Hoge, Tenbrink Propel Cats to Series Win

MANHATTAN, Kan. Lance Hoge threw a complete-game shutout and picked up his first victory in a Wildcat uniform, while Nate Tenbrink had two home runs to lead Kansas State to a 4-0 win over Oklahoma State Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.


The victory marked the first series win over the Cowboys since 2000 and improved K-State’s overall record to 13-12 overall and 2-4 in Big 12 play. Oklahoma State dropped to 18-8 overall and 4-5 in conference action.


Hoge (1-1) was outstanding as he allowed just three hits, issuing no walks and struck out five batters en route to K-State’s second complete-game shutout of the season. It was also the Wildcats’ fourth complete game of the year, tying Nebraska for league-high honors. The junior lefty, who threw 107 pitches on the afternoon, retired the side in order five times and allowed only one hit to go for extra bases.


Nate Tenbrink led the Wildcats’ seven-hitting outing, going 2-for-4, both hits skyrocketing over the right field wall for solo home runs. Jordan Cruz added a pair of RBI on a two-run double, going 1-for-3 on the afternoon.


Hoge sat down the Cowboys in order in both the first and second innings on four fly-ball outs and two ground outs. Tenbrink responded to Hoge’s performance in the bottom of the second as he blasting a 1-0 pitch for a leadoff home run his second of the series and third of the season to give the Cats a 1-0 lead.


Hoge gave up singles in the fourth and fifth innings, but was able to get out of both situations to hold the one-run lead and open the door for his offense.


The K-State offense backed up its pitcher with two runs in the bottom of the fifth off Oklahoma State starter Tyler Blandford (3-2). Jason King hit a leadoff double to left centerfield, but was followed with a groundout and a strike out. Dane Yelovich forced a four-pitch walk to give the Cats runners on first and second and extend the inning. Cruz, who was hitless in his previous two at bats, took advantage of the opportunity as he nailed a two-out double into left centerfield to score King from second and Yelovich from first and give K-State a 3-0 lead.


Kansas State held on to its three-run lead for the next two innings as Hoge forced three-consecutive ground outs in the sixth and also retired Oklahoma State in order in the seventh. In the top of the eighth, Oklahoma State catcher Luis Flores hit a one-out double to right centerfield, but two groundball outs to second baseman Brett Scott ended the only OSU scoring threat of the afternoon.


Needing another run to give the Wildcats a comfortable lead, Tenbrink hit his second home run of the day on another 1-0 pitch, again over the right field wall, to give the Wildcats the final tally of 4-0.


Kansas State concludes its nine-game home stand with a two-game midweek series against Central Arkansas on Tuesday and Wednesday. First pitch Tuesday is set for 6:30 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium.