Feb. 20, 2014
MORAGA, Calif. – The K-State baseball team hit into five double plays and were shut down by Portland relief pitcher Jackson Lockwood in a 5-2 loss to the Pilots on Thursday in the Gael Invitational at Louis Guisto Field. The defeat extends the Wildcats’ season-opening losing streak to five games.
K-State (0-5) was unable to convert runners in scoring position opportunities, going 1-for-7 in such situations. Of the Wildcats’ five double plays, four were hit into immediately following a base hit.
After Portland starting pitcher Kody Watts labored through 3 1/3 innings for the Pilots (2-2) – allowing two runs on three hits, two walks and two hit by pitches – Lockwood held the Wildcats scoreless in his 5 2/3 innings of relief. The Portland right-hander struck out three and walked one while giving up three hits.
“[Lockwood] really attacked the zone a lot better,” said head coach Brad Hill about the difference in Watts and Lockwood. “He threw a little wrinkle in there at times, but we are our own worst enemy right now.
“Some guys are really struggling with confidence factors. We’re trying too hard, and trying to create things inside the game that aren’t there. Right now, it’s a big mental battle for us, and we have to get over it.”
The Portland hitters, meanwhile, only went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position, but the one hit proved to be the difference.
After a leadoff single by Davis Tominaga in the second, K-State starting pitcher Levi MaVorhis induced a fly out and strikeout to the next two batters. Bo Cornish then hit a single to short right-center field that prolonged the inning. Chet Thompson drew a walk to load the bases before Pilots third baseman Cody Lenahan laced his only hit of the game into right-center field for a three-run, two-out double in the second inning that made it 3-0 Portland.
“[The biggest mistake] was two outs, runner on first base and loading the bases up and getting to a guy that can hurt you,” said Hill. “[MaVorhis] made a mistake. He left it up and they got it.”
The bases-clearing hit by Lenahan was one of three extra-base hits allowed by MaVorhis. The right-hander also surrendered a pair of solo home runs to Caleb Whalen. The first of Whalen’s roundtrippers led off the fourth inning, but MaVorhis responded by retiring the next eight batters he faced. When Whalen stepped up in his next at-bat, the Portland second baseman sent another ball past the left field fence.
MaVorhis suffered the loss, his first of the season, after allowing five runs and six hits in a career-high 6.0 innings pitched.
The loss also pushes K-State’s record to 0-5, which is the first time the Wildcats have started winless in their first five games in a season since 1973.
Tanner DeVinny and Austin Fisher each had two-hit games for the Wildcats. DeVinny’s first hit was an RBI double in K-State’s two-run fourth. Fisher’s two hits extend his streak of five straight games in which he has reached base safely two or more times.
Ross Kivett was the only other Wildcat to reach base safely more than once as he had a hit, walk and hit by pitch.
Three K-State freshman relievers, Jordan Floyd, Colton Kalmus and Jon Roblez, each turned in a scoreless inning of relief. For Floyd, it was his first appearance of the season. He allowed one hit and one walk.
K-State continues its play in the Gael Invitational on Friday, February 21 at 2 pm PT/4 pm CT against the host, Saint Mary’s.