K-State Rallies To Top Sooners For Big 12 Title
Just when the Sooners looked like they might turn their luck around, misfortune struck again as the Wildcats rallied to win 6-5, scoring its game-winner on a wild pitch.
Kansas State (38-15, 15-7 Big 12) clinched its first conference title in baseball since 1933 as it rallied from a 4-0 deficit over the final four innings to hand Oklahoma (35-18, 12-10) its seventh loss in the last nine games.
After allowing five unanswered runs, the Sooners trailed 5-4 in the top of the ninth. Senior shortstop Jack Mayfield hit a one-out solo home run over trees beyond the left field wall. Mayfield belted the previous pitch out of the park, but it sailed just foul down the left field line.
But just as Oklahoma quieted the 3,589 in attendance at Tointon Family Stadium, the Sooners began to unravel.
Tanner Witt walked on five pitches for the first at-bat opposite freshman reliever Jacob Evans and advanced to second base on Shane Conlon's sacrifice bunt. The Sooners issued an intentional walk to Jared King to create a double-play opportunity, but then Evans hit Austin Fisher with his first pitch of at-bat, loading the bases with just one out. Evans next pitch sailed wild left of its target and Witt crossed home to end the game.
Three of OU's last four losses have come by just one run, while the other was a 6-4 defeat.
Oklahoma scored three runs with four straight two-out hits in the top of the fourth to take the initial lead over Kansas State.
Hector Lorenzana, named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after a 5-for-11, six-RBI, three-run performance in the Bedlam Series, legged a stand-up triple after KSU right fielder Jon Davis landed short on his attempt to make a diving grab. Anthony Hermelyn followed with a single through the right side to score Lorenzana. Garrett Carey added a single to right field and then OU's baserunners advanced on a wild pitch to Hunter Haley. On a full count, Haley lined back up the middle for a two-RBI single.
Hermelyn and Carey hit back-to-back singles in the sixth before Kansas State replaced its starting pitcher, Levi MaVorhis. Reliever Nate Williams dropped a high-bouncing chopper hit by Haley and Carpenter beat out a bases-loaded double-play attempt to score Hermelyn and give the Sooners a 4-0 advantage.
Hermelyn, Carey and Haley, Nos. 6, 7 and 8, in OU's order had eight hits in 11 at-bats, scoring three runs and batting in three more.
Kansas State led off the bottom of the sixth shelling Jonathan Gray for three straight singles with Fisher's hit scoring Conlon. Mitch Meyer singled through the left side two at-bats later to plate King and Fisher.
Gray's problems continued in the seventh as R.J. Santigate led off with a single and advanced to second on Ross Kivett's sacrifice bunt. Witt singled up the middle to score Santigate and tie the game.
Kansas State's Jon Davis tripled to lead off the bottom of the eighth and was batted in with pinch-hitting Lance Miles single to right field.