K-State Falls in Extras, 5-4, to No. 23 Nebraska
K-State Falls in Extras, 5-4, to No. 23 Nebraska
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The K-State baseball team fought back from an early deficit and forced the game into 10 innings against No. 23 Nebraska, but the Wildcats surrendered a two-out RBI single in extras to fall, 5-4, on Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State (13-17, 2-7 Big 12) trailed by three runs after the top of the second and third innings, but by holding Nebraska (24-10, 3-3 Big Ten) scoreless for six straight frames and scoring three runs in the sixth, the Wildcats took the contest into their second extra-inning game of the season.
The Wildcats had the go-ahead run in scoring position in the eighth and ninth innings, but a pop-out in the eighth and back-to-back outs in the ninth left the Wildcats scoreless. K-State finished 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position while Nebraska was 3-for-9.
It was the third straight loss for K-State after it lost the final two games of the series against West Virginia last weekend. In the series finale vs. the Mountaineers, K-State left the go-ahead run on base in the eighth and surrendered the game-winning hit in the ninth to lose, 3-2.
"We just didn't get it done again," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "We got the leadoff hit in the bottom of the ninth, sacrificed him over and got two shots at it. You just felt like we were going to get a walk-off win."
K-State had 10 hits in the game, led by two apiece from Tyler Moore and Taylor Anderson. Both Moore and Anderson used one of their two hits to drive in runs in the sixth, with Anderson's RBI single plating Moore to tie the game at 4-4. Moore preceded Anderson by hitting a hustle double into center to score Shane Conlon, who along with Tyler Wolfe ignited the rally with back-to-back singles to start the inning.
Moore led K-State with two RBIs, with his first being registered in the second on a single that drove in Steve Serratore and made it 3-1 Nebraska. Moore is tied with Max Brown for the team-lead in RBIs this season with 19.
"I thought we did a great job of coming back tonight," said Hill. "The guys fought back much better offensively. We had 10 hits and another four or five balls hit really well. Hopefully that's a sign of some things to come."
Nebraska reliever Jake Hohensee picked up the win after throwing a scoreless ninth despite allowing a hit and an intentional walk. The right-hander surrendered a leadoff single to Anderson and then issued a free pass to pinch-hitter Alex Bee before inducing a fly out by Carter Yagi and fielder's choice by Wolfe.
K-State freshman Bryce Ward tossed a perfect top half of the ninth, but in the 10th, he allowed two infield singles among the first four batters he faced to set up Tyler Lubach's game-winning RBI single into left field. The base hit by Lubach was one of his game-high five. Meanwhile, the loss for Ward was his first of the season.
Nebraska's Josh Roeder earned the save after working around a two-out walk to Serratore in the 10th. For Roeder, it was his team-leading 10th save of the season.
K-State starting pitcher Kyle Halbohn surrendered all four of the early Nebraska runs in his 2 1/3 innings. In the second, the right-hander allowed an RBI triple to Lubach followed by RBI singles to Scott Schreiber and Jake Placzek. In the third, a solo home run by Blake Headley made it 4-1 Nebraska and chased Halbohn from the game.
Two Wildcat southpaws, Jordan Floyd and Jackson Douglas, combined to hold Nebraska scoreless over 5 2/3 innings. Floyd, who threw 3 2/3 innings, spelled Halbohn in the third and went on to surrender three hits over the 14 batters he faced. Douglas, meanwhile, allowed just one hit over his season high-tying 2.0 innings while also striking out two. One of the punchouts by the K-State freshman ended the eighth when a two-out double and error on the relay throw from Yagi moved the go-ahead run to third. Douglas settled in and struck out Austin Darby to keep the game tied.
For Douglas, it was his fifth straight outing in which he did not allow a run. Over the same span, he has six strikeouts and no walks in 4 1/3 innings.
K-State will play the second of its two midweek contests on April 8 at Omaha. The Wildcats and Mavericks will square off at Werner Park in Papillion, Nebraska, home of the Kansas City Royals' Triple-A affiliate, the Omaha Storm Chasers. Mark Biesma will start for K-State and face Shane Meltz.
The loss to Nebraska was just the second for K-State in the last nine meetings between the two schools in Manhattan. It also snapped a three-game home winning streak for the Wildcats against the Huskers.
K-State is 0-2 in extra-inning games this season. The first loss was on February 21 vs. Washington in Mesa, Arizona (6-5 in 10 innings).
Tuesday marked the first time since February 21, 2013 that K-State played a ranked non-conference opponent in the regular season. The Wildcats beat No. 8 Kentucky, 7-5, back in 2013.