May 10, 2014
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The K-State baseball team loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it could not complete the comeback from a five-run deficit and lost 6-4 to No. 7 Oklahoma State at Tointon Family Stadium on Saturday.
After Ross Kivett and Carter Yagi reached with singles in the ninth, Austin Fisher was hit by a pitch with two outs to load the bases for freshman Tanner DeVinny. Facing Oklahoma State’s closer Brendan McCurry, DeVinny struck out swinging to leave the game-tying run on second base.
K-State (24-27, 4-16 Big 12), which scored the game’s first run in the first inning on an RBI infield single by RJ Santigate, trailed by as much as five runs after a four-run fifth by Oklahoma State (37-13, 15-5 Big 12). Beginning with two hits in the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats had seven of their 11 hits over the final five innings while the bullpen allowed one unearned run.
“A lot more fight today; no comparison to yesterday,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “Jared Moore and Jake Fromson did a great job of not letting [Oklahoma State] spread [the margin] out to five or six runs. We caught a couple breaks with errors, but that breathed life into us and all of sudden, our at-bats starting getting competitive. We were within one swing of the bat of tying the game.”
Oklahoma State committed two of the game’s three errors, including one in the fifth on an attempt to turn a double play that scored one run. With runners on first and second, Tyler Stover hit a groundball to Oklahoma State shortstop Donnie Walton, who threw to second base to get the force out, but Tim Arakawa’s throw to complete the double play sailed into the Oklahoma State dugout to score Max Brown and make it 6-4 Oklahoma State.
Brown, who entered the game in the second, led K-State with three hits, all of which were infield singles. Of K-State’s 11 total hits, seven did not leave the infield.
Mitch Meyer and Carter Yagi also had multi-hit efforts, with each tallying two hits.
Oklahoma State’s Vince Wheeland came out of the bullpen in the fifth, spelling starter Tyler Buffett, and although he allowed two inherited runners to score, went on to pitch four innings and surrendered just three hits. The right-hander earned the win to improve to 7-0 on the year.
Oklahoma State used three home runs, including two solo shots in the second, to score its first four runs. Zach Fish and Conor Costello each hit a home run in the second to give the Cowboys a 2-1 lead, and in the fifth, Dustin Williams hit a two-run homer that made it 4-1 Oklahoma State.
The two home runs allowed by K-State in the second were the first time this season that the Wildcats had surrendered more than one home run in a single inning.
K-State starting pitcher Jake Matthys allowed all three home runs as the sophomore right-hander suffered his fourth loss of the year after issuing five runs on six hits in four-plus innings.
After the home run to Williams, Matthys surrendered a double to Saulyer Saxon before he was relieved by Jared Moore. A sacrifice bunt moved Saxon to third, and Moore walked Tanner Krietemeier to put runners on the corners. Gage Green followed up with a sacrifice bunt attempt to move Krietemeier to second base, but Moore fielded the ball and made an errant throw past first base to allow Saxon to score and move Krietemeier and Green to third and second, respectively. Two batters later, Arakawa singled home Krietemeier to give Oklahoma State a 6-1 advantage.
“We did some things over the course of the game that hurt us, such as bunt defense, throwing the ball into right field, and baserunning blunders,” said Hill. “The little things that have killed us all year came back to bite us again today.”
Despite the four-run top half of the fifth, K-State answered with three runs in the fifth. The first three Wildcat batters of the inning scored, with Kivett reaching base with a walk while Yagi and Brown recorded singles to load the bases. Santigate stepped up and worked a full count before drawing a walk to plate Kivett. Austin Fisher followed with a sacrifice fly, and Brown scored from second on the error during the double-play attempt.
K-State stranded 11 runners as both sides combined to leave 21 runners on base. The Wildcats were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and Oklahoma State was 1-for-6.
After Moore allowed one unearned run in 2 2/3 innings, Fromson stranded one inherited runner in his 2 1/3 shutout innings. The freshman struck out one and walked one.
The loss extended K-State’s conference losing streak to nine games. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, has won eight straight games overall.
The Wildcats look to salvage a game in the series with the finale on Sunday, May 11 at 1 pm. Right-hander Nate Griep will start for K-State and face Oklahoma State’s Tyler Nurdin.