MANHATTAN — The odds were against Kansas State from the start Saturday.
Not only were the Wildcats trying to beat the top-ranked Texas baseball team for a second-straight game, they were trying to do so with the Longhorns' best pitcher, Cole Green, on the hill.
Green shut down K-State's normally potent lineup with a mixture of power and command in an easy 17-2 win. In a complete-game effort he struck out four, walked none and allowed six hits.
"He's good," K-State coach Brad Hill. "That's what I told the guys. You're not going to see many guys, if any, in college that have command of pitches like he has command. They really change speed, really locate both sides of the plate. That's the best guy that we've seen."
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After giving up a double to Carter Jurica in the first inning and letting him cross home plate on a wild pitch moments later, Green (10-0) held the Wildcast scoreless until the ninth inning.
And unlike Friday's 2-1 victory, which snapped a 21-game winning streak by Texas, K-State needed runs to hang with the Longhorns this time.
"They're a great hitting team, I was just able to get them to put it in play early and keep my pitch count down," Green said. "Then we got some runs. We'll be a hard team to beat if we keep getting that many runs."
Hill figured Texas would be motivated by Friday's loss.
K-State's gameplan was to start Kayvon Bahramzadeh, and let him pitch for as long as he could. With enough run support, K-State coaches figured the strategy could work. But Bahramzadeh lasted just two innings. At that point Texas was ahead 2-1, and it only got worse from there. K-State used six other pitchers. Only Matt Applegate and Tyler Sturges were able to slow the onslaught.
"They got after it today when we made mistakes," Hill said.
The mistakes started in the fourth inning, when the Longhorns strung together five hits and scored five runs. Brandon Loy highlighted the surge with a two-run homer.
In the next inning Cohl Walla blasted a three-run home run, and in the eighth Cameron Rupp and Jonathan Walsh each sent blasts over the fence. By game's end, Texas (40-8, 20-3 Big 12) had piled up 19 hits. The win gave the Longhorns at least a share of the regular season conference championship.
"It was a turnaround," Texas coach Augie Garrido said. "We played a much more competitive game."
K-State (32-14, 11-8) can still win the three-game series with a victory at 1 p.m. today. The Wildcats' Justin Lindsey will pitch against Brandon Workman.
Hill expects Lindsey will be up for the challenge. But once again, the odds will be with Texas.