Nicholson Handcuffs Cats

MANHATTAN, Kansas – Kyle Nicholson pitched a complete game and struck out nine Friday night to lead No. 10 Texas A&M past Kansas State, 4-2, at Tointon Family Stadium.

Nicholson (11-1) walked just two and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth after one run had already scored in the inning to preserve the win.

“We took advantage of some mistakes early to take the lead and Nicholson was outstanding in a great Friday night match-up,” A&M head coach Rob Childress. “We played great defense tonight and got few big hits, but the story of the night was Kyle.”

With the win, the Aggies improved to 39-11 overall and 12-9 in Big 12 play. K-State dropped to 31-18 and 9-12. The series resumes Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Wildcats’ starter Brad Hutt (8-4) was also impressive, striking out nine A&M hitters in a complete-game effort.

Kyle Colligan led the Aggies offensively, accounting for three of A&M’s four runs. In the second, Colligan put the Aggies up 3-0 with a two-run homer to left and scored an insurance run in the ninth on a ground out by Dane Carter. Colligan reached on a one-out double and moved to third on a wild pitch.

A&M took the early lead in the top of the first with an unearned run. Brandon Hicks singled to start the inning and stole second with two outs. A throwing error by catcher Rob Vaughn allowed Hicks to move to third and when center fielder Byron Wiley misplayed the overthrow, Hicks scored.

In the bottom of the sixth, Wiley cut the A&M lead to 3-1 with a lead off home run, his sixth dinger of the year.

A&M – 120 000 001 – 4 8 0

KSU – 000 001 001 – 2 6 3

A&M: Nicholson and C. Stinson; KSU: Hutt and Vaughn.

E – KSU: Wiley 2 (4), Vaughn (2)

SB – A&M: Hicks (25)

2B – A&M: Colligan (8)

HR – A&M: Colligan (6)

Win – Nicholson (11-1) Loss – Hutt (8-4) Save – none

T – 2:23

A – 894