Cats Strand 12 in 6-5 Loss to Stephen F. Austin




9-8 (0-3 Southland)

10-6 (0-0 Big 12)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
SFA 1 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 6 12 2
KST 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 7 2
W: Campbell (2-0) L: Ruder (0-1) S: Starks (1)
  • Time of Game: 3:11
  • First Pitch: 6:35 pm
  • Temperature: 63 F
  • Wind: W 15-20
  • Attendance: 2,042

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State’s comeback bid was not enough on Tuesday as it stranded 12 runners on base, tying its season-high, in a 6-5 loss to Stephen F. Austin at Tointon Family Stadium.

Losing for the just the second time in the last 10 games, K-State (10-6) had runners in scoring position in seven of the nine innings, but it came away with runs just four times. The Wildcats, who finished 2-for-15 in RBI situations, left the game-tying run on base in each of the last three innings to fall for the second time in eight games at home this year.

“Really disappointing,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “Not very good composure (by us). We had a lot of opportunities to come back and win that ballgame. We should have done it offensively. We gave up four runs in (the fourth inning), but that’s midweek baseball - that’s going to happen. We had a lot of baserunners left on, a lot of bad swings in RBI situations.”

The Wildcats led 4-1 after the third, but four runs in the fourth and one in the fifth allowed Stephen F. Austin (9-8) to build a two-run advantage. K-State had a runner on third with one out in the fifth and the go-ahead or game-tying run on base in the seventh, eighth and ninth but came away with just one run. The lone tally was scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Quintin Crandall in the eighth.

The bases-loaded situation was one of two for the Wildcats in the game – with the other being in the first – but they came away empty-handed in both situations.

“A lot of balls got popped up, guys out front,” said Hill. “We just didn’t get the big hit.”

K-State built its early lead by responding to Stephen F. Austin’s run in the first with a run of its own, on an RBI single by Steve Serratore, followed by a run-producing single by Clayton Dalrymple in the second and a balk and groundout generating two runs in the third.

No Wildcat had more than one hit, but Crandall, Dalrymple, Tyler Wolfe and Josh Rolette each reached base twice with a hit and walk. The Wildcats drew six walks total to go with their seven hits.

Freshman Jacob Ruder took the loss in his first career start as he allowed five runs on five hits and two walks over 3 2/3 innings. After allowing a two-out run in the first, the right-hander settled in, striking out the side in the second – on 10 pitches – and retiring all three in the third as the offense built the three-run lead. 

In the fourth, though, the first four Lumberjack hitters all reached safely with three hits and a walk before Ruder got a groundout and strikeout for the first two outs. With runners on second and third and his pitch count at 60, Ruder was lifted for Brandon Erickson, who surrendered a two-run single to the first batter he faced, Matthew Dickey, that gave the Lumberjacks a 5-4 lead. 

The senior Erickson went on to allow another run in the fifth, on an infield single. He scattered five hits and two walks over a season-high 2 1/3 innings.

Mitch Zubradt and Jordan Floyd, who both threw on Sunday against Milwaukee, combined to hold the Lumberjacks scoreless over the final three innings. Zubradt worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh by striking out two while Floyd retired all four batters he faced over the eighth and ninth.

While K-State was unable to deliver the big hit, Stephen F. Austin was 5-for-18 with runners in scoring position. However, Wildcat pitchers limited the Lumberjacks to go just 1-for-5 in such situations after the fifth. Stephen F. Austin stranded 11 in the game.

Stephen F. Austin’s Tyler Starks got the two-out save after he entered the game in the ninth. He struck out the first batter he faced in Josh Rolette, but a passed ball on the third strike allowed the freshman to reach base. The southpaw, though, stranded pinch runner Sam Chadick at first by getting Jake Scudder and Brooks Zimmerman on strikes.

Lumberjack reliever Seth Campbell picked up the win after he restricted the Wildcats to one unearned run over three innings. 

K-State will look to split the two-game series on Wednesday in a 3:05 p.m. game. Right-hander Logan Wiley will get his second start in as many weeks for the Wildcats and oppose Stephen F. Austin’s left-handed Cody Adams.

Serratore’s game-tying single in the first extended his hitting (10 games) and on-base streaks (16 games). Both are career-highs and the longest by a Wildcat this season.

K-State pitchers finished with 11 strikeouts, the staff’s second straight game with double-digit punchouts. The Wildcats, who entered the day leading the Big 12 in strikeouts, have 10 or more strikeouts in three of their last four games and seven times this season.

The loss was K-State’s first one-run defeat this year.

Tuesday evened the all-time series between K-State and Stephen F. Austin, 1-1.