March 27, 2011
WACO, Texas – A two-out error by Kansas State opened the door for the eventual winning run on Jake Miller’s eighth inning single as 21st-ranked Baylor took a 4-3 victory Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
With the rubber match victory, Baylor improved to 16-8 overall and evened its conference record at 3-3. K-State fell to 13-9 on the year and 1-5 in conference action.
K-State led 2-0 early in the game but saw the advantage slip away when Baylor scored three times in the fifth. The Wildcats tied the game at 3-3 on a two-out RBI single by Jake Brown in the eighth inning and loaded the bases for Nick Martini as the Cats looked poised to take back their lead.
Martini smashed the third pitch he saw from Baylor reliever Brooks Pinckard, but the ball ricocheted off Pinckard’s leg and landed at the feet of first baseman Max Muncy who stepped on the bag for the final out of the inning.
Evan Marshall (2-2), who came on in the seventh to force a double play to get out of the inning, retired the first two batters in Baylor’s half of the eighth. Cal Towey grounded a ball that was fielded behind second base by Brown, but his throw to first was wide allowing Towey to advance to second base.
Miller hit the first pitch from Marshall through the left side of the infield to bring Towey home and put Baylor ahead 4-3.
Pinckard (2-1), who started the game in center field, picked up the win as he limited the Cats to one hit in 1.1 innings while recording a pair of strikeouts.
For the second time in the series, Marshall suffered the tough-luck loss, surrendering an unearned run on two hits in 1.2 innings.
K-State held a two-run lead after the third inning that featured a RBI single by Martini and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mike Kindel.
But, as it did both Friday and Saturday, Baylor responded by scoring three in the fifth inning off K-State starter Kayvon Bahramzadeh, thanks to a two-run triple by Chris Slater and an RBI infield single by Muncy that gave the Bears a 3-2 advantage.
Kansas State had opportunities to tie the game in the sixth and seventh innings. Kent Urban led off the sixth by walking and stealing second base, but the left-fielder was removed from the contest as he was injured on the steal. Ryan Moore ran for Urban and moved to third on a ground out but was stranded when reliever Jon Ringenberg struck out Brown to end the threat.
Tanner Witt led off the seventh with a single and stole second. After a strikeout, Jason King ripped a single into right field that Towey fielded and his throw to the plate was in plenty of time to cut down Witt as he tried to score.
After the two missed opportunities, the Wildcats came through to tie the game in the eighth on Brown’s single. The Cats also had runners on first and second with one out in the ninth before Pinckard induced a series-clinching double play to end the game.
Pinckard, Muncy and Towey led Baylor with two hits apiece. Witt and King collected three hits, while Brown was 2-for-3 with a RBI. Martini was 1-for-5 in the contest, extending his streak of consecutive games reaching base to a nation-leading 82 games.
Kansas State returns to Tointon Family Stadium to begin an eight-game homestand on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., against Northern Colorado. Fans can purchase tickets for either the Tuesday or Wednesday contest against Northern Colorado, or next weekend’s series against Texas A&M, online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets or by calling (800) 221-CATS.