May 11, 2014
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Oklahoma State captured its ninth-straight win in dominating fashion Sunday afternoon as the No. 7 Cowboys run-ruled Kansas State, 17-5, in seven innings at Tointon Stadium.
With the win, OSU improved to 38-13 overall and will enter the final week of the regular season atop the Big 12 Conference standings with a 16-5 league mark.
Sunday’s 17 runs tied a season high and were the most runs by OSU against a Big 12 opponent since the Cowboys defeated Nebraska, 19-2, in 2008 (a game that went nine innings).
OSU racked up 17 hits against the Wildcats, its highest total in league play this year, with nine different Cowboys collecting hits. Gage Green and Zach Fish led the attack with three hits apiece, with Fish also recording a career-high five RBIs.
Tyler Nurdin picked up the win on the mound, working 5 2/3 innings and tying a season high with five strikeouts to improve to 4-3 on the season.
“It proved to be an offensive day with the elements, the warmth and the wind, and our kids continue to be pretty resilient about competing and competing every pitch,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “When you do that cumulatively as a team and you have quality players, you can be tough to deal with. Our kids today were pretty tough to deal with on offense. We took advantage of some balls that got left over the plate and had some good, solid at bats up-and-down the order and a couple of big swings of the bat.
“When we showed up today, our kids knew what our mission was, and they came out and finished the job. Mission accomplished – I’m very proud of them.”
OSU took control of the scoreboard in the second. Back-to-back singles by Green and Fish opened the inning, and Dustin Williams brought home the Cowboys’ first run with an RBI double. Two batters later, a two-out, two-RBI single by Bryan Case put Holliday’s club up, 3-0.
Both teams plated a run in the third inning, OSU’s coming via an RBI single from Tanner Krietemeier, before the Cowboys rallied for three more runs in the fourth.
In that inning, the Cowboys once again rallied with two outs. Krietemeier got things started with an RBI single, and a two-RBI single by Fish gave OSU a 7-1 advantage.
Already with a six-run lead, OSU put the game out of reach in the fifth, an inning that saw the Cowboys erupt for nine runs on six hits, including two home runs. The Pokes sent 13 batters to the plate in the frame, with the nine runs marking OSU’s highest-scoring inning of the year.
Williams led off the big inning with a walk before a single by Craig McConaughy and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with no outs. Saxon then drew an RBI walk to get the scoring started before a fielder’s choice resulted in the first out. With the bases still full, Krietemeier collected his third RBI of the contest when he was hit by a pitch to make the score 9-1.
Up next it was Green’s turn, and the junior delivered with a two-RBI double. Fish then one-upped him, depositing a three-run homer over the wall in right-center field to push the Cowboys’ lead to 14-1. The blast was Fish’s second of the series and team-leading 10th of the season.
The Cowboys plated their final runs in the inning with another homer, this one a two-run shot off the bat of Williams, whose fourth homer of the season gave him a career-high three RBIs for the game and increased OSU’s lead to 16-1.
K-State (24-28, 4-17) tagged Nurdin for four runs in the sixth, but the Cowboys helped secure the run-rule victory with Corey Hassel’s RBI single in the top of the seventh.
OSU returns to action Tuesday night when the Cowboys host Oral Roberts in the final regular-season game of the year at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium before closing out the regular season with the Bedlam Series, which begins Thursday in Oklahoma City.