Oklahoma disposed of Coastal Carolina, and, at Kansas State, the final score was more representative of football than baseball, but the Wildcats were on the favorable end of the high run count, as the two Big 12 schools advanced to round two in NCAA regional action on Friday. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State, runner-up to regular-season conference champion Kansas State, wasn’t as foruntate as the Sooners and Wildcats. The Cowboys dropped a 7-0 contest to Miami (Fla.) in the Louisville Regional.
Kansas State fell behind 2-0 in the top half of the first, but came roaring back with a nine spot in the bottom half of the opening frame to take an early commanding lead. Wichita State kept chipping away, but the Shockers were not able to cool down the hot K-State bats. The Wildcasts pounded six Wichita State pitchers for 20 runs on 19 hits. Second-baseman Ross Kivett was four for five at the plate, including two home runs, and recorded four RBI from the lead-off position in the K-State lineup. Center-fielder Jon Davis also had four RBI on two hits.
“That was an ugly game, ” K-State head coach Brad Hill said. “Neither team wanted to to play like that. It was ugly, but we won and that is the good thing about it. Offensively we did a good job of covering ourselves today.”
The 20 runs scored by the Wildcats was the most in NCAA Torunament history. The previous high was 16 runs by Xavier in 2009.
Kansas State will next meet Bryant, which upset the two seed, Arkansas, in the Manhattan (Kan.) Regional 4-1. That game will be Saturday night.
Oklahoma fell behing Coastal Carolina 3-0 after the first two innings in the Blacksburg (Va.) Regional, but the Sooners had ace right-hander Jonathan Gray on the mound and that usually results in an OU victory. Gray, who a number of major-league scouting directors predict could go as high as the No. 2 pick overall in next week’s Major League Baseball Draft, settled down after the opening two innings, allowing nine hits in a complete-game effort as Oklahoma 41-19) rallied for a 7-3 opening-game win.
Left-fielder Max White led the Sooners’ offensive attack with four hits in five plate appearance and two RBI. No. 2-sseeded Oklahoma’s next opponent in the double-elimination tournament will be Connecticut, which upset the top-seed in that regional, beating host school Virginia Tech.
“I thought the way they (Coastal Carolina) came out against arguably the best pitcher in the country was very admirable,” OU coach Sunny Galloway said. “The key for us was to settle down, one. We did some very uncharacteristic thinks defensively in the first innin, so we had to overcome that.”
Oklahoma State managed just four hits off of University of Miami sophomore left-handed starter Chris Diaz in a 7-0 loss the the Hurricanes. Diaz struck out a career-high 10 Cowboys in seven shutout innings.
“That’s not the kind of effort that we expected of ourselves, nor was it the kind of effort that will get it done at this stage of the season,” Cowboy coach Josh Holliday said after the Friday night loss. Oklahoma State had been shut out only once all season before shooting blanks against Miami.
It was Oklahoma State’s fifth loss in a row, marking their longest losing skid of the season. They made amends for it on Saturday, however, bouncing back to defeat Bowling Green 7-3 in the loser’s bracket of the Louisville Regional. The loss eliminates Bowling Green.
The Cowboys, now 40-18 overall in 2013, will next play on Sunday night against the loser of the game between top-seed Louisville and Miami .
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