K-State knocks Cowboys from Big 12 Tournament
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Thursday, May 24, 2012
5/24/12 at 6:46 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY – A voice rose above the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark crowd this morning, calling out: "Look alive, Cowboys! Let's go!"
It was a nice try. Futile, but nice.
The Okahoma State Cowboys were anything but alive in their 11-5 loss to Kansas State. The Wildcats came in as the No. 8 seed, and with a 7-18 conference record if you include their 11-1 loss to Baylor Wednesday. K-State couldn't even make past the seventh inning of that mercy rule loss.
And yet today, the Wildcats could have short-gamed OSU. They settled for eliminating the Cowboys from the tournament, and very likely from the season.
OSU is 32-25, with an RPI in the high 80s and with the dubious distinction of being the first team eliminated from the Big 12 tourney.
Asked if he'll bother watching the NCAA selection show Monday, OSU coach Frank Anderson said: "Oh, I will. There's gotta be crazy things happen. They told us that 54 or 55 is the highest RPI they've selected."
Thus Anderson and catcher Jared Womack both talked in season-ending terms today. The K-State loss certainly had a season-ending feel to it.
"We just weren't ready to play," Womack said.
Randy McCurry wasn't ready to pitch. The OSU starter gave up a single, walk, triple, walk and walk to open the game. Then he was gone.
"I can't tell you the last time I had to take somebody out of the game without getting an out,"Anderson said. "I don't know that I have."
The Cowboys used five pitchers in all. They combined to walk nine and hit two. They gave up 12 hits, including four to K-State nine-hole hitter Jake Brown.
"The zone was a little tight back there, but I thought it was consistent," Womack said. "Our pitchers got frustrated and started leaving the ball over the middle of the plate. And it didn't turn out too well for us."
It didn't help that shortstop Hunter Bailey committed a two-run error in the fourth, when K-State scored four times to answer OSU's three-run bottom of the third, or that the Wildcats stole five bases against the groggy Cowboys.
"I don't know that our team was flat," Anderson argued. "But your pitching gives you courage. We went out there and weren't very good on the mound."
Womack, actually, sensed a little trouble in the aftermath of Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Oklahoma.
"Everyone was kind of heartbroken about that," he said. "I do think it's tough to come out and play two games in a row at nine a.m. It's a sticky situation. But we can't really lay any blame on that."
Whatever the reason, the Cowboys did not snap to this morning. That extended their losing streak to six, including the three-game sweep suffered at Texas A&M's hands last weekend.
Six losses that should keep OSU out of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.
"I really think we should have had all three games, at home especially," Womack said of the A&M series. "But on another token, I feel like you should come into the Big 12 tournament with a clean slate and have your eyes on one thing. That's winning every game and trying to get into regionals."