Cats Down Texas, 4-1, to Even Series

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State held a one-run lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but a two-RBI single by Byron Wiley put the game out of reach as the Wildcats defeated No. 25 Texas, 4-1, Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.

 

With the win, the Wildcats improved to 20-22 overall and 6-11 in Big 12 play, while the Longhorns dropped to 25-18 overall and 9-11 in conference action. The win also marked the first time in over 10 years K-State defeated Texas at home as the last time the Wildcats took a game from the Longhorns in Manhattan was a 5-3 decision on March 22, 1998.

 

Following the shortest outing as a starting pitcher in his career last Friday at Texas Tech, Brad Hutt (4-3) bounced back and threw eight outstanding innings. The senior right hander allowed one earned run on seven hits, while walking just one batter and striking out three. The victory was the 22nd of his career and he is now just three wins away from tying the Kansas State career record.

 

Daniel Edwards came into the game with a runner on first and no outs in the ninth and forced a fielder’s choice and a double play to record his seventh save of the season.

 

Wiley led the Wildcats offensively on Saturday as the junior went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Adam Muenster and Carter Jurica also drove in one run and collected one hit on the afternoon.

 

Just as they did Friday night, the Wildcats were able to crack the scoreboard first with two runs in the second inning. Justin Bloxom led the inning off with a single, but was thrown out on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jason King. Wiley followed with a single through the right side to put runners at first and second with just one out.

 

Muenster was next and ripped a 2-1 pitch into center field to bring home King and make the score 1-0. Following an infield single by Rob Vaughn, Jurica hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to score Wiley and extend the lead to 2-0.

 

Texas got one of the runs back in the top of the third as David Hernandez was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning and was bunted over to second by Travis Tucker. Michael Torres followed and hit a single to left field to put runners on first and third with one out. Jordan Danks was next and hit a double-play ball to Bloxom at first, who threw to second to retire Torres, but Danks beat out the return throw to allow Hernandez to score and get the Longhorns within one at 2-1.

 

The Wildcats had a chance to break the game open in the fifth as they had the bases loaded with just one out, which knocked Texas starter Cole Green (2-4) out of the game. Stayton Thomas came on in relief and, on the first pitch, coaxed King into an inning-ending double play to get out of the jam.

 

Following three scoreless innings, Texas looked as though they would tie the game in the top of the seventh as Cameron Rupp hit a leadoff single up the middle, was sacrificed over to second, and went to third on a groundout. However, Hutt was able to retire Torres on a fly ball to left field on the first pitch to hold the 2-1 lead.

 

The Cats came out in the bottom half of the inning looking to extend their lead and put the game away. Jordan Cruz hit a leadoff single to center field and was lifted for a pinch runner in Dane Yelovich. Brett Scott hit a sacrifice bunt to move Yelovich to second, and Texas countered by intentionally walking Nate Tenbrink to put the double play back in order.

 

Bloxom followed by hitting a ground ball to third baseman Preston Clark, who wisely threw home to retire Yelovich and keep the Longhorns within one run. King followed with a walk to load the bases, which would be the end for Thomas.

 

Just as he did Friday night, Brandon Belt came in from first base to pitch and faced Wiley. On a 2-1 pitch, the junior from Tomball, Texas, ripped a single into center field, scoring both Tenbrink and Bloxom, and putting the game out of reach.

 

The rubber match of the three-game series between Kansas State and Texas is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium.