Missouri State Too Much for K-State in 10-7 Loss

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Despite erasing a four-run deficit with the help of a game-tying, bases-clearing double by Max Brown in the seventh inning, the K-State baseball team surrendered three two-out runs in the eighth that led to a 10-7 defeat at the hands of Missouri State on Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium.


Trailing 7-3 entering the bottom half of the seventh, Carter Yagi drew a leadoff walk and Clayton Dalrymple recorded the second of his three singles in the game to help put runners on base for the Wildcats (10-9). After back-to-back outs and a Steve Serratore walk to load the bases, Tyler Moore was issued a walk by Missouri State's Bryan Young to score the first run. Brown then followed up with a liner into the left-center field gap to clear the bases; however, the senior center fielder was thrown out at third base to end the frame as he attempted to stretch his two-base hit into a triple.

Missouri State (10-6) wasted little time answering back as two doubles and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out in the eighth. K-State reliever Brandon Erickson was able to induce a weak pop-out to second baseman Jake Wodtke for the second out, but Missouri State's Spencer Johnson followed up with a two-RBI single through the left side. The Bears were able to score three runs on the play, though, with the help of a fielding error by K-State left fielder Danny Krause.

"This day was not about the eighth inning," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "It was about us not covering each other. We gave up a lot of freebies today (K-State pitchers walked seven), and our relief pitching just wasn't good. (Starting pitcher) Corey Fischer wasn't very sharp, and we needed to get him out of there. We had good relievers coming in behind him, though, but we couldn't get any stops."

The three hits allowed in the top of the eighth were part of Missouri State's 16 hits in the game. K-State, meanwhile, had 10 safeties, led by three apiece from Dalrymple and Brown.

Brown used his trio of hits to drive in a career-high four runs, all with of which were recorded with two outs. The first of the RBIs by Brown, who had seven between Saturday and Sunday, came in the sixth when a single into left field scored Krause and made it 6-3 Missouri State.

The K-State run in the sixth and four in the seventh were a part of the Wildcats' span of four straight innings in which they scored after falling behind 4-0 after four-and-a-half innings. The Bears scored a run with two outs in each of the first and third innings before breaking out for two more two-out run-producing hits in the fourth.

Fischer was responsible for all four of the early Missouri State runs. The right-hander surrendered eight hits in his 3 2/3 innings of a no-decision.

Wildcat left-hander Jordan Floyd, who finished with 1 1/3 innings pitched, relieved Fischer in the fourth, but the sophomore allowed back-to-back singles to bring home two inherited runners.

A solo home run by Shane Conlon in the bottom of the fourth was the first response by the K-State offense to Missouri State. The roundtripper to center field was the first baseman's first of the season and ninth of his career.

After K-State registered its only perfect top half of an inning in the fifth, a leadoff walk drawn by Moore in the bottom half proved beneficial for the Wildcats as the junior came around to score on an infield single by Dalrymple to make it 4-2. However, Missouri State loaded the bases twice in the sixth and used a sacrifice fly and fielder's choice to regain a four-run lead at 6-2.

The Wildcats, who left the bases loaded in the fifth, stranded two more runs in the sixth despite Brown's RBI single. K-State left a total of seven runners on base, with six of them occurring over the final five innings. Missouri State, conversely, left 13 runners on base.

"Offensively, we had (the fifth and sixth innings) set up where we couldn't get a big hit," said Hill, "and then Max Brown finally gets one, but we probably should have had three, four or five more runs in those innings."

Erickson suffered the loss for the Wildcats, his first of the season, after surrendering four hits and three runs, two earned, in three innings pitched.

Despite allowing the game-tying hit in the seventh, Missouri State right-hander Bryan Young earned the win after finishing out the game and being personally responsible for one run on two hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings.

K-State's loss dropped it to 6-2 during its season-opening homestand. The Wildcats will now return to the road with a week-long trip to Texas. The road trip begins on Tuesday with game one of a two-game series at Stephen F. Austin. First pitch on March 17 is set for 6:30 p.m.


NOTES
Shane Conlon, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI and hit by pitch, extended his team-best on-base streak to 19 games. The redshirt senior finished the homestand batting .483 (14-for-29) with four doubles, a triple, a home run, six RBIs and a .595 OBP. Over the last six games, Conlon had a .679 OBP, reaching in 19 of his 28 plate appearances.

Clayton Dalrymple also extended a streak of his own as he is now the owner of a career-high nine-game hitting streak. The junior is batting .432 (16-for-37) with six RBIs and eight runs scored over the stretch.

The loss for K-State was its first to Missouri State at home since May 5, 1992. The Wildcats had won the previous three matchups in Manhattan, two during this weekend's series and one on April 19, 2011.