May 8, 2010
* Courtesy of Kansas State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State defeated a No. 1 ranked team at home for the first time in school history as the 20th-ranked Wildcats edged top-ranked Texas, 2-1, Friday evening before 2,630 fans at Tointon Family Stadium.
The win was the first against a team ranked atop the polls since defeating the Longhorns, 5-3, on April 3, 2005, in Austin. The Wildcats also ended Texas’ 21-game winning streak, including a Big 12 record 17-straight conference wins.
The Wildcats improved to 32-13 overall and 11-7 in Big 12 play while picking up their fourth victory over Texas in the last eight meetings. It was also the first series-opening win against the Longhorns at home since 1998.
Texas, which lost for the first time since March 30, fell to 39-8 on the year and 19-3 in conference action.
Texas came in with the top pitching staff in the nation, but it was the Wildcats that dominated on the mound. Sophomore starter Kyle Hunter (8-0) allowed one run on seven hits in six innings of work, just one strikeout shy of his career high established last week at Oklahoma.
But the win didn’t come easy as the left-hander worked with runners on base in five of his six innings, including a bases-loaded jam in the second. The Longhorns loaded the bases with one out, but consecutive ground-ball outs ended the threat. Hunter also worked around leadoff doubles in both the third and fifth innings en route to his first victory in four starts.
The K-State bullpen, which was coming off 5.1 scoreless-inning outing against Minnesota on Wednesday, was dominant yet again. Evan Marshall and James Allen teamed to throw three no-hit innings, while Allen picked up a four-out save, his sixth of the season.
“Our pitching staff was outstanding,” head coach Brad Hill said. “You don’t see Texas in that situation very often because they are very efficient offensively. Kyle made pitches when he had to and got himself out of a couple situations. I thought Evan did the same thing.”
Texas didn’t go down without a fight as a hit-by-pitch and a walk with one out in the ninth inning put the tying run in scoring position. But Allen was able to keep his composure as he forced Tant Shepherd to ground into the game-clinching double play.
“That was a pressure situation for James in the ninth,” added Hill. “That was really tough. Contact was going to have to be made in that situation. He made the pitch and we turned a big double play.”
Hunter’s win moved him into a tie for seventh in school history for wins in a season, while Allen recorded his 11th career save to rank fifth in the K-State record book.
Texas starter Taylor Jungmann (4-2) was uncharacteristically wild on the evening as he allowed a career-high seven walks and hit one batter. But the Cats were unable to do anything with the free passes in the first two innings as they stranded five base runners.
Jungmann settled down to retire the side in order in both the third and fourth innings before the Wildcats got to the right-hander in the fifth. Tanner Witt, who entered the game defensively in the first inning due to an injury, walked before Adam Muenster and Nick Martini also drew free passes.
With Daniel Dellasega at the plate, Jungmann uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Witt to put the game’s first run on the board. Dellasega then hit a RBI ground out, giving K-State a two-run advantage.
Texas immediately responded in the fifth when Russell Moldenhauer singled with two outs before Connor Rowe hammered a double into the gap in right-center field to cut the lead in half.
Marshall came out of the bullpen to begin the seventh and had to work around a one-out error, but he forced a double play to get out of the inning. Marshall was also on the mound when the Cats committed an error in the eighth. After a fly out and a walk, Allen entered the game and got a ground ball to get out of the frame before shutting down Texas’ ninth-inning rally.
Kansas State will look for its first home series win against Texas since 1998 on Saturday. The Wildcats will start sophomore right-hander Kayvon Bahramzadeh, while Texas will counter will junior righty Cole Green. The game, which will be televised on Fox Sports Kansas City and Fox College Sports, begins at 2:30 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium.