Griep Strikes Out 8 in K-State's 4-2 Loss

BERKELEY, Calif. - Despite a quality start and a career-high eight strikeouts by redshirt sophomore Nate Griep, the K-State baseball team dropped the series opener at Cal on Saturday, losing 4-2 at Evans Diamond.

Turning in his second straight quality start, Griep worked through 6 1/3 innings, surrendering six hits and three runs, but suffered his first loss of the season as the K-State offense could not build upon its early 1-0 lead after the first inning.

The Wildcats (4-5), who fell behind in the fourth inning when Cal (6-3) cashed in a leadoff double for a 2-1 advantage, put the game-tying run in scoring position in three consecutive innings from the fifth through the seventh. Each time, though, K-State, which went 5-for-14 with two outs, came away scoreless as it finished the game with one run-producing hit in nine opportunities with runners in scoring position.

Cal's starting pitcher, Daulton Jefferies, limited the Wildcats to just one run on six hits and one walk while striking out five in seven innings. The sophomore improved his record to 2-1 on the season.

"(Jefferies) did a great job of elevating pitches on us," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "We didn't do a good job of taking those pitches, laying off of them, or just getting good swings off of him. We had two-out RBI situations about four or five times, and we didn't score in any of them except for one of the last ones (in the ninth inning). Cashing in on two-out RBI situations is how you win games and be a great team, and tonight, we just didn't do that."

Carter Yagi and Danny Krause each scored one of the two K-State runs while also collecting two and three hits, respectively. The multi-hit effort for Yagi was his fourth consecutiveas he has 11 hits over his current six-game hitting streak. For Krause, the three hits were a career-high and give him back-to-back multi-hit games.

Yagi scored his run in the top of the first after he led off the game with an infield single off Cal first baseman Chris Paul's glove. Following a sacrifice bunt by Jake Wodtke that moved Yagi to second, Shane Conlon drove the fellow senior home with a double into center field. It was Conlon's team-leading seventh RBI of the season, all of which have been registered over the last six games.

Krause crossed home in the ninth when pinch hitter Taylor Anderson worked a bases-loaded walk after a full count. Krause started the short-lived rally by singling into left field to commence the ninth. Clayton Dalrymple, who reached base safely three times in the game, and Yagi also reached base with a single and error, respectively,in the final frame.

The Wildcats were forced to chip away at a three-run deficit following a two-run inning for Cal in the seventh. Griep started the inning by inducing a bunt groundout by Brian Celsi, but the next batter, Aaron Knapp, chased the right-hander, who finished the game throwing 102 pitches, from the game with a bunt single. Reliever Jordan Floyd entered the contest and surrendered back-to-back singles and a wild pitch to allow the Golden Bears to seize a 4-1 lead.

Griep had four of his eight strikeouts over the last 10 batters he faced, giving him a team-best 21 on the season. His three walks also matched his season-high set in the season opener on February 13 vs. Iowa while of the six hits allowed, three were of the infield variety, including two on bunts.

"(Griep) didn't have great stuff, but he competed and gave us an opportunity to win," said Hill. "You could see he wasn't sharp; he didn't have good command of his secondary stuff, but his competitiveness kept us in the game."

The Wildcats and Golden Bears will reconvene for the second game of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT. Right-hander Colton Kalmus will make his second start of the season for K-State and face Cal's right-hander Ryan Mason.

K-State is still looking for its first win against Cal. The Wildcats are 0-5 all-time against the Golden Bears, including 0-2 in Berkeley.

K-State had nine hits and 10 runners left on base. Cal also had nine hits, but it stranded eight runners.

The two-hit game by Dalrymple was his first multi-hit game since April 11, 2014 at Texas Tech. The junior is hitting .294 with a .590 OBP in eight games this season.