March 24, 2012
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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Texas overcame K-State's 4-2 advantage by scoring twice in the eighth inning and broke through with two more runs in the 11th as the 21st-ranked Longhorns claimed a 6-4 extra-inning victory Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium.
The Longhorns, who evened the weekend series at one game apiece, moved to 12-9 on the season and 4-1 in Big 12 play. K-State fell to 13-9 overall and 2-3 in league action, while the Wildcats dropped their first extra-inning decision of the year after winning the season opener at CSU Bakersfield in 11 innings.
Texas scored two runs in the both the sixth and eighth innings to erase K-State leads of 3-0 and 4-2. In the 11th, Texas recorded four-straight two-out base hits off K-State reliever Nate Williams (0-1), including RBI singles by Erich Weiss and Jonathan Walsh, to take a 6-4 lead.
That was all that Texas closer Corey Knebel (2-0) needed as he retired the Wildcats in order in the 11th to set up Sunday’s rubber match.
“That was a tough one for us,” head coach Brad Hill said. “But, Texas is the best at cashing in when you open up the door for them. We opened up the door. The hit-by-pitch started the eighth inning, and there was a pop up that should have been caught right after that. They’re going to cash in. They’re the best at doing that and they have been for a long time. We didn’t give it away because they still got the hits. We had our opportunity in the 10th, and at home we need to get that done.”
Knebel faced the minimum in three of his four innings of relief work and recorded a strikeout to get out of a jam in the 10th. Tanner Witt walked to begin the inning and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two out, Texas elected to intentionally walk Jared King, and both runners moved up a base on catcher’s indifference with Wade Hinkle at the plate. Knebel struck out Hinkle on a 1-2 inside fastball.
Walsh paced Texas offensively, going 3-for-6 with a RBI and two runs scored. Brooks Marlow drove in two runs, including one on a two-out infield single in the eighth inning to tie the game at 4-4.
K-State was led at the plate by King, who went 3-for-4 with a RBI. Catcher Dan Klein drove in three runs, two of which came on his first home run of the season in the fourth inning to put the Wildcats on top, 2-0.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 3-0 when King singled home a run in the fifth, but Texas made it a one-run game with two in the sixth. Klein's sacrifice fly in the sixth got back a run for the Wildcats but, Texas tied the game in the eighth when right-hander Johnny Fasola balked with a runner on third base before Marlow’s infield single.
The loss spoiled an excellent outing by K-State starter Joe Flattery, who pitched five shutout innings with no walks and six strikeouts.
Sunday’s rubber match is set for a 1 p.m., first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium. Sunday is Family Day as fans can purchase a Wildcat 4-Pack for $30 that includes four general admission bench tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks and four bags of chips. Also, all kids can run the bases after the game.
Tickets are available for the game through the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets or at the Tointon Family Stadium box office prior to the game. The contest can be seen nationally on Fox College Sports and world-wide on K-StateHD.TV. Fans in the Manhattan area can hear the game on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.