MANHATTAN, Kan. – Josh Ludy’s two-run single in the seventh inning broke a 2-2 tie and Baylor held on for the final three innings as the fifth-ranked Bears downed Kansas State, 5-2, Friday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State fell to 17-16 on the year and 3-7 in Big 12 play with the loss. Baylor, which extended its winning streak to 17 games, improved to 28-7 overall and 13-0 in conference action.
With the game tied at two apiece, Lawton Langford singled before a Max Muncy double off the right-field wall put runners on second and third with one out, which spelled the end of Matt Applegate’s day.
Gerardo Esquivel came out of the Wildcat bullpen and jumped ahead to a 1-2 count against Ludy, but the Bear catcher hit a soft line drive up the middle with the K-State infield in to give BU a two-run advantage.
Baylor starting pitcher Josh Turley (5-0) worked around a pair of singles in the seventh before tossing a scoreless eighth and ninth innings for his first complete game of the year. Turley allowed one earned run on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts as Baylor has now won all nine games the left-hander has started.
“We needed a big hit,” head coach Brad Hill said. “That is a team that is breathing confidence. There is no panic over there at any time. We’re a little uncertain right now. We need something really good to happen. We need a big hit with the bases loaded or we needed to get out of the seventh inning somehow. We needed that ball to find a glove so they didn’t score those two.”
Applegate (2-4) suffered the loss after 6.1 competitive innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. The right-hander kept K-State in the game as he forced Baylor to strand seven runners, including six in scoring position.
“He was competitive because he gave up a lot of hits but not that many runs,” Hill said of Applegate. “He made pitches when he had to to keep the game close. He gave us a chance. He competed extremely well because they were a base hit away from really breaking it open early and that didn’t happen. He kept breathing life into us.”
The No. 2-4 hitters in the Baylor lineup – Langford, Muncy and Ludy – combined for seven of Baylor’s 13 hits. Muncy and Ludy lead the team with two RBI apiece as Muncy doubled home a run in the first inning and added insurance with a two-out solo home run in the ninth.
K-State was led offensively by Dan Klein, who went 3-for-4 with a two-out RBI single in the second inning. Jake Brownalso recorded a multi-hit game with two hits. The Wildcat shortstop tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth with a perfectly placed squeeze bunt down the third-base line.
Tanner Witt went 0-for-4 on the night, which snapped his career-long 25-game streak of reaching base safely. It was the second-longest streak in the Big 12 this season and the longest this year by a Wildcat.
NEXT GAME: Saturday, April 14 vs. BAYLOR (28-7, 13-0)
Kansas State continues its three-game series against No. 5 Baylor on Saturday with a 1 p.m., contest at Tointon Family Stadium. KMAN’s own Matt Walters will have the call alongside Brian Smoller. The game can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN as well as online at 1350kman.com.