K-State Comeback Falls Short

WACO, Texas Kansas State scored one in the eighth and had the tying run on base in the ninth, but the Wildcats, who at one point trailed by five, could not complete a comeback as No. 8 Baylor defeated K-State, 7-6, Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.


With the loss, Kansas State fell to 21-7 overall and 2-4 in conference play, while the Bears improved to 17-6 and 5-4 in league action. The Bears won games two and three each by a run to take the series. Five of Kansas State’s seven losses this season have come by just one run.


On Sunday, Baylor was led at the plate by Adam Hornung and Landis Ware, who each went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Shaver Hansen also tallied a pair of RBI. The Wildcats had four players record multi-hit games, led by freshman Nick Martini with two RBI in a 2-for-4 outing. K-State out-hit Baylor in all three games and, as was the case on Saturday in a 3-2 setback, suffered its third loss this season when out-hitting its opponent.


Baylor starting pitcher Willie Kempf (2-1) picked up the win as the right-hander allowed two runs on five hits in five innings. Both of the runs scored against Kempf came in the first inning when Justin Bloxom drove a RBI double before a Jason King groundout produced another run. But Kempf would allow just two more hits and faced the minimum in two of the next four innings en route to the victory.


K-State, which used six pitchers on the afternoon, received solid outings from Ryan Daniel, Evan Marshall, Matt Applegate and Thomas Rooke as they combined for four shutout innings with five strikeouts.


Trailing 2-0, Baylor came back in its half of the first and batted around, putting four runs on the board against K-State starter Kyle Hunter (0-1). Hunter walked Raynor Campbell and, following a fly out, Hansen snuck a home run just inside the right-field foul pole to tie the game at 2-2. Following a pair of walks, Hunter was lifted for James Allen, who allowed a two-run double to Hornung to put Baylor up 4-2.


A pair of scoreless innings followed before Baylor took the lead with a run in the fourth on a leadoff homer by Campbell and another two in the fifth when the Bears received a leadoff double from Hornung before Ware followed with a two-run homer to put Baylor up 7-2.


Kansas State made it interesting as the Cats scored one run in the fifth on a RBI double down the left-field line by Drew Biery and two more runs in the sixth when Carter Jurica doubled to score Dane Yelovich and put runners on second and third. Martini followed Jurica with a double on a 1-2 pitch into deep right-center field to pull the Cats within 7-5.


Applegate entered the game in the seventh inning and produced three-straight groundballs to Biery at short to bring the Cats back to the plate. The right-hander’s offensive mates would come through with a run in the eighth when pinch hitter Mike Kindel drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.


Rooke came on to pitch the eighth and, like Applegate, shut Baylor down in order on two strikeouts and a ground out. In the ninth, Martini reached on a one-out walk to put the tying run on base, but Bloxom and King flew out to center to end the game.


Next action for Kansas State is a non-conference tilt against Creighton on Wednesday at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb. The game, which will be televised by CBS College Sports, will begin at 6 p.m.