Wildcats Split Series at UC Riverside after 6-3 Loss




2-2 (0-0 Big 12)

2-2 (0-0 Big West)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
KST 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 3 7 1
UCR 0 0 1 0 2 1 2 0 X 6 12 2
W: Musgrave (1-0) L: Kalmus (0-1) S: Ellis (1)
  • Time of Game: 3:35
  • First Pitch: 5:59 PM
  • Temperature: 78 F
  • Wind: Calm
  • Attendance: 227

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Despite 21 baserunners, K-State was unable to overcome UC Riverside’s early lead as the Wildcats dropped the series finale to the Highlanders, 6-3, on Monday at the Riverside Sports Complex to split the four-game series.

K-State (2-2) totaled seven hits, seven walks and five hit batsmen to go with the two errors by the Highlanders (2-2), but the offense finished 3-for-21 with runners on base and hit into three double plays to help result in the loss. The Wildcats also had their leadoff hitter reach base six times, but they came away with a run just twice in those innings.

“It was frustrating,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “Offensively, once again, we did not make much progress, and we have to make some progress in a hurry. We have some young guys in there playing, but we also have enough older guys to cover them, too.”

K-State starting pitcher Colton Kalmus struck out a career-high eight and the bullpen stranded all five of its inherited runners, but UC Riverside scored in three straight innings from the fifth through the seventh to build an insurmountable lead. A single run in the sixth, following a defensive misplay in right field, answered the Wildcats’ first run in the top half of the inning. Meanwhile, in the seventh, an inning-opening error allowed two unearned runs to eventually score and make it 6-1 UC Riverside.

The Wildcats had the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth when Tyler Moore was up with the bases loaded and one out. K-State had already scored two runs in the frame when Steve Serratore and Jake Scudder drove in a run each with a hit by pitch and walk, respectively, with the bases full. Moore, however, hit into the final Wildcat double play to end the game.

“Colton (Kalmus) does what Colton does,” said Hill. “He competed his rear end off. Unfortunately, we did not help out in the back end. A couple of miscues defensively created those last three runs for them. That was the big difference because we made it tight there at the end.”

Kalmus took the loss despite the most strikeouts by a K-State pitcher since May 15, 2015 (8, Nate Griep). The right-hander scattered eight hits over 4 1/3 innings, including a solo home run in the fifth by Aaron Cisneros.

Cisneros drove in UC Riverside’s first three runs and finished 3-for-4 with a single, double and home run.

Three Wildcats had multi-hit efforts, including Tyler Wolfe (2-for-3), Scudder (2-for-4) and Moore (2-for-4). Scudder had two RBI to go with his two hits, with the first occurring in the sixth when he drove in Jake Wodtke with a two-out single that made it 3-1 Highlanders. Wodtke opened the frame with a walk.

Wolfe reached base safely four times as he added a walk and hit by pitch to go with his single and double. In the process, he extended his on-base streak to a career-high 26 games.

Jacob Ruder made his K-State debut as the freshman right-hander escaped a fifth-inning jam inherited from Kalmus. With runners on first and second and two runs already scored, Ruder struck out both batters he faced to end the frame. He finished the outing surrendering one run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Jordan Floyd and Lucas Benenati also pitched out of the K-State bullpen. Floyd ended the sixth by stranding a runner on second before allowing the two unearned runs in the seventh. Benenati came on in relief of Floyd in the seventh, and after a passed ball put two inherited runners in scoring position, the right-hander induced a groundout to keep it at 6-1 UC Riverside. Benenati finished the night striking out one over 1 1/3 innings.

K-State continues its road trip when it travels to Surprise, Arizona. The Wildcats open that swing of the schedule with a two games against No. 5 Oregon State on Thursday and Friday.

Tyler Wolfe’s on-base streak is the longest by a Wildcat since Nick Martini reached in 93 straight from June 1, 2009-April 16, 2011.

Clayton Dalrymple is the owner of an 11-game on-base streak, the longest such stretch of his career.

Freshman Josh Rolette, who started the first three games of the series, registered his first career hit when he pinch hit to open the seventh.

K-State remains winless in series against Big West opponents. In its three previous attempts, the Wildcats were 0-3 at Cal Poly in 2014; 1-2 vs. Cal Poly in 2013; and 2-2 vs. Cal State Northridge in 1998.