April 10, 2011
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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Evan Marshall pitched 3.2 shutout innings and Jared King capped a five-run outburst with a two-RBI single in the fifth inning as Kansas State took a weekend series from No. 7 Oklahoma with a 6-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.
The rubber game win earned K-State its first series win over the Sooners since 2001 as the Cats improved to 18-12 on the season and 4-8 in Big 12 play. It was also the first series victory for the Wildcats over a top-10 team since winning two games at No. 2 Texas in 2009.
Oklahoma fell to 24-8 on the year and 6-5 in conference action with the loss.
The Wildcats trailed 2-0 after the Sooners plated single runs in each of the second and third innings. K-State began its comeback in the fifth with Mike Kindel reaching on a walk before Ross Kivet pushed a bunt past the mound for a base hit. Chase Graskewicz's attempted sacrifice bunt bounced directly to Sooner pitcher Dillon Overton (5-3), who threw wildly by third baseman Garrett Buechele, allowing Kindel to score.
Overton's error proved costly as the Wildcats took advantage of the extra out. Tanner Witt executed a squeeze play to tie the game at 2-2. Then, Jake Brown and Nick Martini followed with a pair of walks to load the bases with two outs, which ended Overton's afternoon. Reliever Tyson Seng, who came on to face Jason King, balked on a 1-0 count to bring in Graskewicz with the go-ahead run.
Seng walked Jason King to reload the bases and set the stage for Jared King, who smacked his single up the middle to give the Cats a 5-2 advantage.
"It's all about executing and putting the ball into their hands," head coach Brad Hill said. "They didn't make the play, and that's part of it. They created an opportunity for us and Jared King gave us a great at-bat. He fouled off some pitches and got the big base hit."
Marshall's stellar relief effort was key in the victory. The right-hander (3-3) entered the contest with one out in the third inning and gave up a sacrifice fly for the second Sooner run.
Marshall struck out Casey Johnson, who hit a solo homer in the second for the Sooners' first run, to end the third inning. He went on to retire eight of the next 10 batters, including a double play in the sixth. The Sunnyvale, Calif., product surrendered just one hit and struck out three batters to earn his first victory since February 24 at No. 17 Coastal Carolina.
"That's the Evan Marshall we need out there," Hill said. "He did what he needed to do and produced a lot of ground balls. That was big for Evan and our ballclub."
Shawn Lewick, Gerardo Esquivel and James Allen combined to shut down Oklahoma over the final three innings. Lewick struck out the only batter he faced in the seventh before giving way to Esquivel, who worked the rest of the seventh and the eighth. Allen was perfect in the ninth as he struck out two of the three batters he faced.
Overton took the loss despite not allowing a hit for the first 3.2 innings. All five of the runs he gave up were unearned, while he walked four and struck out five in 4.2 innings.
Jared King and Ross Kivett paced the Wildcats with two hits apiece. Wade Hinkle produced an insurance run in the eighth when he beat out a potential inning-ending double play to push the lead to four.
Martini went 0-for-2 but drew a walk in both the first and fifth innings to extend his NCAA record streak of consecutive games reaching base to 90 contests.
Next action for Kansas State is on Tuesday when the Cats travel to Omaha, Neb., to take on Creighton at the CU Sports Complex. First pitch is set for 3 p.m., and the game can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN or online at www.k-statesports.com.
The Wildcats return to Tointon Family Stadium on Wednesday to face in-state rival Wichita State. The game, which will be televised on Kansas 22 and Metro Sports, begins at 6:30 p.m. A pregame tailgate begins 90 minutes prior to first pitch in the picnic area behind the left-field wall.
Fans can purchase tickets for the Wichita State game, or any other remaining home contest this season, by logging on to www.k-statesports.com/tickets, calling 1-800-221-CATS or visiting the K-State Athletic Ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum.