The University of Oklahoma baseball team scored in each of the first three innings, but a cluster of Kansas State runs in the middle innings was the difference in a 9-3 loss in front of 1,431 at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Friday evening. The Sooners dropped to 22-23-1 overall and 7-12 in the Big 12, while the Wildcats moved to 24-23 and 6-10.
“They got a quality start,” head coach Pete Hughes said of lefty Parker Rigler. “We put pressure on that guy early, couple line drives, a couple good plays, then he settled in. We have to do a better job playing from behind. That wasn’t an acceptable way to play from behind. You have to keep plugging away.”
Each side got a run in the first inning. K-State plated a run on three hits, including a RBI-single from catcher Tyler Moore. Senior center fielder Alex Wise (Neosho, Mo.) hit a leadoff-triple for OU in the bottom half and scored on a RBI-groundout by junior third baseman Jack Flansburg (Orange, Calif.).
The Sooners took a brief lead in the bottom of the second. A leadoff-walk and an error put junior first baseman Austin O’Brien (Owasso, Okla.) in scoring position. He scored on a RBI-single to left by freshman pitcher Chris Andritsos (The Woodlands, Texas).
The Wildcats would then score in each of the next four innings. A RBI-groundout tied the game in the top of the third before first baseman Jake Scudder put Kansas State back in front with a RBI-single to right. The lead grew with a two-run home run to left in the fourth by left fielder Quintin Crandall, an unearned run in the fifth and a two-run, opposite-field home run to left by Josh Rolette.
Andritsos (4-5) lasted just 3.1 innings in the start for Oklahoma. He allowed five runs on six hits and two walks with one strikeout. Rigler (4-6) put up six-scoreless frames after giving up a single run in each of the first three innings for the complete-game win. He went the distance with four strikeouts and scattered five hits and one walks.
Shortstop Tyler Wolfe led the K-State offense, which totaled 12 hits, with a 3-for-4 night and three runs scored. Rolette, who homered, went 2-for-5 with three RBI. Crandall and third baseman Josh Ethier each added two-hit games.
Game two is scheduled for Saturday at 3:00 pm. It is “Teacher Appreciation Day” at the ballpark with $3 tickets for teachers and their families with proof of a school ID. Freshman right-hander Jake Irvin (Bloomington, Minn.) takes the mound for the Sooners against right-hander Levi MaVorhis.