K-State Edged by Baylor, 3-2

WACO, Texas Kansas State stranded seven runners on base including four in scoring position while Baylor scored a pair of unearned runs in the fourth inning as the Bears evened the series with a 3-2 victory Saturday evening at Baylor Ballpark.

 

The eighth-ranked Bears improved to 16-6 overall and evened their conference record at 4-4. Kansas State dropped its fourth one-run decision of the season and now stands 21-6 overall and 2-3 in Big 12 play.

 

K-State had plenty of chances in the game, but could never get the clutch hit it needed to either tie or take the lead. Aaron Miller, who started the game for Baylor as the designated hitter, came on as a relief pitcher in the seventh and faced the minimum number of batters the rest of the way. Miller struck out two of the three Wildcats he faced in the seventh, then used a double play to avoid trouble in the eighth. Miller retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season.

 

Baylor freshman starting pitcher Logan Verrett was solid as he picked up his seventh win of the season in as many tries. The right-hander allowed two runs on eight hits, walked just two batters and struck out seven. Just one night after Kansas State’s A.J. Morris took the Big 12 lead in wins, Verrett tied him with his six-inning performance on Saturday.

 

K-State topped Baylor in hits, 8-6, just the second time the Wildcats lost when they out-hit their opponent. Adam Muenster led the way with a 3-for-4 night and stole three bases, tying his career high. K-State received another multi-hit game from freshman Nick Martini, who was 2-for-3 with one RBI.

 

As it did Friday night, Kansas State scored first as it plated a run in the third inning. Muenster hit a one-out infield single and then stole second base. Following a groundout, Martini brought Muenster home with a single to left field to put the Cats up 1-0.

 

The Bears came back in the bottom half of the inning as Lucas Hileman and Dustin Dickerson singled to begin the inning and both runners moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt. Following a hit-by-pitch, Adam Hornung hit a fly ball into center field to score Hileman and tie the game.

 

Baylor kept that momentum going in the fourth when it scored the eventual winning runs, both unearned. Raynor Campbell singled to center field to open the inning before Brooke Pinckard hit a sacrifice bunt back to pitcher Lance Hoge. However, the K-State senior overthrew first baseman Justin Bloxom into right field, allowing Campbell to come all the way around to score while Pinckard went to third. Landis Ware followed with a sacrifice fly to put Baylor up 3-1.

 

Muenster attempted to start a K-State rally in the fifth as he hit a one-out single and stole both second and third. But Carter Jurica grounded out to Verrett and, following a walk to Martini, Bloxom struck out looking to strand the two runners.

 

The Wildcats scored in the sixth when Jordan Cruz pounded a double into deep left-center field scoring Drew Biery, who had walked. Rob Vaughn then grounded out to move Cruz to third, but Dane Yelovich struck out to leave the tying run 90 feet away, the closest the Cats would be the rest of the night.

 

K-State and Baylor will conclude the three-game conference series with a 1:30 p.m., first pitch on Sunday at Baylor Ballpark.