Wildcats Swept After Allowing Seven Runs in First and Second




9-10 (0-0 SoCon)

11-9 (0-0 Big 12)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
WCU 3 4 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 10 14 2
KST 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 10 1
W: Baker (1-2) L: Ruder (0-2) S: ---
  • Time of Game: 2:48
  • First Pitch: 1:05 pm
  • Temperature: 42 F
  • Wind: N 5-10
  • Attendance: 1,980

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State surrendered three big innings on Sunday, including a combined seven runs over the first and second, to fall to Western Carolina, 10-2, and be swept by Catamounts at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Wildcats (11-9) allowed three runs in the first, four in the second and three in the seventh to make up the 10 runs by Western Carolina (9-10). Over the three-game series, K-State allowed three or more runs in six of the seven innings that the Catamounts scored.

“You have to give Western Carolina some credit,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “They kept their bats elevated with men in scoring position. We made bad pitches, and they made us pay for it. We could not get good at-bats with men in scoring position. It was one team that elevated their play when it was pressure time, and we went the other direction when it was pressure time.”

The loss also resulted in the first time K-State was swept at home by a non-conference opponent in a three-game series since 1993.

While the Catamount offense rattled off 14 hits for its third double-digit hit performance of the series, K-State was limited to no runs over the first seven innings by the opposing starting pitcher for the second game in a row. Western Carolina’s Tristan Baker held the Wildcats to six hits and one walk while striking out six over seven innings to earn his first win of the season.

The Wildcats did have runners in scoring position in the first and third innings while its leadoff hitter reached in the second with a single, but all three instances did not result in runs. K-State finished the afternoon 3-for-12 with runners scoring position while Western Carolina was 6-for-13.

“We botched up the bottom of the first,” said Hill. “We could have gotten momentum back (by getting) a bunt down and getting a base hit. Two runners on the board - who knows what might have happened. Get a bunt down or a fly ball and get one run in. That at least continues to get you back in play.”

Western Carolina scored its three runs in the first off K-State starting pitcher Jacob Ruder with a sacrifice fly by Matt Smith and a two-run, two-out triple generated by Kramer Ferrell. Ferrell finished the game with three RBI as he had a run-producing double in a three-run seventh.

In the fourth, the Catamounts loaded the bases with no outs against Ruder before getting an RBI single by Nobu Suzuki followed by a Tyler Wolfe error at short that allowed J.D. Long to score from third. After Matt Smith grounded into a double play that plated Garrett Brown, Suzuki scored on a wild pitch to make it a four-run inning and seven-run advantage for the Catamounts.

Ruder was charged with all seven of the early Western Carolina runs, with five of them unearned. The freshman, in his second start of the week, finished with seven hits against and one walk in three innings pitched.

K-State was able to strike for the first time in the eighth when Western Carolina turned to the bullpen in reliever Chad Mabini. Jake Wodtke started the threat by reaching on an error by third baseman Reece Strong, who entered the game at the start of the frame. The K-State redshirt junior worked his way to second after Wolfe got on base with one of his two hits before scoring on an opposite-field, RBI single produced by Matt Nerz, which was the redshirt freshman’s first career RBI.

K-State went down quietly with runners on the corners following Nerz’s single, but in the ninth, the Wildcats added a run when Cory Wright, who reached with a pinch-hit single to start the inning, scored on a throwing error by Western Carolina right fielder Bryson Bowman. Bowman was throwing the ball back to the infield after Michael Smith reached with a single, but the ball got away and allowed Wright to score from third. Western Carolina’s B.J. Nobles ended the game, though, by inducing three straight fly outs with runners on first and second.

The K-State bullpen saw three of its four pitchers not be charged with any runs in their outings, led by Colton Kalmus. The right-hander, in his fifth relief appearance of the season and second of the week, did not allow a run in three innings of work spelling Ruder. He only surrendered a two-out hit in the fifth and sixth for his two baserunners among the 11 batters he faced.

Mitch Zubradt took the blunt of the damage in the seventh as he set down just one of the five batters he faced. The freshman made his shortest outing of the year after allowing three hits and hitting a batter before leaving the game in favor of Nick Jones with a runner on second base. Jones allowed the runner to score when he surrendered a double into the right-field corner by the first batter he faced, Spencer Holcomb.

K-State will play one more non-conference opponent before opening up Big 12 play next weekend. The Wildcats will head to Creighton on Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. contest at TD Ameritrade Park.

K-State is 3-5 over its last eight games.

The Wildcats finished their season-long 12-game homestand with a 7-5 record.

The Wildcats were out-hit in the series, 36-24.

Three Wildcats had two hits each, including Clayton Dalrymple, Tyler Wolfe and Josh Rolette. For Dalrymple, it was his third straight multi-hit effort. Rolette, meanwhile, extended his hitting (eight games) and on-base (13 games) streaks.

Davis Schwab turned in a scoreless top of the ninth as the freshman made his first appearance since February 28.