(Courtesy: K-State Athletics)
MANHATTAN, Kan. – No. 19 Oklahoma registered a pair of three-run innings and received a solid pitching performance from Jake Fisher as the Sooners salvaged the final game of the series with a 7-3 win over No. 18 Kansas State in the regular-season finale Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium.
The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 39-16 overall record and a 16-8 mark in Big 12 play as they tied a school record for regular-season wins and broke the program’s top mark for conference victories. Top-seeded K-State will play No. 8-seed Texas Tech at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday in the opening round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma, which improved to 36-19 overall and 13-11 in conference action, wrapped up the fourth seed in the tournament and will face fifth-seeded Baylor at 9 a.m., Wednesday.
Trailing K-State 1-0, Oklahoma worked a pair of one-out walks in the second inning before Kolbey Carpenter hit a two-run double down the left-field line. The Sooner third baseman was singled home by Colt Bickerstaff to make the score 3-1.
The Sooners added another run in the fourth on a Carpenter solo homer, which gave Fisher (2-2) a 4-1 lead as he labored through seven innings. The left-hander surrendered nine hits but continually worked out of damage, allowing only two runs with three walks and seven strikeouts. Fisher forced K-State to strand eight of its 13 batters in the first six innings.
The No. 4-7 hitters in the OU lineup each produced a RBI, capped by Carpenter’s three. The third baseman also led the team with two hits.
The Wildcats registered 14 hits in the contest, finishing the regular season with a .324 batting average and producing 10 or more hits in 38 games. Ross Kivett, Mitch Meyer and RJ Santigate each had three-hit contests, while Jared King and Lance Miles finished with two hits apiece.
Kivett’s performance allowed him to jump into the top spot among Wildcat hitters with a .359 batting average, while his 63 singles this season are tied for third in school history.
K-State starting pitcher Jake Doller (2-3) suffered the loss after allowing three runs on only one hit with two walks in 1.1 innings. Freshmen Landon Busch and Jordan Witcig were each solid in relief, combining for three scoreless innings.
After Oklahoma plated three runs in the eighth on a single by Anthony Hermelyn and sacrifice flies by Hector Lorenzana and Matt Oberste, the Wildcats scored two in the bottom half with a chance for more. King doubled to lead off the inning and scored when Santigate singled to right field. On the play, Jon Davis was thrown out at the plate for the second out.
After a Miles singled to right field, Kivett followed suit to cut the deficit to four, but a bases-loaded fly out ended the Wildcat rally.