OKLAHOMA CITY | Kansas State played in its first Big 12 baseball tournament championship game Sunday. The outcome, however, was painful.
No. 5 seed Texas beat No. 7 K-State 15-7 at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. The Wildcats blew a shot at getting the Big 12’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Now, at 29-29, they are a long shot at receiving an at-large bid when the field is announced Monday.
K-State didn’t make it easy on Texas. The Wildcats scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth, pulling within 9-6.
The Wildcats, down by eight, got a three-run double from Jason King with two outs. Byron Wiley followed with a triple to center. Texas outfielder Jordan Danks leaped, his glove over the fence, and trapped the ball in his webbing. But when he brought it back, his elbow hit the top of the wall and the ball popped out of his glove. Rob Vaughn then recorded a single that caromed off shortstop David Hernendez’s glove to score Wiley.
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Texas, though, answered with three runs in the sixth, including a two-run double from Russell Moldenhauer.
The Longhorns, 37-20, broke it open by scoring four times in the third four more in the fourth. In all, they recorded a season-high 19 hits against K-State.
The Wildcats were tied 1-1 when the Longhorns chased starter A.J. Morris. Texas had five hits in the third, getting an RBI double from Michael Torres, a run-scoring triple from Danks and Moldenhauer had an RBI single.
In the fourth, not even K-State ace Brad Hutt could slow Texas. The Longhorns had four hits in the frame, and were aided by a Wildcats’ error to build their advantage.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the first, using a throwing error by K-State third baseman Nate Tenbrink to open the door when Torres led off with a grounder to Tenbrink. His throw pulled Justin Bloxom off the bag at first, and Torres later scored on a double play.
K-State tied it in the second when Wiley led off with an infield single and eventually came around to score on a double play grounder.