March 18, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas – Kansas State put up a battle against No. 5 Texas the entire evening, but an impressive outing by Longhorn starter Taylor Jungmann and a two-run UT first inning proved to the difference as Texas defeated K-State, 3-0, Friday evening at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in the conference opener for both teams.
Kansas State, which dropped its first contest in the last five games in Austin, fell to 12-5 overall and 0-1 in Big 12 play. Texas improved to 13-5 on the season and 1-0 in conference action, while the Longhorns are now 21-0 in Jungmann’s home starts.
After Jungmann (5-0) allowed a leadoff bunt single to Jake Brown in the third, the right-hander went on to retire 11 of his next 12 batters faced, including a streak of 10-straight, until Mike Kindel shot a single into right field with one out in the seventh. Jungmann worked eight innings, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out four in his second combined shutout of the year.
“Early on we didn’t extend at-bats out and he really cruised through the first five innings,” head coach Brad Hill said of Jungmann. “You have to compete against a guy like that and we didn’t do that early. He wore down a little bit later and we got some good swings on him, but it was just too little too late.”
K-State starting pitcher Kyle Hunter (2-1) matched Jungmann throughout most of the game, but a pair of one-out infield singles in the bottom of the first eventually came around to score off the left-hander when Jacob Felts laced a single into left-field, giving Texas a 2-0 lead.
Hunter was able to settle in after the first inning as he allowed a leadoff single in the second before retiring 12 of the next 13 Longhorn batters. The only blemish turning that stretch was an error in the third, while the left-hander tallied five strikeouts during the span.
Hunter, a Galesburg, Ill., native, suffered his first loss of the season, surrendering three runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in six inning of work. The left-hander has gone at least six innings in his last four starts, while he has totaled six or more strikeouts in each of those contests.
“Kyle was outstanding tonight,” Hill said. “He competed really well. I thought he matched Jungmann and did what he had to do. He only gave up three runs. You would hope that you can scratch across three runs in the game, but against Taylor Jungmann it’s tough to do. Kyle really gave us that opportunity. With two runs in the first, a lot of things could have gone wrong, but Kyle stopped it right there.”
Kansas State had a couple of chances in the later stages of the game to get on the board as Jugmann tired. Consecutive singles by Kindel and Kent Urban put runners on the corners with one out in the seventh, but the Texas right-hander forced a foul out and a ground out to get out of the frame.
In the eighth, Brown and Chase Graskewicz tallied back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a fly out brought up Nick Martini. The K-State junior turned on an inside pitch that sailed deep into the outfield, but Texas right fielder Mark Payton tracked down the ball at the wall for the second out of the frame.
Jungmann followed up the long out by fanning Jason King to get out of the eighth, while Texas closer Corey Knebel worked a perfect ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season.
Five different Longhorns recorded one hit apiece in the contest. Felts collected two RBI on his first-inning single, while Payton hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to drive in the final Texas run.
Brown paced K-State offensively with a pair of hits, while Martini reached on an error and walked to extend his streak of consecutive games reaching base safely to 77 games.
Kansas State continues its conference-opening series against Texas on Saturday with a 2 p.m. first pitch at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. Listeners in the Manhattan area can hear the game on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN, while free live audio is available online at www.k-statesports.com.