OKLAHOMA CITY | Nate Tenbrink, Kansas State third baseman from Olathe Northwest, owns Oklahoma State.Wildcats’ pitcher Brad Hutt owns everybody these days.
Hutt is on a roll, folks. The senior righthander threw another gem for No. 7 seed K-State, and Wednesday night he befuddled the top hitting team in the Big 12.
Although Hutt’s scoreless inning streak ended at 17, his effort combined with Tenbrink’s two-run homer guided K-State to a 3-2 victory over No. 2 Oklahoma State in front of 5,937 in the Big 12 tournament at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
K-State, who at 28-27 needs to win the tournament in order to advance to the school’s first NCAA regional, began that task in fine fashion.
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The next step comes at 4 p.m. Friday when the Wildcats play No. 3 Nebraska in the second game of Pool 2.
K-State, the Huskers, Baylor and the Cowboys compose that pool. Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M make up Pool 1. The team with the best record in each pool after three games move on to Sunday’s final.
Tenbrink provided Hutt a lead in the top of the first when he hit a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left center to score leadoff batter Derek Bunker, who was hit by a pitch. It was Tenbrink’s fourth round-tripper this year against the Cowboys.
Hutt, who allowed one earned run, six hits and struck out a season-high six, got a little help from his friends.
His scoreless streak was disrupted when Oklahoma State, who entered with a team batting average of .329, pushed across a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Wildcats’ reliever Trevor Hurley finished the inning by coaxing Matt Hague to line out to second baseman Brett Scott.
The Cowboys, 40-16, closed within a run in the bottom of the eighth when Thomas Belza delivered a two-out run-scoring single off reliever Daniel Edwards. But pinch hitter Michael Dabbs got caught looking at a third strike, stranding two base runners.
Edwards struck out the side in the ninth.