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K-State Baseball: Freshman Shines in Shutout of Sooners, Cats Win 5-0

The BatCats play a full 9-innings for the first time since leaving California, and pick up a much-needed win against the Sooners.

Norman, OK – Well, at least it’s a step in the right direction. After getting blown out in two innings the last two games, the BatCats finally find some offense and a pitcher that could hold the Sooners at bay, winning the final game in Norman 5-0.

K-State (14-9, 1-2) came into this game desperate for anything positive against the Sooners, and Freshman Nate Griep (2-0) did not disappoint. The young right-handed hurler from Omaha, starting in only his third game, blanked the Sooners in a complete-game shutout. Griep gave up only three hits while throwing 108 pitches at 30 Sooner batters. Senior Blair DeBord must be given a ton of credit though, as he calmed down the freshman several times when it looked like Griep might be starting to lose focus. This is the fourth shutout in the last eight games for the Wildcats. It’s the first shutout by the Wildcats in Norman since 1971.

The Wildcats finally found a groove on offense against the Sooners, recording five runs on eight hits and were aided in the final margin by a passed ball in the top of the 9th. Senior Ross Kivett led the BatCats with three hits and one RBI, and Freshman Tanner DeVinney contributed a two-out two-RBI single in the 3rd.

Freshman Jake Elliot (2-3) recorded the start and the loss for the Sooners who fall to 18-7, 2-1 on the season. Elliot gave up four runs on six hits in four innings of work. The four Sooner pitchers who followed combined for one run on two hits, limiting the early damage.

Overall, this was the effort expected from the BatCats entering this weekend’s series. With the win, the Cats right the ship in conference play, but will need to be much more protective of their home turf to remain competitive as the season progresses. The young bullpen looked shaky, but there were flashes, including one very bright spot, of the potential that they hold.

The Wildcats return home for games against Nebraska-Omaha on Tuesday at 6:30pm CT, and the Nebraska Huskers on Wednesday at 6:30pm CT. The Cats don’t return to conference play until April 4th when the Kansas Jayhawks come to Manhattan.