Baylor Edges K-State to Even Series

MANHATTAN, Kan. A two-out, pinch-hit RBI double by Aaron Miller in the top of the eighth proved to be the winning run as Baylor topped Kansas State, 5-4, Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium. With the victory, Baylor evened the series at one game apiece and improved to 21-13 overall and 7-7 in Big 12 play. K-State fell to 16-17 overall and 3-8 in league action.

 

Kansas State scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to even the game at 4-4. However, K-State reliever Chase Bayuk (1-3) walked Baylor first baseman Dustin Dickerson to lead off the inning and was pulled for Daniel Edwards. Adam Hornung was the first to face Edwards and laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Dickerson to second and record the first out. Edwards then struck out Jon Ringenberg for the second out and was set to face Raynor Campbell to attempt to get out of the inning. However, Miller pinch hit for Campbell and took a 1-2 pitch to opposite field for the eventual game-winning double.

 

Bayuk was saddled with the loss, one day after taking the win in relief. The senior lefty threw 1.1 innings, allowing one run and walking two. Baylor reliever Craig Fritsch took the win as he went three innings, allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts.

 

Baylor was led offensively by Dickerson and Campbell, who were both two-for-three with one RBI on the afternoon. Justin Bloxom led the eight-hit K-State effort with a two-for-five day. With his infield single in the in the seventh, Adam Muenster, who was one-for-three, extended his career-long hitting streak to 18 games. The streak ties for fourth in school history with Matt Miller (1994) and Brandon Farr (2006).

 

Baylor got the scoring started as the Bears punched across a run in the first inning. Beemer Weems hit a one-out double to left centerfield, moved to third on a passed ball, and then scored on a Dickerson groundout.

 

The Bears scored another run in similar fashion in the second. Campbell reached on a one-out error by K-State shortstop Drew Biery and then stole second base. Campbell went to third on an infield single by Ben Booker and came home on a RBI groundout by Landis Ware to push Baylor’s advantage to 2-0.

 

Two innings later, Baylor made it 3-0 with a Campbell solo home run to right field.

 

The Wildcats started to chip away at the Baylor lead with a run in both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Bloxom, Biery and Jason King moved station to station as the trio recorded three-straight one-out singles to load the bases. Byron Wiley came up and drove home K-State’s first run with a fielder’s choice to score Bloxom and give the Cats runners at first and third. However, Wiley was picked off during the next at bat, which kept the score 3-1.

 

In the fifth, the Wildcats had the bases loaded with no outs after walks by Rob Vaughn and Carter Jurica were sandwiched around a Brett Scott single, which would be the end for Baylor starter Willie Kempf. Muenster followed with a sacrifice fly to score Vaughn and record the first out of the inning. With runners on first and second and just one out, Fritsch struck out Jordan Cruz and forced a Bloxom groundout to keep the damage to a minimum and hold on to a 3-2 lead.

 

Kansas State had another scoring opportunity in the sixth as Kansas State had runners on first and second with no outs, but two strikeouts and a fly out ended the threat.

 

The Wildcats did not waste their opportunities in the seventh as they scored two runs to tie the game. Muenster hit a one-out infield single and then moved to second on a Cruz walk. Bloxom followed with a single off the rightfield wall, just feet away from clearing the fence, which moved Cruz to third and scored Muenster to cut the lead to 4-3. King then grounded out, but brought home Cruz in the process to knot the game at four.

 

Kansas State and Baylor meet for the rubber match of the three-game conference series at 1 p.m. Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium.