K-State Holds off Oklahoma State Rally

STILLWATER, Okla. Kansas State scored four early runs then weathered a great pitching performance by Oklahoma State’s Andrew Oliver and a pair of OSU comeback attempts as the 16th-ranked Wildcats defeated the Cowboys, 5-3, in the first game of a double-header Friday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.


With the win, Kansas State improved to 34-11-1 overall and 11-7-1 in the Big 12. The Wildcats also pushed their season road record to 11-5-1, tying the school mark for true road wins. Oklahoma State fell to 29-18 overall and 6-12 in conference action.


Lance Hoge (5-2) had another solid outing for the Wildcats, allowing three runs on six hits in 5.2 innings of work. The left-hander also struck out four batters, all coming in the first three innings.


Thomas Rooke was outstanding in relief, recording his fourth save of the season after pitching 2.2 innings of one-hit ball.


Rooke came into the game in the seventh inning with one out and a runner on second base but was able to get Kansas State out of the jam as he forced a fielder’s choice and a groundout to end the frame. The lefty ran into trouble in the eighth when OSU's Neil Medchill doubled to open the inning to represent the tying run at second base. But Rooke forced two groundouts and a fly out to strand Medchill and send the Cats back to the plate holding a 4-3 lead.


Jason King singled through the right side of the infield to start the ninth and moved to second on a balk. Drew Biery hit a weak groundball to second, moving King to third before Jordan Cruz hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score King and give K-State an important insurance run.


Rooke sat down the Cowboys in order in the bottom half of the frame to give K-State its fourth win in the first game of a double-header this season.


Rob Vaughn led the way for Kansas State at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one RBI. It was Vaughn’s third three-hit game of the season. King also tallied a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.


The Wildcats plated the first two runs of the game in the third.  With runners on second and third with no outs, Adam Muenster hit an infield single to drive in a run. Carter Jurica then skied a sacrifice fly to score Vaughn and put K-State up 2-0.


Kansas State scored another pair of runs in the fourth inning. With King at third and Biery at first, Biery broke for second base and was able to stay alive in a rundown before King bolted for the plate and beat the throw giving the Cats a 3-0 led.


The Wildcats put up their fourth run when Vaughn singled into left field to score Biery. That proved to be the last inning the Wildcats touched Oliver as the Oklahoma State left-hander retired the next 13 Wildcats to keep the Cowboys in the contest.


Just as quickly as the Wildcats pushed their lead to 4-0, the Cowboys rallied for three in the bottom of the fourth.  Back-to-back singles put runners on first and third before Kevin David hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate the first Cowboy run. Tom Belza followed with a single and, after a fly out, Davis Duren doubled off the left center-field wall to drive in two runs and get OSU within 4-3.


The second game of the day-night doubleheader between Kansas State and Oklahoma State is scheduled to begin at approximately 6:15 p.m., at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.