K-State Drops Big 12 Opener, 2-1
K-State Drops Big 12 Opener, 2-1
15-7 (1-0 Big 12)
11-11 (0-1 Big 12)
W: Hatch (2-0) L: MaVorhis (3-1) S: Buffett (2)
- Time of Game: 3:00
- First Pitch: 6:04 pm
- Temperature: 52 F
- Wind: N 10-15
- Attendance: 1,884
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Three no-hit innings by the K-State bullpen backed up a quality start by Levi MaVorhis, but the Wildcats were unable to come back from No. 19 Oklahoma State’s runs in the fourth and fifth inning and lost its fifth straight game, 2-1, on Thursday at Tointon Family Stadium.
The Wildcats (11-11, 0-1 Big 12) dropped their Big 12 opener for the fourth consecutive season after they stranded seven of their nine baserunners. K-State finished the game 0-for-8 with runners on base, including 0-for-6 when they were in scoring position.
Oklahoma State starting pitcher Thomas Hatch worked around three hits and four walks to hold the Wildcats to no runs over six innings and earn his second win of the season. The right-hander faced a runner on third with less than two outs in the first and fourth as well as another runner in scoring position in the third.
“Third base and less than two outs, you got to get it done. In this league, you got to get it done,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “Great job pitching by (Oklahoma State). We just continue to chase pitches out of the zone. They saw that and exposed it. That’s why their pitching numbers are what they are.”
Hatch also struck out eight, helping the Oklahoma State pitching staff total 13 in the game – the most by the Wildcat offense this year. Remey Reed struck out the side in the seventh while Tyler Buffett earned the save by adding two more punchouts in the ninth. The last, against pinch hitter Cory Wright, ended the game with the game-tying run on first.
The Cowboys (15-7, 1-0 Big 12) entered the night leading the conference in ERA and strikeouts.
MaVorhis tossed his third quality outing of the year by turning in six innings of two runs on five hits and one walk. The senior also struck out seven, giving him a team-high 41 on the season. The right-hander has 23 strikeouts and just one free pass in his last three starts (17 2/3 innings).
“Levi was sharp, just made one mistake to (Garrett Benge in the fifth) unfortunately,” said Hill. “Our relievers followed up and did a good job. We’re going to take our chances giving up two runs and hopefully find a way to score three.”
Oklahoma State had all five of its hits in the fourth and fifth innings when it scored its only two runs. In the fourth, a two-out single by Benge drove in Donnie Walton to make it 1-0 while in the fifth, another two-out hit, this time by Corey Hassel, gave the Cowboys a 2-0 advantage.
The lone K-State run came in the eighth when Josh Rolette his hit first career home run. The freshman hit a 3-2 pitch by Reed with two outs over the right field wall for K-State’s ninth roundtripper of the year.
“Obviously, it was uplifting,” said Hill about the homer. “You are trying to find a way to score a run, but the blown opportunities early in the game are stuff that has to be executed. We’re just looking for a groundball somewhere, the infield is back conceding a run, and we chased balls out of the zone.”
Brogan Heinen, Jordan Floyd and Colton Kalmus combined for the three no-hit innings by the K-State bullpen.
K-State and Oklahoma State will meet in game two of the three-game set on Friday at 6:35 p.m. K-State left-hander Parker Rigler will square off against right-hander Trey Cobb.
K-State has lost seven straight to Oklahoma State at home.
Josh Rolette’s home run extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest active stretch by a Wildcat after Steve Serratore’s 11-gamer was snapped on Thursday. Rolette also has a 15-game on-base streak.
The Wildcats’ current five-game losing streak is their longest since losing six straight in 2014.