K-State Stumbles in Doubleheader at No. 14 Texas

AUSTIN, Texas - A pair of two-run margins did not go the K-State baseball team's way in a doubleheader at No. 14 Texas on Saturday as the Wildcats lost 5-3 in game one and 3-1 in game two at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

The Wildcats (11-11, 0-2 Big 12) were stifled by a Texas pitching staff that allowed two earned runs in the combined 18 innings despite K-State being out-hit by the Longhorns (15-8, 4-1 Big 12) by just one hit, 15-14, over the two games.

"That's one of the best pitching staffs in the nation," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "(Texas) also did a better job of hitting with men in scoring position than we did - that's what it boiled down to."

Texas was 8-for-20 (.400) with runners in scoring position over the two games, compared to K-State's 5-for-18 (.278). In game one, Texas had at least one runner in scoring position in five of the eight innings.

Wildcat starting pitcher Nate Griep worked around two first-inning runs in game one and held Texas scoreless over his final four innings of work despite walking a career-high six and surrendering four hits. The redshirt sophomore, who leads K-State with 34 strikeouts this season, had a career-low one punchout.

Texas scored all three of its runs in game two off of starting pitcher Colton Kalmus, who matched his career-high in innings pitched with 5.0 while striking out four and not walking any. The right-hander, who suffered his second loss of the season, surrendered just two of his five hits in the outing over his final 14 batters faced.

The Texas pitching staff was led by reliever Kirby Bellow, who picked up the win in game one after throwing two perfect innings over the seventh and eighth frames. The southpaw reappeared in the second game, spelling starter Chad Hollingsworth, and retired the Wildcats in order over 1 2/3 innings to pick up the save.

"We were right there competing," said Hill, "but at the same time, it's the team that does the little things that gets the win. We are not just getting the little things in, and that means big hits in big situations."

K-State will look to salvage a win the series with a quick turnaround on Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest. Right-hander Corey Fischer will start for the Wildcats and face Texas righty Kacy Clemens.

K-State Surrenders Lead, Allows 3 Eighth-Inning Runs in Game One
Holding on to a 3-2 advantage entering the bottom of the eighth inning, K-State allowed three runs to the Longhorns in the eighth to lead to a 5-3 loss in game one of the doubleheader.

K-State scored the game's initial run in the first on an RBI single by Steve Serratore, but the Longhorns answered with a pair of two-out runs off Nate Griep in the bottom half of the frame to take a 2-1 lead. The Wildcats held Texas scoreless for the next six innings while they scored a single run in the sixth and seventh innings to take a one-run lead.

In the sixth, Danny Krause hit a two-out double off Texas starting pitcher Parker French to set himself up for an RBI single by Tyler Moore that tied the game at 2-2. The RBI by Moore was his team-leading 17th of the season.

Following a leadoff walk drawn by Tyler Wolfe in the seventh, the K-State shortstop moved to second on a passed ball and later scored when French made an errant throw trying to get Jake Wodtke out at first on a sacrifice bunt attempt. The error, one of three by the Longhorns in the game, allowed K-State to take its second lead of the contest, 3-2.

After Griep finished his night by stranding a pair of singles in the fifth, K-State reliever Brandon Courville struck out two and worked around an error in the seventh to hold the Longhorns scoreless over two frames. The right-hander, though, ran into trouble to start the eighth when he allowed back-to-back doubles, with the second one, hit by Jorge Cantu, tying the game at 3-3. Clemens followed Cantu by hitting a single into right field off Bryce Ward, which was muffed by Clayton Dalrymple to allow pinch runner Taylor Stell to score and return the lead back to Texas. Collin Shaw later provided an insurance run with a two-out single that made it 5-3.

K-State was able to set up a rally in the top of the ninth when Max Brown reached with a leadoff walk and Wolfe hit a single up the middle. Texas went to its third pitcher of the inning after Wolfe's single, Ty Culbreth, who induced three straight outs to register his third save of the season.

Wildcats Unable to Solve Texas Pitching in Game Two
K-State's lone run, scored in the fourth on an RBI double by Shane Conlon, was unable to compete with three Texas runs scored over the first, third and fifth innings as the Wildcats dropped their third straight contest to the Longhorns.

Texas jumped on Colton Kalmus with a run in the first and capitalized on a K-State error in third with another run to take a 2-0 lead. The Wildcats, meanwhile, after grounding into double plays to end the second and third innings, cut the Longhorn advantage in half in the fourth. Carter Yagi led off the frame with a hit by pitch, and he later came around to score after a Clayton Dalrymple sacrifice bunt and Conlon's two-base hit.

The one run was as close as K-State would get, however, as in the fifth, Kalmus hit the leadoff batter, Bret Boswell, with a pitch. Later in the inning, Zane Gurwitz hit a two-out RBI single to drive in Boswell and make it 3-1 Texas.

K-State was only able to put runners in scoring position one more time in the game when a Yagi single and Dalrymple walk put runners on first and second. The third baseman and right fielder moved to third and second, respectively, on a sharp groundout by Conlon, but the subsequent batters, Serratore and Krause, were unable to cash in the two runners.

Left-hander Jordan Floyd relieved Kalmus in the sixth and worked three shutout innings. The sophomore, who also struck out two and did not walk any, has a 1.80 ERA over his last four appearances.

Saturday marked the first time since 2012 either side had won back-to-back games in the all-time series. Texas, which has now won three in a row against the Wildcats, won consecutive games on March 24 and 25 in Manhattan back in 2012.

Shane Conlon extended a pair of personal streaks on Saturday as the redshirt senior is now the owner of a nine-game hitting streak and a career-high 22-game on-base streak. The on-base streak surpasses his previous best of 21 games set in 2014.

Tyler Wolfe led all Wildcats by reaching base safely four times with three hits and a walk over the two games (3-for-6).