Big 12 baseball teams posted a 3-0 mark on Saturday during the second day of play in the NCAA Baseball Championship Regionals. K-State and Oklahoma improved to 2-0 in the Manhattan and Blacksburg Regionals, respectively, putting the two teams one win away from Super Regional berths.
The Sooners were victorious over Connecticut, 5-3, in 12 innings on Saturday afternoon, while the Wildcats recorded a 7-1 win over Bryant. OU will face the winner of Virginia Tech/Connecticut on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. CT with K-State meeting Arkansas or Bryant on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Oklahoma State’s 7-3 win over Bowling Green keeps the Cowboys alive in the Louisville Regional. OSU will need three more wins, including two on Sunday for a chance at a Super Regional appearance. The Cowboys face opening round opponent Miami (Fla.) at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday in another elimination game. With a win, Oklahoma State will face the Cardinals at 3 p.m. CT.
No. 18 Oklahoma 5, Connecticut 3 (12 innings) (Blacksburg Regional)
Sunday: Virginia Tech/Connecticut vs. No. 18 Oklahoma, 4:30 p.m. CT (ESPN3)
It took 12 innings for the Oklahoma Sooners and Connecticut Huskies to decide a game by inches.
OU senior Max White’s line drive lipped off the top of UConn centerfielder Billy Ferriter’s glove for an RBI triple, scoring Craig Aikin for the game-winning run in extra innings.
The Huskies’ defense collapsed briefly after the play, letting the Sooners get an insurance run.
After Matt Oberste was issued an intentional walk, second baseman LJ Mazzilli missed tagging the Sooners’ top slugger as he ran to second on Hector Lorenzana’s grounder in the next at-bat and then erred his throw to first, allowing White to score on a what could have been a double play.
Kyle Hayes (1-0), who pitched two saves in back-to-back games in the Sooners’ extra-inning and championship game wins in the Big 12 Championship, earned his first win in 15 appearances after retiring seven of his nine batters.
No. 13 Kansas State 7, Bryant 1 (Manhattan Regional)
Sunday: No. 12 Arkansas/Bryant at Kansas State, 7:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Kansas State centerfielder Jared King made a diving catch to save a pair of runs in the fifth and promptly hit a two-RBI double the next half-inning to break a 1-1 tie and spark the Wildcats to a 7-1 victory over Bryant Saturday in the winner’s bracket of the 2013 NCAA Manhattan Regional at Tointon Family Stadium.
The top-seeded Wildcats, who tied their single-season record for wins as they improved to 43-17, move to the championship round of the Manhattan Regional Sunday night.
With the game tied and two on and two out in the bottom of the fifth, Joe Flattery (5-4) threw a first-pitch fastball to Kevin Brown who hit a sinking line drive into the right-center field gap. King laid out for the ball and caught it a foot from the ground to end the inning and strand the two runners.
The effort ignited a Wildcat offense that had troubles against Bryant starting pitcher Craig Schlitter (10-4), who had retired 15 of the previous 16 batters. After Ross Kivett reached on a leadoff error and was sacrificed over to second base, Shane Conlon singled to left field to put runners on the corners and knock Schlitter out of the game.
A switch hitter, King flipped around to bat right handed against left-hander John Heally and shot a 2-2 pitch into the same gap he robbed a pair of Bulldog runs to give the Cats a 3-1 advantage. K-State added two more on a passed ball and a two-out error to take a four-run lead at 5-1.
Flattery allowed just one run while working around seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts in his first appearance since May 18 against Oklahoma. After allowing a run on a ground out by John Mullen in the first, the left-hander stranded two runners in the second and pitched consecutive 1-2-3 innings in the third and fourth before benefitting from King’s defensive work in the fifth.
Jake Matthys, who entered with runners on first and second in the seventh inning, needed just 26 pitches to record the final seven outs of the game and pick up his eighth save of the year. Matthys’ outing was his 31st this year, tying the single-season school record for relief appearances, while his eight saves extended his hold on the K-State freshman record and are tied for sixth overall in school history.
Nate Williams also threw 1.2 scoreless innings as the K-State pitching staff allowed just three hits for the final seven innings.
Kivett registered his second-straight multi-hit game of the NCAA Tournament by going 2-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored. The Big 12 Player of the Year scored in the first inning on a RBI single off the bat of Tanner Witt, while Kivett produced a RBI ground out in the ninth inning. Blair DeBord added another run in the ninth when he scored on a wild pitch.
Conlon also registered his 24th multi-hit game of the year by going 2-for-4 with a run. Austin Fisher doubled in the fourth inning to push his season total to 20, which is tied for fourth in school history in a single season. He was also hit by a pitch and scored in the sixth inning.
Schlitter allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 5.1 innings. All six of the right-hander’s strikeouts came during his stretch of retiring 15 of 16 hitters. Catcher Jonathan Scott was the only Bulldog with a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-2 with a walk.
No. 18 Oklahoma State 7, Bowling Green 3 (Louisville Regional)
Sunday: No. 18 Oklahoma State vs. Miami (Fla.), 11:00 a.m. CT (ESPNU/ESPN3)
With win: No. 18 Oklahoma State at Louisville, 3:00 p.m. CT (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Oklahoma State earned its first NCAA Tournament win in four years Saturday as the third-seeded Cowboys advanced in the NCAA Louisville Regional with a 7-3 win over fourth-seeded Bowling Green in an elimination game at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With its first NCAA tourney win since the 2009 NCAA Clemson Regional, the Cowboys improved to 40-18 overall as they also reached the 40-win mark for the first time since 2008.
Tyler Nurdin earned the win on the mound with seven solid innings, while the heart of the order, led by Tanner Krietemeier and Randy McCurry, did most of the offensive damage.
After being shut out by Miami in the opening round Friday, OSU wasted no time getting on the scoreboard against the Falcons.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Krietemeier drew a two-out walk, and following a wild pitch by BGSU’s Cody Apthorpe, McCurry delivered an RBI single to give the Cowboys a 1-0 advantage.
OSU increased its lead in the second. Gage Green led off the inning with a triple, and a one-out single by Saulyer Saxon made it 2-0. A wild pitch allowed Saxon to advance two bases to third and after a walk, Donnie Walton stole second to put a pair of runners in scoring position.
And this time it would be Krietemeier coming up clutch, sending a single up the middle that brought home both runners and pushed the OSU lead to 4-0.
BGSU (24-31) collected its first run in the second, and the score would remain 4-1 until the seventh.
In that inning, the Cowboys added a pair of insurance runs. Jarrett Higgins led off the seventh with a double, and an RBI single by Walton made it 5-1. Walton then swiped his second base of the game, allowing him to later score on a McCurry two-out single.
OSU pushed its lead to 7-1 with an unearned run in the top of the eighth before the Falcons mounted their first serious threat in the bottom of the inning.
After giving up a bloop single and a four-pitch walk to open the BGSU eighth, Nurdin’s day on the mound was done. Vince Wheeland came out of the Cowboys’ bullpen and surrendered an RBI single to T.J. Losby to make it 7-2, then a throwing error by McCurry cut the OSU lead to four.
With BGSU runners on second and third and no outs, Wheeland struck out the next two hitters before a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate. But Wheeland got pinch hitter Matthew Pitzulo to fly out to help OSU escape further damage.
Nurdin struck out five and allowed just two earned runs on seven hits as the southpaw improved to 5-3.
The Cowboys finished with nine hits, with Saxon and McCurry collecting two apiece, while both McCurry and Krietemeier picked up a game-high two RBIs.