Griep Tosses Shutout; Wildcats Beat Oklahoma, 5-0

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- For the second time in his career, K-State pitcher Nate Griep tossed a three-hit shutout against Oklahoma as the right-hander led the Wildcats to a 5-0 win on Friday at Tointon Family Stadium to open a three-game series.


Griep threw his second complete game of the season and third of his career with the help of an efficient 106 pitches over the nine innings, including five frames in which he threw 10 or less. The redshirt sophomore, who tossed a complete game earlier this year on February 19 against Utah, also struck out three while walking two in his fifth win of the season.

"We needed a big outing out of Nate," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "That was huge for us. We have our backs against the wall right now and for him to come out and give us that effort was just outstanding. We challenged him a lot after last week, and I thought he really settled down and pitched a really good ballgame."

The win by K-State (24-25, 8-11 Big 12) was its fifth in the last six Big 12 series and seventh in 11 overall series this year. The Wildcats also improved to 6-3 in their last nine games.

Griep only faced runners in scoring position once throughout the night, an eighth-inning jam that featured runners on second and third with two outs. With Robert Tasin drawing a leadoff walk and Hunter Haley reaching on an error by Max Brown, Griep retired the next three batters, though, in a 21-pitch frame, his longest of the game.

Last season, Griep helped the Wildcats salvage a win in the series finale at Oklahoma (30-22, 11-8 Big 12) by holding the Sooners to three hits while striking out two. The shutout, Griep's first of his career, was one of two thrown by the Wildcats in 2014 in Big 12 play, with the last being on April 4 vs. Kansas at home.

Offensively, the Wildcats struck early by scoring two runs in the first off Oklahoma starter Jake Elliott. The first three batters all reached safely, with Carter Yagi drawing a leadoff walk, Tyler Wolfe hitting an RBI double off the wall in left field, and Shane Conlon plating Wolfe with a single up the middle.

"Tyler (Wolfe) got off a big swing, hit the ball off the wall, and [Oklahoma] got rattled a little bit," said Hill. "We capitalized, and we competed great tonight. We were in position to get punched out fifty more times, but we put the ball in play."

The first-inning single by Conlon was one of his three hits on the night, which fell one short of his season-high. The senior had a single in the third and fifth, with the one in the fifth resulting in a run when Tyler Moore hit an RBI infield single up the middle to bring Conlon home and make it 4-0.

Max Brown joined Conlon in the multi-hit department as the fellow senior went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. The RBI was produced after Moore in the fifth as Brown hit an infield single as well to drive in Steve Serratore and make it 5-0. Serratore reached earlier in the inning with the help of the first of his two hits in the game.

K-State out-hit the Sooners, 9-3. Of the nine Wildcat hits, eight were singles.

Clayton Dalrymple drove in K-State's third run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth that plated Brown.

Elliott took the loss after he allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.

The two sides will meet for game two of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. K-State will start freshman left-hander Jackson Douglas while Oklahoma will send right-hander Robert Tasin to the mound.


NOTES
K-State has won eight straight home series openers against Oklahoma, a stretch that dates back to 2001.

K-State has shut out its opponent four times this season, with the last at home occurring on March 13 vs. Missouri State (4-0). Griep started the game against the Bears, throwing seven innings and surrendering four hits.

Tyler Wolfe's double in the first inning extended his on-base streak to a career-high 14 games. It is the fourth-longest on-base streak by a Wildcat this season.