K-State Drops 12-11 Shootout to Oklahoma

MANHATTAN, Kan. Down by one in the bottom of the ninth, Kansas State had the tying and winning runs in scoring position with two outs, but Oklahoma closer Ryan Duke forced Adam Muenster to fly out to left field as the Sooners tied the series with a 12-11 shootout win Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.

 

Oklahoma improved to 19-5 with the victory and 1-1 in conference play, while K-State dropped to 18-4 after losing its first game in 10 days.

 

The Wildcats, who had trailed since a five-run Oklahoma third inning, kept chipping away at the Sooner lead as they got within one run on two different occasions, including in the eighth when Carter Jurica hit a solo-home run.

 

After K-State reliever James Allen tamed the Oklahoma bats in the top of ninth, Jason King led off the bottom half with a single up the middle off Duke and was sacrificed over to second by Drew Biery. Duke then hit Jordan Cruz to put the winning run on base with just one out. Rob Vaughn was next and grounded out to second to move both runners up 90 feet, but Muenster flew out to left field to end the game.

 

The Wildcats suffered their first home loss of the season in 13 games, while the setback marked the first time K-State had lost when out-hitting its opponent as the Wildcats tallied 16 hits as opposed to OU’s 14. However, eight of the Sooners’ hits went for extra bases.

 

Oklahoma was led the plate by Jamie Johnson, who went 3-for-5 with one RBI and three runs scored. Bryant Hernandez paced the Sooners with four RBI in a 2-for-5 effort.

 

Jurica tallied his second four-hit game of the year, while he drove in two runs. Biery was 2-for-4 with four RBI, three of which came on a fifth-inning home run, his fourth of the year.

 

Carrying over its momentum from Friday night, Kansas State came out and scored four quick runs in the first inning off OU starter J.R. Robinson. Following a leadoff strikeout, the Wildcats registered six-straight singles, three of which were ground balls through either the left or right side of the infield. Justin Bloxom, Biery, King and Cruz each drove in a run on their one-out singles as the Wildcats looked to put the Sooners away early.

 

However, Oklahoma reliever Tyson Seng (4-0) came in to stop the bleeding as he ended the first on a ground-ball double play and worked the next 4.2 innings to pick up the win. The righty did give up five earned runs on six hits with three walks, but his offense bailed him out with big innings in the third and fourth.

 

Oklahoma batted around in both the third and fourth frames to take a commanding lead. Matt Harughty hit a two-run home run to start the scoring in the third, while Hernandez hit a RBI double to knock K-State starter Lance Hoge out of the game. Evan Marshall (0-2) came in to face J.T. Wise, who singled through the right side to tie the game at four.

 

The Sooner fourth inning began with two singles and an error to load the bases before Casey Johnson lifted a sacrifice fly into left to score a run. He was immediately followed by Hernandez, who hit a ball-over the center-field wall for a three-run homer, which would be the end for Marshall.

 

Thomas Rooke came in and hit the first batter he faced and, after a fly-out, Garrett Buechele hit the fifth Sooner extra base hit in the two-inning span, a double down the left-field line to give Oklahoma a comfortable 9-4 advantage.

 

The Wildcats began to chip away at the lead with six runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. K-State forced a pair of two-out walks in the fourth and then received back-to-back singles, the latter by Jurica, to score a run.

 

K-State kept swinging the bats to begin the fifth as Bloxom singled and King reached on an error before Biery hit his third homer in the last six games.

 

However, Oklahoma answered the next half inning each time with a Jamie Johnson solo-homer in the fifth and a Buechele had a run-scoring single in sixth, making the score 11-8.

 

The Cats would respond yet again in the bottom half when Jurica singled back up the middle and scored on a Nick Martini double into the left center-field gap. Bloxom then brought in Martini with a single to left field, pulling the Cats within one at 11-10.

 

Following a scoreless seventh inning, Aaron Baker’s eighth-inning solo-home run proved to be the winner as the Cats could only score one more on Jurica’s home run in the bottom of the inning.

 

The rubber match between Kansas State and Oklahoma is schedule for a 12:05 p.m. first pitch on Sunday. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Kansas City with Brent Stover and Mike Clark calling the action.