Cats Fall to Bears Sunday; Big 12 Tourney Next

WACO, Texas Ben Booker had four hits and Baylor scored multiple runs in four different innings as Kansas State dropped its third straight game to the Bears, 9-3, Sunday at Baylor Ballpark.


K-State, which was swept in conference play for the first time this season, will end the regular season at 33-22 overall and 10-16 in Big 12 play, while Baylor moved to 31-24 and 12-15. The Wildcats will head to their second-ever Big 12 Tournament this week, and first-ever under head coach Brad Hill, as the No. 8 seed in the field of eight teams.


Baylor got on the board first Sunday in the second inning as a throwing error by Nate Tenbrink kept the inning alive and a two-out single from Ben Booker scored the game’s first run. The Bears upped their lead to 3-0 as Matt Czimskey’s two-run single after back-to-back walks led to two more runs in the third.


K-State joined the scoring in the top of the fourth inning as doubles from Tenbrink and Tyler Ruch off Wade Mackey cut the Baylor lead to 3-1. Byron Wiley’s single to left in the fifth plated Rob Vaughn, who had also singled, as the Cats closed the gap to 3-2. K-State had a chance to tie the game or take the lead with the bases loaded but Ruch struck out swinging to end the threat.


Baylor added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-2 lead as the Bears recorded two run-scoring singles from Matt Sodolak and Shaver Hansen with two outs. Derek Bunker’s RBI-groundout in the sixth again cut the Baylor lead to two at 5-3. But, Baylor pushed across two more runs in both the sixth and seventh innings off Ben Hornbeck and Daniel Edwards to up the margin to 9-3.


K-State starter Chase Bayuk (5-5) went just 3.1 innings Sunday and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits with two walks and no strikeouts. The Wildcats used four pitchers on the afternoon as Justin Murray (1.2 innings), Ben Hornbeck (0.1) and Daniel Edwards (2.2) combined to yield six runs on eight hits.


Baylor’s Wade Mackey (4-2) earned the win after tossing 5.0 innings and allowing three runs on nine hits. K-State was able to touch Mackey for nine hits but left seven runners on base in those 5.0 innings. Jake Weghorst earned his first save of the season after tossing the final 4.0 shutout innings and allowing just one hit.


Bunker, Link and Vaughn each had two hits to lead the 10-hit attack for the Wildcats


K-State now turns its attention to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship as the Wildcats open their second-ever tournament appearance Wednesday. Kansas State will face top-seeded and regular season champion Texas at 10 a.m. inside Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla.


Complete details and a full bracket of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship will be announced later on Sunday.