K-State baseball blanks Texas on the road to win seriesThe Manhattan Mercury, Kan. — Staff Reports The Manhattan Mercury, Kan.
April 15--Apr. 15--Kansas State freshman pitcher Jordan Wicks put together the best game of his young career Sunday.
Wicks tossed a five-hit shutout for K-State, helping the visitors stun No. 14 Texas 2-0 at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, Texas.
"We've been saying from Day 1, this kid has character through the roof, and he allows you to win a series," Wildcats head coach Pete Hughes said in a release. "He allows you to pitch comfortably in big venues and pitch effectively in pressure situation. That's what character brings, and that's what he has."
Wicks' complete game gave K-State (16-21, 3-6 Big 12) the series victory over Texas in the rubber match. It marks only the second time in program history the Wildcats won a road series against a ranked team. The last time they pulled off the feat was 2009, again at the expense of the Longhorns.
Wicks struck out five and sat down 11 straight batters before Texas leadoff man Ryan Reynolds notched a single in the bottom of the ninth. Though Wicks walked a career-high four batters, they all came in the first two innings. By contrast, he saved his best for last with his strikeouts, recording four of his five in the final two frames.
Wicks got out of jams in each of the first five innings, allowing baserunners every time. But once the Longhorns (23-15, 5-6) got a player on the basepath, Wicks shut them down, allowing the hosts to go just 1-for-11 at the plate with runners on.
Reynolds' ninth-inning single was the only Longhorns' lone baserunner allowed by Wicks after the fifth inning, sitting down 14 of the last 15 Longhorns he faced.
"I was worried about him the first couple innings," Hughes said. "He was up in the zone and the ball wasn't jumping out of his hand. His changeup was an average pitch, and that's his best pitch. He made the right adjustments, and it's really hard for me to take that kid out of the game when he wants to win it as bad as anybody."
K-State hits the road again for its next game, traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska, to take on the Cornhuskers on Tuesday. It marks the return game for a home-and-home series with Nebraska, which won 7-0 at Tointon Family Stadium on April 2.
Tuesday's game at Haymarket Park will begin at 6:30 p.m.
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