May 25, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - For the first time in school history, Kansas State will advance to the title game of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship as the Wildcats defeated Baylor, 3-2, Saturday evening at Bricktown Ballpark.
With the win, K-State improved to 29-28 overall and won Pool 2 with a 2-1 record, including a Wednesday-night win over Oklahoma State, who also finished pool play at 2-1. The victory moved Kansas State to 5-5 all time in the Big 12 Championship. The loss dropped Baylor to 32-26 overall and finished the championship with a 1-2 record.
Kansas State starting pitcher Justin Murray (3-2) picked up the win after allowing two runs, while spraying seven hits in 6.0 innings of work as he walked three and also stuck out three. Reliever Trevor Hurley and Ben Hornbeck were also effective as the duo combined to allow just one hi in 1.1 innings, while striking out two.
Closer Daniel Edwards broke the single-season record with his 12th save as the right hander threw the final 1.2 innings while not allowing a hit and striking out three batters.
Kansas State was led offensively by Nate Tenbrink, who went 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Byron Wiley also recorded a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with one RBI, while Drew Biery drove in two runs in his 1-for-4 effort.
Down 2-1 after a Baylor two-run sixth, the Wildcats took back their one-run lead in the bottom half of the inning as Tenbrink and Justin Bloxom hit back-to-back singles to lead off the frame. Following a strikeout, Biery hit a pitch up the middle to plate Tenbrink and tie the game at two. Wiley was next and hit another single back up through the box to score Bloxom and give the Cats their 3-2 lead.
The Wildcat pitchers avoided a Baylor scoring opportunity in the seventh inning as Murray walked the first man he faced to lead off the inning and was lifted for Hurley. The junior proceeded to strike out Raynor Campbell for the first out, and Kansas State went back to the pen to bring in Hornbeck. The tall left hander gave up a hit to Beemer Weems, but forced Ben Booker to fly out. Following a walk to put runners on first and second, Shaver Hansen fouled out to Rob Vaughn to end Baylor's last scoring threat of the night and Edwards did the rest.
Baylor's first scoring chance of the night came in the third as Paul Miles reached and went to second on an error and Weems forced a one-out walk. Booker was next and hit a fly out to right, which allowed Miles to go to third. But Murray came back to strike out Aaron Miller to end the frame.
Murray again avoided trouble in the fourth inning as back-to-back singles by Hansen and Dustin Dickerson put runners on first and second with no outs. Following a fly out, Gregg Glime grounded into a double play to end the threat and keep the game scoreless.
Kansas State punched across the first run of the game when Tenbrink lead things off with a single, and then stole second base. Following a Bloxom walk, Jason King sacrificed both runners up and Biery hit a RBI ground out to score Tenbrink and give the Cats a 1-0 lead.
Baylor answered the run with a pair in the top of the sixth when Booker doubled down the right field line and, two batters later, Hansen drove him in with a single to tie the game at two apiece. Hansen then stole second base during Dickerson's at bat, but Vaughn's throw went into center field, allowing Hansen to move to third. Dickerson hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Booker, and giving Baylor a 2-1 lead.
Kansas State will now take on Texas in the title game of the 2008 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The game, which is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch, will air live on FSN.