Cats Surrender 8 Late Runs, Lose 11-6 to A-State

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MANHATTAN, Kan. -- K-State allowed a season-high three home runs on Friday, including a pair of two-run homers in the game-deciding seventh, as the Wildcats fell to Arkansas State, 11-6, at Tointon Family Stadium to open a three-game series.

K-State (21-24) took its first and only lead in the sixth when Tyler Wolfe used one of his four hits to drive in two runs and make it 5-3, but Joe Schrimpf and Tanner Ring hit their respective fourth home runs of the season in the seventh off K-State reliever Corey Fischer to seize a 7-5 advantage.

Arkansas State (19-24) pulled away in the ninth with four more runs, answering K-State's one run in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out RBI double by Wolfe that cut the lead to 7-6. The Red Wolves had four of their 15 hits in the game during the ninth and seven after the sixth.

The 11 runs were the most allowed by the Wildcats in a non-conference home game since March 8, 2013 (L, 13-10 to Cal Poly) while the loss also marks just the second time this season the Wildcats were defeated when leading after six innings.

"(Arkansas State is a) good offensive ball club," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "We were flat pitching-wise tonight, and they hammered us. They had a good plan and the pitching was not very good tonight. We have had some success coming in, and we thought it was going to be really easy. (Arkansas State) got after (our pitchers), and (we) got embarrassed."

The K-State bullpen, which posted a 2.88 ERA in 18 games during the month of April, surrendered 10 of the 11 Arkansas State runs over 6 2/3 innings. Fischer took the loss, his fourth of the season, after he was responsible for all four runs in two-thirds of an inning pitched in the seventh.

The Wildcat offense totaled 21 baserunners with 10 hits and a season-high 11 walks. However, K-State stranded 13 runners, also a season-high, as the Wildcats had just four hits with runners in scoring position.

"We just left the (strike zone) too much," said Hill. "We probably struck out five or six times when the ball was up over our head. We might have had nine or 10 more walks with a little better plate discipline tonight, but we did not. That was our nemesis."

Three Wildcats combined for all 10 of K-State's hits, led by four from Wolfe and Tyler Moore. Wolfe reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, drawing a walk and matching his career-high in hits. Moore fell a double short of the cycle as he went 4-for-5 with a triple, a home run and an RBI. The junior hit his third homer of the season off Arkansas State starting pitcher David Owen to start the fourth and tie the game at 2-2.

Danny Krause went 2-for-5 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored, notching his sixth multi-hit game of the season and first since March 14 vs. Missouri State. The junior tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth when he used the second of his two hits to drive in Alex Bee with two outs. The RBI single preceded Wolfe's go-ahead hit in the three-run sixth.

Jake Wodtke drew a career-high four walks, which were the most by a Wildcat in a game since Wade Hinkle had four on May 24, 2012 vs. Oklahoma State. K-State's 11 walks were its most in a contest since May 5, 2012 vs. Omaha when it had 14.

Four differed Red Wolves registered multi-RBI games, led by Stuart Levy, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. The catcher had an RBI single off K-State's Jordan Floyd to give Arkansas State a 2-1 lead in the fourth before hitting a two-run double off Brandon Courville in the four-run ninth to help open up the A-State advantage.

K-State starting pitcher Colton Kalmus did not factor into the decision after he threw 2 1/3 innings and allowed one run on four hits. The right-hander surrendered the lone run in the first when Austin Baker hit a two-out solo home run to make it 1-0 Arkansas State.

A-State reliever Colton Kilber got the win despite allowing three runs on two hits and three walks in the sixth inning. Kilber was lifted after the Red Wolves scored four runs in the top half of the seventh in favor of Chandler Hawkins, who surrendered one run on two hits in two innings.

The Wildcats and Red Wolves will meet for game two of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. Right-hander Nate Griep will make his 10th start of the season and face fellow right-hander Adam Grantham.


NOTES
Friday was the first meeting between K-State and A-State in Manhattan since 1953. K-State lost the first matchup 62 years ago, 12-0.

The loss dropped K-State to 7-4 at home against non-conference opponents this season. The Wildcats have only lost five times in their last 32 non-conference home games, a stretch that dates back to March 2013.

Tyler Wolfe, who reached base safely a career-high five times on Friday, extended his on-base streak to personal-best 10 games. The shortstop, who also has 10 hits over his active five-game hitting streak, has a .489 OBP over the 10-game stretch.