April 15, 2012
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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Fifth-ranked Baylor erased deficits in the resumption of a suspended game and in the series finale to complete a three-game sweep of Kansas State with a 14-12 win and an 11-inning 12-11 victory, respectively, Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.
With the wins, Baylor improved to 30-7 on the season and a Big 12-record 15-0 mark to begin conference play. The Bears, who have now won 19-straight games overall, became the first conference foe to sweep the Wildcats on their home field since 2008. K-State fell to 17-18 with the two losses and 3-9 in conference action.
In the second game of the day, Kansas State held leads of 5-1 and 9-7 before Baylor scored four runs in the eighth inning to take an 11-9 lead. K-State battle back with two runs in the bottom half to tie the game at 11, but Michael Howard’s solo homer just over the right-field foul pole in the top of the 11th ended up being the eventual game-winner.
The four-hour, 12-minute series finale came on the heels of the completion of Saturday’s suspended game earlier in the afternoon. Play resumed in the sixth inning with K-State holding a 10-8 lead, but Baylor finished off a five-run frame on a wild pitch to pull within a run at 10-9. After the Bears shut down K-State in the bottom half, BU came back with five more in the seventh, including three on a homer by Nathan Orf, to take a four-run advantage. K-State tried to get back into the game with Wade Hinkle’s team-leading seventh home run of the season, but the Bears held on for the two-run victory.
“That’s been the story in the Big 12 for us,” head coach Brad Hill said. “We’ve played just close enough to get beat. We have to step up. We had two opportunities to win (the second) game and we need to get it done. You just don’t get very many opportunities against those guys. Momentum is on our side. We executed everything we needed to except for the game-winning hit. That’s very disappointing. We had fight and we had competitiveness, but now we need to get back to winning. Who can step up, get that big hit and win a game for us.”
Josh Ludy led all hitters by going 2-for-2 with a two-run homer in the second game of the series, while the Baylor catcher came back with a 5-for-6 game with three home runs and seven RBI in the series finale. The Bears also picked up a three-hit contest from Howard in the suspended game, while shortstop Jake Miller and Orf collected three RBI apiece. Logan Vick added three hits for the Bears in the series finale.
K-State was led in the second game of the series by Hinkle and Tanner Witt, who had three hits apiece. Mike Kindel tied his season high with three RBI in the middle game of the three-game set. Ross Kivett and Blair DeBord paced the Wildcats with three hits apiece in the series finale, while DeBord tallied his team-leading ninth multi-RBI game of the season with three runs driven in
Baylor reliever Tyler Bremer (3-0) earned the win in the middle game of the series despite allowing two runs in two innings. Dillon Newman (3-1) also picked up the win in relief in the series finale by tossing 2.2 scoreless frames with three strikeouts. Right-hander Max Garner registered saves in both games to give him five on the season as he combined for three scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
Johnny Fasola (0-1), who started the day on the mound for the Wildcats as game-two play resumed, suffered the loss by allowing five runs on four hits in one inning. Freshman Matt Wivinis (1-2) was saddled with the loss in the final game as the only mistake he made was the pitch to Howard. The right-hander struck out three batters and worked around three other hits in three innings of work.
Baylor scored its four runs in the eighth inning of the finale on a three-run Ludy homer, which was immediately followed by a Cal Towey solo shot. The Wildcats scored their two runs in the bottom half on a Jon Davis sacrifice fly and a DeBord two-out RBI single, but the Wildcats stranded runners on first and second as a strikeout ended the frame.
Wivinis came out of the bullpen to work a scoreless ninth inning, thanks to an inning-ending double play, but Newman sat down the Wildcats in order in the ninth to kill the momentum and send the game into extras.
Wivinis worked with runners on base again in the 10th as the go-ahead runner was on second base until the right-hander induced an inning-ending ground out. Kivett led off the bottom half with a single and was sacrificed over to second base, but, after an intentional walk, Newman struck out Davis and forced DeBord to fly out to end the frame.
The first two Baylor batters were retired quickly in the 11th, but Howard turned on the first pitch for his first homer of the year. Kindel was hit to lead off the bottom half and pinch runner Dusty Mass was sacrificed over to second. Following a strikeout, Miller committed an error to move Mass to third and keep the game alive, but Garner struck out Kivett to clinch the sweep.
Kansas State concludes its five-game home stand with two games against Northern Colorado this Tuesday and Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium. To order tickets, fans can contact the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or in person either at the ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum or at the Tointon Family Stadium box office prior to the game.
Both contests will be shown world-wide on K-StateHD.TV and will be aired in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN.