Cats Fall in Regular Season Finale, 9-3 at No. 11 TCU




26-29 (8-16 Big 12)

38-15 (15-9 Big 12)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
KST 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 7 3
TCU 0 0 0 1 6 1 1 0 X 9 6 0
W: Janczak (6-3) L: Wiley (3-2) S: --
  • Time of Game: 2:57
  • First Pitch: 4:06 pm
  • Temperature: 82 F
  • Wind: SE 10
  • Attendance: 4,475

FORT WORTH, Texas – K-State surrendered six runs in the fifth inning that broke open a tie game, and the Wildcats were swept by No. 11 TCU after Saturday’s 9-3 loss at Lupton Stadium. 

K-State (26-29, 8-16 Big 12) scored first, which it did in all three games of the series, but the Horned Frogs (38-14, 15-9 Big 12) evened it in the fourth before putting up the crooked fifth to decide the game. In that inning, the Wildcats issued two walks, hit two batters and allowed four hits as TCU sent 10 batters to the plate.

For the game, K-State issued nine walks – matching its season-high – in addition to the two hit batters and six hits against.

“We did what we had not done in the first two games (of the series), and that was walk people,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “We just gave them free bases all day long, and we were pitching under pressure. It came down to one bad inning, and unfortunately it got away from us.”

The loss resulted in the third time K-State has been swept in Big 12 play this season, with all three coming against the top-three teams in the conference standings. The Wildcats will face conference champion Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Baseball Championship on May 25.

K-State, which out-hit TCU, 7-6, struck first with a Jake Scudder home run to lead off the second inning against the Horned Frogs’ starting pitcher Jared Janczak. Cade Bunnell and Danny Krause followed Scudder with back-to-back two-out singles, but led by Janczak, TCU retired 13 straight Wildcats after Krause’s hit.

“They just dominated us, pitching wise,” said Hill. “It was pretty heavy over here, not thinking we were going to score a lot of runs.”

While the Wildcats were held hitless from the third through the sixth, TCU put runners on base in five of the first six innings against a K-State pitching staff that used nine different hurlers. Starter Corey Fischer and reliever Mitch Zubradt combined to hold the Horned Frogs scoreless in the first three frames, but in the fourth, Brandon Erickson walked three of the four batters he faced and allowed the game-tying run. The right-hander put runners on base with back-to-back walks and no outs before getting a groundball to second base. The Wildcats were only able to get the forceout at second before eventually a throwing error by Jake Scudder, who was trying to get the lead runner out at third on the play, led to the run scored by Elliott Barzilli.

In the fifth, the first of three pitchers used in the inning, Logan Wiley, hit a batter to start it all before he allowed a triple and back-to-back walks. Nick Jones was summoned with the bases loaded after the second of Wiley’s two free passes, but the junior surrendered a sacrifice fly, hit batter and consecutive singles. Colton Kalmus finished out the inning, allowing a two-run single to the first batter he faced in Connor Wanhanen before he got Zack Plunkett, who started the inning, with a strikeout to end it. 

Leadoff walks in the sixth and seventh by TCU came around to score for its last two runs. Ryan Merrill drew a leadoff walk against Kalmus in the sixth and scored on an RBI single by Cam Warner, and in the seventh, Josh Watson scored on a sacrifice fly by Dane Steinhagen.

The Wildcats added their final two runs in the seventh when Scudder and Tyler Moore had a single and double, respectively, to start the inning against TCU’s Drew Gooch. Quintin Crandall drove in Scudder with a single for the first run, and Moore came around to score on a double play hit into by Cade Bunnell.

Scudder was the lone Wildcat with multiple hits as he finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. 

Wiley was charged with the loss, his second of the year, after being responsible for four runs in the fifth.

Janczak earned the win after he allowed one run on three hits over five innings. The right-hander also struck out four and did not walk any batters.

With the regular season complete, the Wildcats will make their ninth trip to the Big 12 Baseball Championship in 10 years.

K-State has lost six straight at TCU and both of its all-time Big 12 series in Fort Worth.

Jake Scudder finished the season reaching base in all 24 Big 12 games and with a conference hitting streak of 18 games. The junior hit .407 (37-for-91) in league play, the highest clip by a Wildcat since Austin Fisher hit .412 in 2013.

K-State struck out four, giving it 428 on the season. The 428 punchouts match the Wildcats’ school record for most in a regular season (1997).