With only six games remaining in the season and sitting in last place in the Big 12, K-State knew it needed to secure wins this weekend against No. 7 Oklahoma State (36-13, 14-5 Big 12), but that did not happen tonight as the Wildcats (24-26, 4-15 Big 12) fell to the Cowboys 8-0.
“They just beat us down,” head coach Brad Hill said after the game. “Honestly, we just kind of quit the last four innings.”
As much as K-State wanted a win, Cowboys starter Jon Perrin had other ideas, tossing a complete game shutout while allowing just four hits, walking one and striking out nine batters.
“He just wore us down and beat us up,” Hill said. “We couldn’t ever get any spark back offensively. Down 5-0, you’ve got to find a way to get runs, at least get some momentum somewhat back on our side.”
K-State starter Levi MaVorhis, who has been the team’s workhorse and ace this season had some issues with his command. The sophomore gave up five runs and eight hits in just 2 2/3 innings before being relieved in favor of sophomore Landon Busch.
“He just left too many pitches up in the zone,” Hill said of his starting pitcher’s struggles. “He made mistakes at bad times. He didn’t have the changeup and that’s kind of his bread and butter.”
Busch tossed 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs off three hits. The silver lining for the pitching staff was sophomore Jordan Witcig, who pitched three perfect innings with three strikeouts and a walk to finish out the game for K-State.
“He came in, attacked, threw strikes and mixed it up a little bit,” Hill said of Witcig. “The main thing was that he attacked, got strike one, threw the ball down in the zone firm, and they made outs.”
The offense put up a forgettable effort, finishing with just four hits and one walk drawn as they seemed helpless against Perrin.
“You have to knock some two-out hits, you have guys in scoring position with two outs, and that doesn’t happen often,” senior center fielder Ross Kivett said. “You have to give credit to that guy, he really kept us off balance and threw pretty well. We’re just going to have to a little bit more aggressive, start taking better swings at up pitches and lay it out there.”
Despite the team’s struggles this year, a standing-room only crowd gathered at Tointon Family Stadium for the series opener.
K-State and Oklahoma State will play again tomorrow at 2 p.m. before wrapping up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.