Aggies Edge Wildcats 3-2; Big 12 Tourney Next

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Joe Patterson's second home run of the game, a leadoff shot in the eighth inning, propelled Texas A&M to a 3-2 victory over No. 23 Kansas State Sunday at Olsen Field, allowing the Aggies to claim the season's final Big 12 series after K-State won the Friday night contest.

Kansas State concluded the regular-season in third place in the Big 12, its highest-ever finish since the conference's inception in 1997. The Wildcats, who fell to 35-18 overall, ended conference play with a 14-12 record, tying last year's squad for the most league wins in school history.

"The league finish is a step in the right direction, but we wanted to get that last win," head Coach Brad Hill said. "We wanted to get to 15 wins, and we had opportunities today, just didn't get it done. It was a good baseball game and I thought our kids competed really hard.

"We're proud of our kids because they keep moving in the right direction," added Hill. "They keep believing in themselves and competing hard. What we're trying to do is established now and the kids have the confidence and believe in the style of play. It's been a work in progress for five years and I think it's established now."

Texas A&M finished the regular-season at 36-19-1 overall and 14-12-1 in Big 12 play.

K-State reliever Evan Marshall (5-4) entered a 2-2 game in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out, but worked the Cats out of the jam. He retired the side in order in the seventh before Patterson smashed the first pitch of the eighth over the right-field wall to break the tie.

Patterson went 2-for-2 with his sixth and seventh homers of the season, while the senior drove in all three Aggie runs. Estevan Uriegas picked up the win in relief for Texas A&M and John Stilson retired the Cats in order in the ninth to record his ninth save of the season.

The loss spoiled a solid outing from K-State starting pitcher Justin Lindsey. The right-hander allowed a two-run homer to Patterson in the first inning, but responded with four scoreless innings. He surrendered just four hits with three walks and four strikeouts before running into trouble in the sixth and being replaced by Marshall.

Nick Martini, who was 0-for-4 on Saturday, bounced back in his first at-bat sending a 1-1 fastball over the left-field wall for a solo home run. It was his third homer of the season and first since March 6.

K-State tied the game at 2-2 with an unearned run in the third. Adam Muenster singled with one out and moved to second when A&M catcher Gregg Alcazar threw the ball into right field attempting to pick off Muenster at first.

Carter Jurica's single moved Muenster to third, before Martini came through again with another single to tie the game.

Martini and Muenster recorded two-hit games for the Wildcats as both finished atop the team in league-only batting average. Muenster edged Martini by one point as the fifth-year senior completed his final tour through the Big 12 with a .434 average. That mark is tied for the sixth highest in Big 12 history.

Kansas State will open the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship against sixth-seeded Baylor at 4 p.m., at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. The game can be heard on the K-State Sports Network. Further information about the tournament can be found at www.big12sports.com.