K-State Falls Short in 5-4 Loss at Creighton
K-State Falls Short in 5-4 Loss at Creighton
11-10 (0-0 Big 12)
13-4 (0-0 BIG EAST)
W: DeCaster (1-0) L: Wiley (1-1) S: Gerber (5)
- Time of Game: 3:05
- First Pitch: 6:34 pm
- Temperature: 65 F
- Wind: SE 5-10
- Attendance: 2,324
OMAHA, Neb. – K-State scored a run in each of the seventh and eighth innings, but it could not complete the comeback attempt on Tuesday as the Wildcats lost their fourth straight game with a 5-4 decision against Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Wildcats (11-10), who grabbed a 2-1 lead in the third, were quieted for the middle three innings as the Bluejays (13-4) tied the game in the third and scored three go-ahead runs in the fourth. Creighton plated its final two runs with two outs.
K-State faced the bases loaded in fourth after Creighton used a hit by pitch, infield single and bunt single to start the inning. Wildcat reliever Brandon Erickson, who inherited two of the runners, struck out Michael Emodi for the first out and induced a groundout to the next batter, Creighton leadoff hitter Daniel Woodrow. Shortstop Tyler Wolfe was able to flip it to second baseman Jake Wodtke for the force out, but Wodtke’s throw to finish off the potential inning-ending play was wide and pulled first baseman Jake Scudder off the bag. The Bluejays then tacked on two runs with a pair of singles.
“It was a good pitch (to Woodrow), the right pitch, but it was just unfortunate it was (to) the fastest guy on the team,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill about the potential double play in the fourth. “You have to get that throw off really clean to first base. Jake tried to rush it, and he had to be quick with it, and the throw was just a tick wide. We did not finish it off either. We gave them another run we did not need to give them. That was pretty much the game.”
K-State’s four-game losing streak is its longest of the season. The loss also resulted in a season series split with the Bluejays.
“We competed tonight,” added Hill. “The guys were invested, tried really hard, in a much better way than what it was over the weekend (against Western Carolina). We saw better results tonight, but it was just unfortunate we came up a little short.”
Wildcat starting pitcher Logan Wiley was saddled with the loss after he allowed four runs on six hits over three-plus innings. The freshman, in his third career start, started the fourth but surrendered back-to-back base hits that eventually scored.
While K-State was able to tag Creighton starting pitcher Conner Miller with two runs on two hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings, the Bluejays’ first reliever Ethan DeCaster silenced the K-State bats for 2 1/3 frames. The right-hander limited the Wildcats to just one hit from the fourth through the sixth to pick up his first win of the year.
Josh Rolette had two of K-State’s five hits in the game, with the first being a go-ahead two-run double in the third. He later added a leadoff single in the sixth for the lone safety by K-State off DeCaster.
After Erickson, four K-State relievers held Creighton scoreless over the final four innings. Brogan Heinen had the longest outing of the four as the freshman struck out two and walked one in his 1 1/3 innings.
Creighton started the scoring in the first inning as Wiley allowed a first-pitch double and single that resulted in Creighton’s first run. The right-hander was able to minimize the damage, though, by stranding two runners in scoring position by inducing a lineout and then striking out his second of the frame.
Rolette’s two-run double in the third was set up by Clayton Dalrymple and Wodtke, who drew back-to-back two-out walks off Miller. Prior to those two at-bats, Miller had allowed just one baserunner the first time through the K-State lineup.
Creighton quickly answered when it tied the score up at 2-2 in the third. Woodrow hit a double down the right-field line for his only hit of the game and was driven in on a single by Ryan Fitzgerald, who had a game-high three hits.
With the help of Woodrow and Fitzgerald, Creighton’s top-four batters in the lineup combined for seven of its 10 hits.
K-State chipped away at its three-run deficit with a run in the seventh and eighth on RBI groundouts by Michael Smith and Scudder, respectively. In the seventh, Cade Bunnell hit a one-out, pinch-hit double before being lifted for pinch runner Quintin Crandall. After Crandall moved to third on a balk by Nick Highberger with the count at 3-2, the junior scored when Smith hit a grounder to third. In the eighth, Wodtke reached with a leadoff single, moved to second on a groundout and then took third on a passed ball where he was plated by Scudder’s groundout to first base on a 3-0 pitch.
K-State finished the game 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position while Creighton was 5-for-12.
The Wildcats will now return to Tointon Family Stadium for a five-game homestand, starting with their Big 12 opener against No. 19 Oklahoma State. The three-game series against the Cowboys starts on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Steve Serratore extended his hitting streak to a team-high – and already a career-high – 11 games with a single up the middle in the fourth. It is the longest hitting streak by a Wildcat since Danny Krause’s 12-game stretch in 2015 (February 15-March 10).
Rolette’s two-hit performance extended his hitting streak to nine games. He also has a 14-game on-base streak, which trails Serratore’s active 17-game stretch for the longest by a Wildcat this season.
Corey Fischer threw a scoreless fifth inning, striking out one. It was the senior’s first appearance since March 11.
K-State is 2-4 this season when its opponent scores in the first inning.
This is the second straight season K-State and Creighton split their season series. The Wildcats won the first game of the year, 8-2, on March 9 in Manhattan.