April 21, 2013
STILLWATER, Okla. – Freshmen pitchers Blake McFadden and Jake Matthys kept Oklahoma State at bay and Jared King blasted a tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning as Kansas State held on to defeat the Cowboys, 3-2, Sunday at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
K-State, which salvaged the final game of the series, improved to 28-13 and 7-5 in Big 12 play. It marked the first regular-season win over Oklahoma State since 2010 and the first victory in Stillwater since 2009. OSU dropped to 27-11 and 7-7 in league action.
McFadden allowed only two only runs over the first four innings, but the right-hander ran into trouble in the fifth as he surrendered a leadoff triple to Gage Green. After Green was thrown out at the plate on a one-out fielder’s choice, McFadden issued a walk to put two runners on base in a 2-2 ballgame.
With two outs, K-State brought in Matthys (6-0) and the Spring Lake Park, Minn., native ended the threat with a ground ball out. Matthys worked around a leadoff double in the sixth inning and a leadoff infield single in the ninth while tossing a season-high 4.1 scoreless innings with no walks and three strikeouts.
“Two freshmen went out and showed great composure today,” head coach Brad Hill said. “They made pitches and hit their spots. Those two guys really set the tone for us. We just let Jake ride. He kept throwing good stuff. He did what they did to us – he was able to throw changeups and breaking pitches in hitter’s counts. You could see they were out front and confused, which made it a lot easier for us.”
Matthys, who retired nine-straight batters until the ninth-inning single, now has the most wins in a season by a Wildcat relief pitcher in the Big 12 era. Matthys is one win away from tying the record for victories by a K-State freshman.
McFadden worked a solid 4.2 innings, allowing a first-inning run on a fielder’s choice and a one-out solo home run in the fourth inning by Robbie Rea, his third of the series. McFadden finished his stint giving up four hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
“Blake made one mistake,” Hill said, “but he came right back with strikes. He competed, and that’s what it was all about today.”
King, who saw a steady diet of changeups and curve balls in his first two at-bats which resulted in a foul out and a walk, crushed a 0-1 off-speed pitch over the wall in left field to open the sixth and give the Cats a one-run lead. It was King’s sixth home run of the season, including his third in the last five games.
“He got a mistake that stayed up,” Hill said of the pitch. “He was a little more timed on that one. They made a mistake and he got it.”
King’s 21st career home run put him within one of reaching the top-10 list at Kansas State.
Blair DeBord began the scoring for K-State in the first inning with a two-out RBI single to right field. Austin Fisher then laced a run-scoring single up the middle to make the score 2-0. It was the first of three hits for Fisher, matching his career-high.
Tanner Witt also recorded two hits, his team-leading 19th multi-hit game of the year. Witt now has a career-best 60 hits this season, while his 153 career singles are 10th in school history.
Oklahoma State starting pitcher Tyler Nurdin (0-2) suffered the loss in a five-inning outing with four walks and two strikeouts. Rea was the only Oklahoma State hitter with a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-4.
The Wildcats conclude their eight-game road trip Tuesday night as they travel to Lincoln, Neb., to take on Nebraska. First pitch from Hawks Field is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and the game can be heard on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN as well as online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.