K-State Comeback Falls Short

PROVO, Utah - For the second-straight game, Kansas State spotted BYU a large lead through the middle innings and put together a late comeback only to fall short as the Cougars topped the 20th-ranked Wildcats, 13-10, Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park.

With the win, BYU evened its season record to 16-16 and won both games over the Wildcats in Provo for a second-consecutive time. Despite dropping to 23-8 on the season, the Wildcats tied their second-best record through 31 games in school history, matching last-year's 23-8 start.

Big innings doomed the Wildcats again as BYU scored six runs in the third and five runs in the fifth to take a 10-run lead. Kansas State scored once in the seventh before the Cougars scored twice in the bottom half to take a 13-2 advantage.

That's when Kansas State came to life behind underclassmen Chase Graskewicz, Jake Brown, Ryan Moore and Tanner Witt. The Wildcats scored five times in the eighth and three times in the ninth before the tying run came to the plate. But BYU's Justin Shutt, who took the win in Tuesday's contest, slammed the door on the Wildcats with a pair of fly ball outs to complete the midweek sweep.

Brandon Relf, Mark Anderson and Stephen Wells led the Cougars offensively with three-hits apiece. Relf also paced BYU with three RBI, while Anderson, Wells and Alex Wolfe drove in two runs.

Graskewicz collected a career-high three hits and added one RBI. Daniel Dellasega, who was K-State's designated hitter on Wednesday, also recorded three hits.

Nick Martini, who saw his school-record 26-game hitting streak come to an end Tuesday evening, rebounded as he went 3-for-3 with two RBI.

Put in the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh, Moore made a big impact despite playing only two innings. The freshman went 2-for-2 with a two-run double in the eighth to cap the scoring in the five-run frame. He also drove in a run in the ninth, giving him a career-high three RBI in the contest.

K-State starter Justin Lindsey (2-2), who was on a pitch count, was effective through two innings as he retired the first six batters he faced. But the sophomore ran into trouble in the third as he gave up four of the Cougars six runs in the frame. In 2.1 innings of work, the right-hander allowed four runs on four hits to suffer his second loss in as many starts.

BYU freshman Chris Howard (1-0) took the win as the left-hander allowed one run on six hits with a pair of walks in four innings of work.

K-State grabbed the game's first lead for the second-straight day when Adam Muenster hammered a leadoff double down the left-field line in the third inning. The senior then scored on consecutive fly balls, including a sacrifice fly by Martini.

That's when the BYU bats took charge as the Cougars scored their six runs on seven hits. The Cougars tallied four-straight run-scoring base hits, including a pair of doubles from Relf and Dane Nielsen.

Just like the third, the Cougars hit around in the fifth as three extra-base hits, including a Bryce Ayoso home run, scored a pair of runs. Relf then hit a two-RBI single before Wolfe pushed the lead to 10 on a single to center.

K-State added a run in the seventh when Martini singled to left field, scoring Muenster for the second time of the game.

K-State's five-run eighth was highlighted by RBI singles from Graskewicz and Witt. After Brown recorded an RBI ground out, Moore delivered his first extra-base hit of the season to put the Wildcats squarely back into the game.

The ninth inning saw a walk and a catcher's interference put runners on first and second with no outs. After a walk, Brown doubled down the left-field line to bring in one run before Moore and Dellasega tallied consecutive run-scoring singles.

Kansas State returns to Big 12 play this weekend as the Wildcats host Baylor, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch Friday at Tointon Family Stadium. A pregame tailgate will begin at 5 p.m. beyond the left-field wall, while fans will also be treated to a fireworks show following the game.