Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

May 25, 2012

Bricktown bummer

Wildcats score and often to close out Oklahoma State’s season.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Five days after Oklahoma State University pitcher Randy McCurry dominated Texas A&M in his best pitching performance this season, the junior from Tupelo had his worst outing as Kansas State eliminated the Cowboys from the Big 12 tournament, 11-5, Thursday at Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Ballpark.

The loss also ended the Cowboys’ season. Oklahoma State lost six straight to end the season and played themselves out of an NCAA berth.

McCurry couldn’t even record an out in the first inning giving up three runs on two hits with three walks.

“It was a weird day,” Oklahoma State catcher Jared Womack said. “A lot of things happened that you don’t really have a book to go by. You just have to take it in stride and keep battling through the whole game and hope things turn around. They started to in the ninth, but unfortunately that’s a little too late.”

Oklahoma State didn’t seem to recover from Wednesday’s loss to Oklahoma in the tournament’s first round. OU’s Garrett Carey clouted a ninth-inning walkoff home run off OSU’s pitching ace Andrew Heaney to send the Pokes to the elimination game.

“This last game obviously is not a microcosm of the entire year,” Oklahoma State coach Frank Anderson said. “We played so well and pitched so well. I mean, we went weeks without giving up this many unforced runners. But once the floodgates start going, you could see it in guys’ eyes. That thing starts to snowball and you can’t hardly get it stopped.”

Kansas State (27-30) struck early and often, plating three runs before the Cowboys (32-25) recorded the game’s first out. The biggest blow came on Jared King’s two-run triple.

After Kansas State added three more in the top of the third — two coming on Ross Kivett’s double to right — the Cowboys mounted a mini comeback.

Walks to Wes Jones and Saulyer Saxon put runners on first and second for Hunter Bailey. With two outs, Bailey split the gap in left field for a two-run double. Robbie Rea then drove Bailey home with a blooper over the Kansas State shortstop, cutting Kansas State’s lead to 6-3.

That’s as close as Oklahoma State came, as the Wildcats answered with four runs on three hits and an error in the top of the fourth.

“We didn’t make some pitches,” Womack said. “The zone was a little tight back there. I thought it was consistant, but fairly tight. Our pitchers got frustrated and started leaving the ball over the middle of the plate, and it didn’t turn out too well for us.”

Kansas State added another run in the top of the eighth as King singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by R.J. Santigate.

Oklahoma State made one last effort in the bottom of the ninth. Back-to-back walks followed by Saxon’s single loaded the bases for Bailey. Once again, Bailey came through, driving the ball back up the middle for a single, trimming the Kansas State lead to 11-4.

Rea then drove in Zach Fish with a sacrifice fly to center, but the Cowboys wouldn’t score again.

Bailey led the Cowboy offense, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Rea went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

“It was a completely different situation than (against Oklahoma),” Womack said. “We just came out and weren’t ready to play. I don’t think anybody was thinking about yesterday or worrying about it. Things just didn’t turn out well.”

— Nick Snow is a sports reporter for the Stillwater NewsPress.

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