Wildcats? Title Run Ends on Championship Sunday

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. Texas scored multiple runs in four innings, including four runs in both the fourth and fifth, and pounded out 19 hits as the Longhorns defeated Kansas State, 15-7, in the title game of the 2008 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Bricktown Ballpark.

With the victory, Texas improved to 37-20 overall and earned the Big 12’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The loss dropped K-State to 29-29 overall as the Wildcats finished their historic run in the 2008 Big 12 Championship with a 2-2 record.

Reliever Austin Wood (6-3) was credited with the win as he allowed just one hit in 3.1 innings while striking out two. K-State starter A.J. Morris (4-4) was saddled with the loss as he gave up five runs on five hits in 2.1 innings.

Six different Longhorns recorded multi-hit games, including Russell Moldenhauer who finished 4-for-6 with four RBI. Michael Torres, Jordan Danks and Cameron Rupp each chipped in with three hits, while Torres, Rupp and Brandon Belt drove in a pair of runs.

The Longhorns scored the game’s first run as Torres reached on an error by Nate Tenbrink, and then moved to third on a Danks single. Kyle Russell was next and hit into a double play, but Torres scored to give Texas an early 1-0 lead.

Kansas State had a great opportunity to score in the bottom of the first when the Wildcats had the bases loaded with just one out, but Texas starter Riley Boening forced a Drew Biery fly out and struck out Jason King to end the threat.

Despite missed opportunities in the first, K-State came back with a run in the second to tie the game. Byron Wiley and Rob Vaughn led the frame off with back-to-back singles before Dane Yelovich laid down a perfect bunt-single to load the bases. Derek Bunker was next and, on the first pitch, hit into a double play, but Wiley scored to tie the game at one.

The wheels began to come off for Kansas State in the top of the third as Texas batted around and plated four runs in the inning. Rupp led the inning off with a double down the right field line and was then bunted over to third. Torres then brought in Rupp with a double of his own and Danks followed with a triple to bring in Rupp and make the score 3-1.

Russell was next and, on the first pitch, hit a single through the right side to score Danks and knock Morris out of the game. Lance Hoge was called out of the bullpen and struggled as well as he gave up two singles, the latter by Moldenhauer, to bring in another run to make the score 5-1.

Texas scored another four runs in the fourth as the Longhorns batted around once again. The biggest blow was a two-RBI double to left field by Belt to make the score 8-1. Moldenhauer brought home Belt with another single to push the Texas lead to 9-1.

Kansas State made things interesting and got back in the game in the bottom of the fifth off Texas reliever Cole Green. Bunker led things off with a single and, two batters later, Tenbrink forced a walk. Following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Biery walked to bring up King, who blasted a bases-clearing, two-out double to get the Cats within five at 9-4.

Wiley was next and hit a fly ball to deep center field, which cleared the wall, but Danks flipped the ball back into the playing field to give Wiley an RBI triple to make the score 9-5, which would be the end for Green. Texas went to Wood and, on the first pitch, Vaughn singled up the middle to bring home Wiley and get the Cats within three at 9-6.

Kansas State’s marginal deficit didn’t last long, however, as Texas scored another three runs in the sixth to put the game away. Russell hit a one-out double to left center field and, following a walk, Moldenhauer brought in both runners with another double Texas’ fifth of the day pushing the Longhorn lead out to 11-6. After a strikeout, David Hernandez drove in Moldenhauer with a RBI single for the 12th Texas run of the day.

The Wildcats pushed across one run in the bottom of the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Bloxom to end the scoring at 15-7. Four Wildcats recorded multiple hits Sunday to pace the 11-hit attack as Bunker, Tenbrink, Wiley and Vaughn each had two hits. King led the K-State offense with three runs driven in on the afternoon.

Three Wildcats were honored postgame with All-Tournament accolades as Daniel Edwards, Biery and Tenbrink were all named to the squad.