Six-Run OSU Eighth Evens Weekend Series

MANHATTAN, Kan. No. 22 Oklahoma State recorded six runs in the top of the eighth inning and held on in the bottom half of the frame to take game two over Kansas State, 9-4, Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium. With the loss, K-State dropped to 12-12 overall and 1-4 in Big 12 play, while Oklahoma State evened the weekend series at one game apiece and improved to 18-7 overall and 4-4 in conference play.


Michael Dabbs, Jordy Mercer and Toby Davis all recorded multi-hit and multi-RBI games for the Cowboys, who pounded out 12 hits on the afternoon. K-State was led by Adam Muenster, who was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Nate Tenbrink, who was also 2-for-4 with a solo home run.


Down 4-2 in the eighth, the Cowboys worked back-to-back walks against K-State reliever Trevor Hurley (0-2). Both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch before Hurley walked his third-straight batter, which knocked him out of the game.


Daniel Edwards came on to attempt to put an end to the OSU rally, but was unsuccessful. Davis took the first pitch his saw from Edwards to the opposite field and dropped it over K-State shortstop Drew Biery’s head for a two-RBI single. Edwards struck out the next batter, but Dabbs doubled to left centerfield to bring in another two runs.


The Cowboys weren’t done, however, as two pitches later Mercer homered to left field to complete the six-run inning and give Oklahoma State an 8-4 lead.


Kansas State had an opportunity to make a comeback in the bottom of the eighth as Muenster hit a one-out single through the left side and then advanced to second when Justin Bloxom was hit by Cowboy starter Tyler Lyons (4-2).


Mercer then came in from shortstop to try to collect his fifth save of the season, but got off to a rough start as he walked Jason King on a full-count. Tenbrink came to the plate with the bases loaded, but hit a groundball to the new shortstop, Thomas Belza, who flipped to second to retire King and end the Cats’ last scoring threat of the game.


K-State got another great outing from its starting pitcher Justin Murray. The junior went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out four. At one point, Murray retired 12-of-13 batters faced to tame the Cowboys and give momentum to his offense.


The Wildcats responded to Murray’s performance as they pushed across four runs in the fifth inning. With one out, Tenbrink hit his third home run of the season, an opposite field solo shot to left. Rob Vaughn followed with a single to left field and he moved first to third on a double down the leftfield line by Brett Scott. Dane Yelovich was then intentionally walked to set up a double-play possibility, but Muenster laced a two-RBI single to right centerfield, which moved Yelovich to third and gave K-State a 3-0 lead. Yelovich then scored on a balk by Lyons to tally the final run of the inning.


Oklahoma State cut the deficit in half with a pair of runs in the sixth. Matt Hague and Rebel Ridling recorded back-to-back one-out singles to put runners on first and second. Donnie Webb followed with a RBI double down the leftfield line to score Hague, and Ridling scored on a Neil Medchill sacrifice fly.


The rubber match between Kansas State and Oklahoma State is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium.