John's Complete Game Helps Sooners Win Opener

Tanner Witt recorded two hits and reached base in three of four plate appearances

March 30, 2012

Final Stats

NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma’s Jordan John surrendered a Kansas State run in the first inning but shut down the Wildcats over the final eight frames as the 24th-ranked Sooners picked up a 5-1 win Friday night at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

With the win, the Sooners improved to 17-10 on the year and 3-4 in Big 12 play. K-State, which fell to 13-12 overall and 2-5 in conference action, dropped its first Big 12 series-opener of the year against a ranked opponent as it defeated No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 21 Texas the previous two weeks.

John (4-4) allowed a two-out RBI single to Wade Hinkle in the first inning, but he gave up just two hits over the next seven frames. The left-hander, who picked up his first career complete game, struck out 11 batters, the most by a single pitcher against the Wildcats since 2009.

K-State tried to mount a comeback in the ninth inning as a consecutive one-out hits put runners on second and third with the tying run on the on-deck circle. However, John came back with his 10th and 11th strikeouts of the evening to end the contest.

The Wildcats spoiled the best start of the year by Matt Applegate (2-3), who lasted all eight innings to save K-State’s bullpen for the final two games of the series. Applegate allowed five runs – only three of which were earned – on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

The right-hander forced Oklahoma to strand a runner on third base in the fifth and faced just one over the minimum during his final three innings.

“I thought Matt competed tonight,” head coach Brad Hill said. “He was the one guy that showed he wanted to win. We just didn’t compete tonight. Matt really did lock in after the two errors, but I was more concerned with the fact that he was walking people. He was able to find his way through that. He at least gave us a chance. I give him a lot of credit tonight. He showed both composure and competitiveness.”

The Sooners’ biggest blow came in a three-run fourth inning, a frame in which K-State’s defense aided Oklahoma. The first three batters of the inning reached base, including a RBI single to center field by Hunter Lockwood, but Applegate battled back with a strikeout and a pop out.

With runners on second and third, Applegate worked against Dylan Neal. On a 1-2 pitch, Neal hit a ground ball to Matt Giller at third base, who saw the ball go off his glove and into foul territory behind third base to score a run. Shortstop Jake Brown was backing up the play, but he couldn’t field the ball as another run came across to make the score 4-1.

The three-run advantage was all that John needed as he retired five-straight batters after Oklahoma broke the 1-1 tie.

Jack Mayfield led Oklahoma offensively with two hits, including a solo home run in the seventh inning. K-State received a pair of two-hit games from Hinkle and Tanner Witt. Witt extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base safely to a career-best 18. Giller, who was 1-for-4, extended his hitting streak to six games.

Kansas State and Oklahoma continue their three-game weekend series on Saturday with a 2 p.m., first pitch at L. Dale Mitchell Park. K-State will start left-hander Joe Flattery, while Oklahoma is expected to start lefty Dillon Overton.

The game can be seen world-wide on K-StateHD.TV, while listeners can hear the game in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.