Texas Edges K-State to Take Series

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kevin Keyes lined a two-run single in the seventh inning to lift top-ranked Texas past No. 20 Kansas State, 6-5, to win the rubber match of the Big 12 series Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Longhorns improved to 41-8 overall and 21-3 in Big 12 play, while the Wildcats fell to 32-15 on the season and 11-9 in conference action.

Clinging to a 5-4 lead, Kansas State committed two errors in the seventh allowing the tying and go-ahead runs on base. After a sacrifice bunt, the Wildcats intentionally walked Russell Moldenhauer to load the bases ahead of Keyes. The Longhorn right-fielder made the Cats pay as he laced a 0-1 pitch into left field to give UT the lead.

K-State, as it did all day, put up a fight against Texas closer Chance Ruffin. The Cats had two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh, but Kent Urban's liner was caught by center fielder Cohl Walla to end the threat.

Needing a ninth-inning rally, Adam Muenster singled off Ruffin to begin the frame, but the Longhorns got Carter Jurica on a line-out to the third baseman then turned a game-ending double play to clinch the win.

Keyes was a thorn in the Wildcats' side as he also hit a pair of solo home runs and finished 3-for-3 with four RBI.

Evan Marshall (4-3) got K-State out of a jam in the sixth but was saddled with the loss as he allowed the two unearned runs in the seventh on one hit with a walk and three strikeouts.

Starter Justin Lindsey bounced back from a rocky start after surrendering three solo home runs in the first.  He settled down to toss four no-hit innings and recorded a career-high nine strikeouts in 5.1 innings.  At one point, he retired eight-straight batters until Keyes' solo homer in the sixth.

"I thought we had a great effort today. We fought hard and competed, we just fell a little short," head coach Brad Hill said. "I thought our pitching staff did a good job today. Justin challenged the Longhorns early, but he just didn't have good command. For him to come back and throw four scoreless innings was big. He pitched outstanding after that first inning and gave us a chance to get back into the game."

Carter Jurica went 1-for-3 with two RBI.  He hit his eighth homer of the season in the first inning to get K-State on the board. Muenster led the Wildcats offensively as he went 3-for-4, while Nick Martini and Mike Kindel collected two hits apiece.

Trailing 3-1, Kansas State took the lead with a four-run fourth inning. Consecutive singles from Blair DeBord and Kindel were followed by a sacrifice bunt to put the runners on second and third with one out. Tanner Witt, who started the final two games of the series due to an injury to Jake Brown, delivered a single up the middle to tie the game at 3-3.

Witt, who advanced to second when Texas threw home trying to get Kindel, moved to third on a wild pitch. Muenster then walked and stole second before Jurica pounded a sacrifice fly to center field to score Witt. Martini then singled to right to give the Cats a 5-3 lead.

Next action for the Wildcats comes on Friday as they begin the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas. Friday's game begins at 7 p.m., at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence before the series shifts to Manhattan for the Saturday and Sunday contests.