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Freeman Near Misses No-Hitter In Win Over K-State

Oklahoma State pitcher had probably the best game of his career on Sunday, taking a no-hitter into the ninth.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State got its first batter of the game on base after Oklahoma State pitcher Michael Freeman hit him with a pitch. Going into the ninth inning that was the only ‘hit' the Wildcats had as the Cowboys won the Sunday game 4-1.

Freeman, who has now thrown two complete games in a row, continued to impress Sunday as he took a no-hitter into the ninth.

After hitting the first batter, Freeman retired the next 15 Wildcats in order, forcing 12 groundouts and striking out three.

"Me and Donnie (Walton) got to be ready over there," third baseman Jacob Chappell said. "Marty (Lees) has me playing in a little bit because, they're hitting those choppers with him sinking the ball in low.

"But yeah I love playing behind him because he's working fast, throwing strikes, getting the groundballs, it's fun."

The play of Freeman and Wildcat starter Brandon Courville kept the game moving along quickly, playing the first four innings in 55 minutes.

The Wildcats (12-14 overall, 1-5 Big 12) took the lead in the sixth inning after second baseman Jake Wodtke reached on an error and was able to score eventually thanks to a passed ball.

In the bottom half of the inning the Wildcats changed pitchers after Chappell walked to leadoff.

The Cowboys (19-8, 4-2) saw blood and attacked accordingly.

With relief pitcher Brandon Erickson in the Cowboys quickly used a sacrifice bunt to move Chappell into scoring position and Walton brought him in to score with a sacrifice fly to make the score 1-1.

In the seventh inning left fielder Ryan Sluder, who hit seven-for-nine in the weekend series, hit a single to bring in centerfielder Corey Hassel for the Cowboys first lead of the game.

Walton would hit a double later in the inning to bring in two more runs for the Cowboys, making the lead 4-1, all but sealing the win for Freeman.

Awkwardly enough, many of the Cowboy players said they didn't even realize Freeman had a no-hitter late into the game.

"I honestly didn't even know he had a no-hitter until the ninth, until everyone started cheering," catcher Gage Green said.

Freemans no-hitter was ruined in the ninth inning after Wildcat right fielder Clayton Dalrymple hit a double.

"He's (Freeman) such a good guy that you want something like that to happen," second baseman Tim Arakawa said. "When the ball dropped in the outfield I was hoping somehow Corey (Hassel) or (Ryan) Sluder could've dove about 20 feet and then laid out.

"And then I was thinking to myself, ‘Why are we not playing right there?' But it was a clean single and I guess it just wasn't meant to be."

Although Freeman was close to being the first Cowboy since 1968 with a no-hitter, all he wanted was the win.

"That stinks," Freeman said. "But obviously just turn the page now, just try to finish the game, there's another batter up."

Cowboy coach Josh Holliday said having a pitcher have an outstanding performance such as Freeman did is always nice, especially when it's for a series win.

"First and foremost, always for the team to win a series is a big deal," Holliday said. "Secondly, to watch Mike (Freeman) pitch and to watch the team behind him is really fun, and I'm really proud of Mike.

"He's in a good groove. He's a confident pitcher who works fast and throws strikes, and we make plays behind him. Most importantly, we won a very big ballgame for our team."