Pokes handle ‘Cats 5-0 in series opener

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Andrew Heaney led Oklahoma State to a four-hit shutout of Kansas State and was aided by a three-run Cowboy fifth inning as OSU won the series opener, 5-0, Friday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.

With the win, the Cowboys improved to 24-17 overall and 9-7 in Big 12 Conference play. The Wildcats fell to 19-24 on the year and 3-13 in conference action. K-State is on a current six-game slide and has dropped its last eight league contests.

In a game that started 45 minutes late due to rain, Oklahoma State scored runs in the first two innings on a Jared Womack sacrifice fly in the first before a run-scoring single in the second by Randy McCurry.

That ended up being all the support that Heaney needed as he worked 8.1 scoreless innings, working around four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. K-State threatened against the left-hander in the fourth inning when it had runners on the corners with two outs, but he induced an inning-ending ground ball.

From that point on, Heaney retired 13 of the next 15 batters he faced, including a streak of eight, before exiting the game with one out in the ninth inning. Right-hander Blake Barnes recorded the final two outs on a strikeout and a ground ball.

“That was one of the best guys we’ve seen,” head coach Brad Hill said about Heaney. “When we had a couple opportunities to score, he made even better pitches. He was on both sides of the plate with the fastball and threw both a back-door breaking ball and a back-knee breaking ball. What more can you ask. He has great command of what he’s doing and he has great composure.”

After Heaney got out of the jam in the fourth, the Cowboy offense responded with three runs the next half inning on a RBI single by Robbie Rea – which scored two runs due to an error – and a two-out double off the bat of Mark Ginther. Rea and McCurry led the Cowboys with two hits and two RBI on the evening.

K-State starter Kayvon Bahramzadeh (4-2) battled through six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits, but the right-hander struck out seven Cowboys hitters. It marked his fifth-straight game with at least five fanned batters and his fourth consecutive in Big 12 games.

“He did what we asked him to do,” Hill said of Bahramzadeh. “He competed. That was a good night. He battled pretty well.”

Following a tough outing on Tuesday against Wichita State, Jared Moore bounced back with three no-hit innings of relief with one walk and a career-best five strikeouts, teaming with Bahramzadeh to fan 12 Oklahoma State hitters. It marked the Wildcats’ fifth Big 12 game with at least 10 strikeouts, which is tied for the second most under Hill.

(Story courtesy of KStateSports.com)

NEXT GAME: Saturday, April 28 vs. OKLAHOMA STATE (24-17 overall, 9-7 Big 12)

Kansas State and Oklahoma State hook up Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, Kan., for the second game in the current three-game series. The game can be heard in the Manhattan area on Sports Radio 1350 KMAN or online at 1350kman.com. First pitch from Tointon Family Stadium is set for 4 p.m.