Cats Handled by Freeman, OSU in 10-1 Loss

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TULSA, Okla.
-- For the second time this season, K-State was limited by Oklahoma State's Michael Freeman as the Cowboy left-hander tossed a complete game and allowed just six Wildcat hits in K-State's 10-1 loss on Thursday in the 2015 Big 12 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at ONEOK Field.


With the defeat, the Wildcats (27-29) moved into the loser's bracket of their side of the tournament as they will take on Oklahoma in a rematch of the opener on Friday at 7 p.m.

K-State hit into 15 groundouts and had half of its hits not leave the infield off Freeman, the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. The southpaw, who improved to 10-2 on the season, allowed one hit after the fourth inning, which was an infield single by Tyler Moore to lead off the ninth.

"A 9-iron would have been nice," said K-State head coach Brad Hill about what was needed in facing Freeman. "We couldn't get anything in the air. We kept going to the ground and it's really tough. We just never could level off on anything."

Freeman faced the Wildcats earlier this year, taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning on March 29 in Stillwater. He finished the game allowing two hits and one unearned run while striking out six and walking one. On Thursday, Freeman had seven strikeouts against two walks.

"He's tough. He's been tough all year and he's proven it," said Moore. "We worked before the game trying to get the ball up in the air. We still couldn't quite do it, but you've got to give the guy some credit."

With Freeman working his fourth complete game of the season on the other side, K-State starting pitcher Nate Griep turned in his shortest start of his career. The redshirt sophomore threw two innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on three hits, two hit by pitches and a walk. He also took the loss, which snapped his three-game winning streak and dropped his record to 6-3.

In the first, Griep hit the leadoff batter, Gage Green, before retiring the next two batters with a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Following a two-out walk to Dustin Williams, Griep allowed a deep fly ball to center field hit by Tim Arakawa. K-State centerfielder Max Brown was able to track down the ball near the warning track, but it bounced out of his glove for the first of two K-State errors in the game while also allowing Green and Williams to score and make it 2-0.

After another fielding error, this time by right fielder Clayton Dalrymple, allowed Ryan Sluder to cross home in the second, Donnie Walton later hit a two-out, two-run single off Griep to give the Cowboys a 5-0 lead.

"Rough start," said Hill. "Get down 5-0 to Michael Freeman, the [Big 12] Pitcher of the Year, it'll be an uphill battle. It's unfortunate. You can't fall behind like that. It makes it really tough on us."

Mitch Plassmeyer relieved Griep starting in the third as he went on to match his career-high in innings pitched with four. The freshman left-hander also struck out a career-high four, but he surrendered four runs on seven hits, including one in the fourth on a two-out RBI double and another pair on a two-run single in the sixth that made it 8-1 Oklahoma State.

Trailing 6-0 in the fourth, Sam Chadick produced the only run in the game for the Wildcats as the freshman hit a high chopper over the head of Oklahoma State first baseman Williams with the bases loaded to score Moore. With the bases still full, Jake Wodtke, though, hit into an inning-ending double play, one of two double plays turned by the Cowboys.

Moore and Chadick combined for four of K-State's half-dozen hits, with Moore going 2-for-4 and Chadick 2-for-3.

Mark Biesma also logged time for the Wildcats out of the bullpen. The senior threw three innings, his longest relief outing of the year, and allowed one run on four hits.


NOTES
Tyler Wolfe had K-State's first hit of the game, an infield single in the first, to help him extend his on-base streak to 21 games. It is currently the longest active streak by a Wildcat and one game short of matching the longest by any Wildcat this season, which was set at 22 games by Shane Conlon.

The last time the Wildcats allowed 10 or more runs in a Big 12 Championship game was on May 25, 2012 when Baylor beat K-State, 11-2.

K-State is 3-3 in the Big 12 Championship elimination games since 2010, with one of those wins coming against Oklahoma (4-3 on May 27, 2011).