The No. 30 University of Oklahoma baseball team totaled just three hits and was shut out by Kansas State, 5-0, at L. Dale Mitchell Park, Sunday afternoon. The Sooners were looking to open Big 12 play with a sweep as they took the series, but fell to 18-7 overall and 2-1 in league play. The Wildcats, who entered the weekend on a 12-game win streak, improved to 14-9 and 1-2.
"Big 12 series win, played the former Big 12 regular season champ and play well," coach Pete Hughes reflected. "We played well in pressure situations. I thought we pitched well. We really swung the bats well, taking today out of the equation. I was happy with our guys' approach. They didn't try to do too much. They came out, they were locked in the first two days. I thought we had a great pre-game, a great batting practice today, more than the other two days. We just didn't execute in the game. It's difficult to sweep somebody, but when we're that close, we've got to figure out and lock in a way to do it. We'll move on and learn."
K-State pushed across four of its five runs in the top of the third. The Wildcats loaded the bases on a walk, pop-up single to shallow left and a bunt single. Center fielder Ross Kivett singled through the left side to score the first run of the game and K-State added another on a sac-fly. On their third chance of the inning with the bases loaded, designated hitter Tanner DeVinny singled to right field; bringing in two more runs.
Right-hander Nate Griep (2-0) pitched a complete game shutout in the win for K-State. He surrendered just three hits and one walk, while only striking out two batters and throwing 106 pitches.
"He beat us with his fastball. He was working both sides of the plate. He didn't even keep us off balance, he came at us with his fastball. He kept the ball down, worked both sides of the plate and did a really good job. He three-hit us. With red hot bats, that's… that kid pitched a really good game for them."
Freshman righty Jake Elliott lasted four innings, his shortest outing in six starts, for Oklahoma. Elliott (2-3) allowed four runs on six hits and three walks to go with three strikeouts, which all came in the first two innings.
Sophomore left-hander Jacob Evans kept the game in reach for the Sooners. Making his ninth appearance overall and seventh in relief, Evans pitched four-shutout innings and gave up just one hit, one walk and struck out one.
"I'm happy for him. Seven innings, two hits in his two outings. For a kid that might've been questioning his stuff and trying to get back on track, it's great to see him back with some confidence with two really good outings. That bodes well for our program and our staff."
Sophomore left fielder Hunter Haley accounted for two of Oklahoma's three hits with a 2-for-4 day. Freshman DH Niko Buentello went 1-for-2 with a walk.
Kivett finished the game 3-for-5 with a run and a RBI, while third baseman RJ Santigate went 2-for-3.
The Sooners are in action on Tuesday night at intrastate rival Oral Roberts at 6:30 p.m. Oklahoma is on the road for its next four before returning to Norman to face Oklahoma State on April 1 for the first game of the Bedlam Series.