Norman, OK – The Wildcats jumped to a quick 2-0 lead after the first inning, but again couldn’t hold off the Sooners late to fall 11-2 in Norman. With the win, the Oklahoma Sooners (18-6, 2-0) take the series from the Cats, whose decades-long struggle against the Sooners in Norman continue, failing to end the streak of home-series wins by the Sooners that stretches back to 1971.
Kansas State (13-9, 0-2) again looked strong early, putting up two runs in the first inning and holding the Sooners to one run through four innings. Senior Jared Moore (4-1) started the game and looked more confident than his younger teammates did yesterday, giving up only two runs, one earned, on six hits in 4-2/3 innings of work. He gave way to Junior Jake Whaley in the 5th, who put the go-ahead run on with a walk to open the 7th inning but otherwise only gave up one hit in an inning and a third. Whaley was saddled with the loss, putting his record at 1-1 on the season.
Then last year’s ace closer Sophomore Jake Matthys came in. He looked like his old self early, only giving up one hit and recording a strikeout to end the 7th. But the wheels came off in a big way in the 8th, giving up eight runs on seven hits, including a grand-slam homerun. The GS marks the second of the series the Cat pitchers have given up, and both occurred in eight-run innings for the Sooners. Freshman Ethan Landon finally relieved Matthys, and recorded two quick outs to end the bleeding.
Also as with yesterday, the BatCats couldn’t get any offensive momentum going after scoring early. The Cats managed to prolong innings, only going 1-2-3 in the 9th and getting the leadoff man on in six of the first seven innings, but could never get base-runners across home plate. Junior Shane Conlon led the Wildcat batters with three hits, and Freshman Tyler Stover knocked in both runs with a 2-RBI double in the 1st.
RS-Freshman Adam Choplick (3-1) got the start and the win for the Sooners, giving up only two runs on nine hits through 6-1/3 innings of work. After giving up two runs in the first, Choplick settled down and did enough to keep the Wildcats from putting any more runs on the board. Oklahoma used five pitchers on the day, including two in the 7th as the Cats made one last push for runs.
Again, taking out the one inning of complete failure, the Cats were only out-scored 3-2, but another eight-run inning was more than the Cats could compete with. The same BatCats that looked so confident after sweeping Iowa and beating up on two over-matched teams from Colorado, looks lost right now. The pitching staff is showing it's youth, and while the bats are still going, the runs are just not being scored.
The Wildcats have one last chance to avoid the sweep with a 1pm CT game tomorrow. The starting pitcher for the Cats is still TBA, but chances are good that RS-Freshman Nate Griep will get the start after a solid outing against Air Force last Tuesday. The Cats will face the Sooners best starter, statistically, in Freshman Jake Elliot who sports a 2-2 record and a 2.87 ERA (to contrast, OU’s last two starters had ERA’s over 3.60).
Hopefully the Wildcats can get things turned around, again.