OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – For amateur psychologists, the first game of Day Two at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship was an interesting matchup.
Oklahoma State was coming off a crushing 1-0 loss to Bedlam rival Oklahoma with the winning run coming in walk off fashion. Kansas State's game with top-seeded Baylor was also decided in a walk off but the Bears' final run made it 11-1 and ended the game at seven innings thanks to the 10-run rule.
The Wildcats, perhaps embarrassed they were unable to play a full game in their opener, bounced back with an 11-5 victory Thursday over the Cowboys (32-25). The loss eliminated Oklahoma State. Kansas State will face Baylor at 3:15 p.m. Friday.
"I was very pleased," Kansas State coach Brad Hill said. "The big thing was our first inning. It was a tough day yesterday for both teams, you feel good whenever you can get momentum first in a game like this, and we jumped right out in the first and jump started ourselves."
Kansas State (27-30) scored three in the first, with Big 12 batting champion Jared King driving in two with a triple to right center. The Wildcats doubled their lead with a three-run third highlighted by Mike Kindel's two-run single.
"We just didn't pitch very good," Oklahoma State coach Frank Anderson said. "We got ourselves in a hole too big to dig ourselves out."
With Oklahoma State playing at 9 a.m. for the second consecutive day, the Cowboys appeared to be sleep walking. The wakeup call arrived in the bottom of the third. Oklahoma State got a two-run double from shortstop Hunter Bailey and cut the Wildcats' lead in half.
Trailing 6-3 going to the top of the fourth, the Cowboys were back in the game. However, they couldn't execute the shut-down inning as Kansas State scored four runs. All of the runs came with two outs and were unearned as Bailey's error kept the inning alive.
"We've been here six years in a row and never lost two in a row, this team just continues to find a way," Hill said. "It was a good day for us, our guys found a way to get it done."