May 25, 2008
Box Score |
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Byron Wiley's sixth-inning RBI single snapped a 2-2 tie and proved to be the game-winning hit as seventh-seeded Kansas State defeated sixth-seeded Baylor 3-2 in pool-play action Saturday night at the Big 12 Conference Championship at Bricktown Ballpark. The Bears (32-26) finished third in Pool Two with a 1-2 record.
The Wildcats (29-28) advanced to Sunday's title game, going 2-1 in Pool Two with the tiebreaker over Oklahoma State. Kansas State makes its first Big 12 Championship title game appearance. With Kansas State's berth, all 10 Big 12 schools presently participating in baseball have made at least one title game appearance.
Trailing 2-1, Kansas State scored two runs on four hits in the sixth. Nate Tenbrink and Justin Bloxom opened the inning with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners. After Jason King struck out, Drew Biery singled up the middle to tie the game. Wiley laced the first pitch he saw back up the middle, scoring Bloxom as the game-winning run.
Baylor had chances in both the seventh and eighth innings but left the bases loaded in the seventh and a runner at second in the eighth. In all, the Bears stranded 10 runners on the night, including six in scoring position and three at third.
Kansas State starter Justin Murray (3-2) earned the victory; he allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 6.0 innings, facing one batter in the seventh. Daniel Edwards closed the game with 1.2 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out three, for his 12th save of the season.
Baylor starter Kendal Volz (3-6) suffered the loss in his first outing since leaving the May 2 game against Texas with a strained oblique muscle. Volz allowed three runs on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts over 5.1 innings.
Kansas State took the game's first lead with a run on one hit in fourth. Tenbrink led off the inning with a single, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Biery's groundout. Baylor answered in the top of the sixth with two runs on three hits. Booker led off with a double and later scored on Shaver Hansen's single. Hansen stole second and took third on an error before scoring on Dustin Dickerson's sacrifice fly.
Booker, Hansen and Adam Hornung all had two-hit nights for the Bears.
Baylor now awaits word from the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. Pairings for the 2008 tournament will be announced Monday, May 26, at 11:30 a.m. CDT on ESPN.
NOTES: Baylor leads the all-time series 29-11, including a 28-10 advantage since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997. However, Kansas State has won both neutral-site meetings, both coming in the Big 12 Championship. ... Dickerson (five games) and Hansen (three games) both extended hitting streaks.