Fewer than five days ago, there was no certainty that Kansas State would be among the eight teams that qualified for the Big 12 Baseball Championship, going on through Sunday in Oklahoma City. The Wildcats made it in, however, but as the eighth seed, their opening draw was top-seeded Baylor.
The Wildcats fell badly to Baylor, 11-1, in Wednesday's opening round, but the purple gang out of the Little Apple came back strong on Thursday, scoring 10 runs in the first four innings to pull off a rout of their own, eliminating fifth-seeded Oklahoma State with an 11-5 victory. Kansas State now moves on to the third round on Friday against the loser of the game later today between Baylor and No. 4 seed Oklahoma, which handed Oklahoma State an opening-game 1-0 loss.
Jake Brown led the Wildcats on offense, going four for five on the day, and Ross Kivett drove in two of the Kansas State runs, hitting safely in three out of five trips to the plate. The Wildcats had 12 hits as a team.
The other big surprise of the conference championship so far was Missouri's 5-0 shutout of the tournament's No, 3 seed, the Texas Longhorns. Southpaw starter Rob Zastryzny worked 8 1/3 innings against the Longhorns, giving up just five hits to record the victory. The Tigers scored a run in the third and four more in the fourth to complete the scoring.
Missouri, playing in its final Big 12 tournament, moves on to play second-seeded Texas A&M, which is moving to the Southeastern Conference after this season along with Mizzou.
Like Kansas State, Kansas is also facing elimination today after losing its first-round contest to Texas A&M 10-4 on Wednesday. The Jayhawks are facing Texas (the game is currently in progress), which also fell in its opening tournament game, to Mizzou.