By Chris Kutz, K-State Athletics Communications
FORT WORTH, Texas – The K-State baseball team allowed 17 unanswered runs in the final two innings of a mercy-rule shortened game on Sunday as the Wildcats were swept by No. 13 TCU following a 21-7 loss at Lupton Stadium.
The Wildcats (23-25, 4-14 Big 12) led by three runs on two occasions, but the Horned Frogs (34-13, 13-5 Big 12) used seven runs in the fifth and 10 runs in the sixth to put away K-State.
Of the 21 runs allowed by K-State, nine were unearned as the Wildcats committed four errors. Two of the four errors were recorded in TCU’s seven-run fifth, with RJ Santigate committing a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt, and Austin Fisher mishandling a ground ball near second base with the bases loaded and one out.
TCU had 18 hits, with six hitters recording multi-hit games. Dylan Fitzgerald had a game-high four hits while Boomer White led both sides with five RBIs on his three hits. Cody Jones drew four of TCU’s five walks.
K-State reliever Jared Moore took the loss after he allowed eight runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. The left-hander inherited two runners on base in the fifth, both of which scored, after starter Jake Matthys surrendered back-to-back singles to start the inning.
Matthys, making his first start of the season and the second of his career, allowed six runs, two earned, on seven hits and two walks in four-plus innings.
The right-hander allowed four runs in the second inning, three of which were registered with two outs. Matthys surrendered an RBI double to Fitzgerald before inducing a foul pop out with runners on second and third to bring the Wildcats within one out of escaping the jam. A fielding error by Fisher on the next batter, though, allowed a run to score and extended the inning for TCU. Derek Odell later drove in two runs with a single to left field.
K-State grabbed a 3-0 lead in second after a leadoff walk by Santigate was followed by back-to-back singles from Tyler Stover and Mitch Meyer to load the bases. Carter Yagi drove in the first run with a one-out sacrifice fly, and, after Ross Kivett walked to load the bases once again, Shane Conlon came through with a two-out, two-run single.
The Wildcats answered TCU’s four runs in the second with a four-run inning of their own in the third. K-State scored all four runs with the help of three walks, two errors, a passed ball, and no hits. With Santigate drawing a one-out walk, Stover hit a groundball to TCU third baseman Odell, but Odell’s throw to second base was mishandled, allowing Santigate to reach third base and putting Stover safely at first. Mitch Meyer walked to load the bases, and Alex Bee drove in a run with bases-loaded walk that tied the game at 4-4. Meyer later scored on a passed ball while a throwing error by Odell on a ground ball hit by Kivett allowed Yagi, who reached on a fielder’s choice, and Bee to score and give K-State a 7-4 lead.
The Wildcats scored all four unearned runs in the third off TCU’s Alex Young, but TCU reliever Trey Teakell spelled Young after one batter in the fifth, and he held K-State scoreless in his three innings of work. Teakell picked up the win to improve to 4-0 on the year.
Meyer had two of K-State’s five hits, and Conlon led the Wildcats with two RBIs. Santigate drew a team-best three walks.
The TCU series ended K-State’s road schedule in Big 12 play. The Wildcats finished 1-11 against Big 12 teams on the road.
K-State will end its nonconference schedule with its next game at Wichita State on Tuesday, May 6 at 7 pm