Wildcat Rally Falls Short in Series Finale

RJ Santigate went 2-for-4 and drove in two ninth-inning runs

March 30, 2013

Final Stats

WACO, Texas – Trailing by four entering the top of the ninth inning, Kansas State scored three times and had the tying run at second base with two outs, but Baylor closer Ryan Smith struck out Blair DeBord as the Bears hung on for a 7-6 victory Saturday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.

With the rubber-match victory, Baylor improved to 13-15 overall and 3-2 in Big 12 play, while the Wildcats fell to 18-10 overall and evened their conference record at 3-3.

As it did Friday evening, Baylor plated three runs in two different innings, including the sixth, to take a 6-3 lead. The Bears recorded their fifth two-out RBI of the contest in the eighth inning when Logan Brown singled up the middle to give the Bears a 7-4 advantage.

The Brown RBI base hit loomed large as the Wildcats had their first three batters in the ninth inning reach base. Following a pair of singles by Ross Kivett and Tanner Witt, Shane Conlon skied a ball down the left-field line that appeared to be an easy catch for Adam Toth, but the Baylor left-fielder dropped the ball in fair territory as K-State loaded the bases.

Jared King was next and hit into a fielder’s choice to plate the first run of the inning before Baylor brought in Smith. The right-hander struck out Jon Davis and, on the second pitch to RJ Santigate, the Wildcat third baseman dumped a single to left field to score two and pull K-State to within a run.

Austin Fisher followed by working a walk, which put the tying run at second base and the winning run on first. DeBord fell behind in the count at 1-2 and couldn’t connect on a low slider to end the game.

K-State had difficulties producing runs in the middle innings against Baylor relief pitchers Crayton Bare and Austin Stone (1-2). Bare allowed an unearned run in the second inning but followed with two scoreless frames and collected four strikeouts.

Stone, who was originally slated to start Saturday’s contest, tossed four scoreless innings and surrendered just four hits and walked a batter while forcing K-State to strand four of its 11 runners during the middle innings. The right-hander was charged with the three unearned runs in the ninth before Smith, the son of Baylor head coach Steve Smith, picked up his fifth save of the year.

Matt Wivinis (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season by giving up a leadoff double that came around to score in the Bear three-run sixth inning. It snapped a four-game winning streak for the Wildcat right-hander.

Baylor right-fielder Nathan Orf had three hits to lead the Bears, while the Wildcats were paced by Witt’s third three-hit game of the season. Santigate ended the contest 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Kivett went 2-for-3 with a RBI.

K-State quickly brushed off any ill effects from Friday’s walk-off loss by scoring three runs over the first two frames. The Wildcats were aided by three Baylor errors as Kivett led off the game with a hit-by-pitch, moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt and scored when Toth could not cleanly field a Witt base hit to left field.

Santigate led off the K-State second inning with a walk and Fisher laid down a sacrifice bunt. Baylor catcher Nate Goodwin fielded the bunt and threw the ball down the right-field line as both runners advanced an extra base. DeBord drove home Witt on a single to left field and Kivett brought home Fisher on a bunt single.

The Bears recorded four hits in a three-run fourth inning, including a two-out, two-run single by Jake Miller to tie the game at 3-3. Miller ended the contest with two hits and a game-high three RBI.

Baylor third baseman Cal Towey had the biggest hit the three-run sixth inning with a two-out, two-run double to right field, extending the Baylor lead from 4-3 to 6-3.

Kansas State returns to Tointon Family Stadium for a six-game homestand beginning Tuesday night against Nebraska. The game, which is set for a 6:30 p.m., first pitch, will be aired on the K-State Sports Network and televised on both Fox College Sports and Fox Sports Midwest.