Tointon Family Stadium. First pitch in the series opener on April 2 is set for 6:30 p.m.

The two hits matched K-State's lowest total in a game this season. Last Sunday at Texas, K-State had two hits in a 6-1 loss.

Courville's five innings pitched and four strikeouts were both career-highs.

Bryce Ward, who recorded his first career save on Friday, threw a scoreless ninth inning. The Jenks, Oklahoma native has a 1.42 ERA over his last five appearances and 2.35 ERA in 10 games this season.