By Chris Kutz, K-State Athletics Communications
LUBBOCK, Texas – The K-State baseball team allowed six Texas Tech runs in the first inning, helping lead to an 11-7 Wildcat loss in the series finale at Rip Griffin Park on Sunday.
Sunday’s defeat resulted in K-State (20-16, 2-7 Big 12) being swept by Texas Tech (28-11, 8-7 Big 12) for the first time since April 16-18, 2004.
Wildcat starting pitcher Nate Griep was responsible for seven runs in his three-plus innings, including six in the first on five hits and two walks. The redshirt freshman finished the day allowing eight hits, seven runs and two walks in the losing decision.
The K-State offense tried to drain the advantage of Texas Tech, starting with a run in the second and five runs combined in the fourth and fifth innings that brought the Wildcats within one, but the Red Raiders answered with a pair of runs in each of the fifth and seventh frames.
“We did everything you could do to lose games,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill about the weekend. “We did not play good defense on Friday, we had a lack of big hits on Saturday, and pitching today in the first [inning] got us. It was a combination of a lot of things that got us swept this weekend.”
Texas Tech had 14 hits against the K-State pitching staff on Sunday, including seven doubles. The Red Raiders second Bryant Burleson had three doubles to help make up his four hits. He also had a game-high three RBI.
K-State used eight hits to help score its seven runs. Tanner DeVinny had two hits, including a two-run home run in the fourth inning. It was the freshman’s second home run of the season, both of which have occurred in the last seven games.
The Red Raiders sent 10 batters to the plate in the first, with six of the first seven reaching base with a hit or a walk. The Red Raiders picked up RBI from Tyler Neslony, Eric Gutierrez, Ryan Long, and Hunter Redman before shortstop Tim Proudfoot capped the scoring with a two-out RBI single that made it 6-0.
K-State got on the scoreboard in the second after Blair DeBord singled and Mitch Meyer doubled to put runners at second and third with one out. Lance Miles hit a ground ball to Proudfoot to help score DeBord, but Proudfoot threw to third base where Jake Barrios tagged Meyer out to leave the bases empty.
Texas Tech answered K-State’s run in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly by Proudfoot, but the Wildcats used DeVinny’s two-run homer in the top of the fourth to pull within four, 7-3.
In the fifth, Clayton Dalrymple drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on Ross Kivett’s single up the middle. Dalrymple and Kivett each moved up a base on a groundout to first by Shane Conlon before Austin Fisher drove in both with a double to right field. Fisher, who reached third base during his double on a fielding error by right fielder Adam Kirsch, later scored on a throwing error by Texas Tech’s pitcher Jonny Drozd after the right-hander caught a line drive hit by RJ Santigate, but his throw to double up Fisher at third sailed into left field.
With the Wildcats trailing 7-6 after the top half of the fifth, the Red Raiders responded with two runs in the bottom half of the frame on Burleson’s two-out, two-run double off Jake Matthys. The Wildcats retired the first two batters of the inning, but three straight two-out hits led to the two Texas Tech runs.
Pinch-hitter Max Brown made it 9-7 in the seventh when he delivered an RBI single off Drozd to score DeVinny, who reached with a two-out double. DeBord extended the inning after DeVinny’s double by reaching on Texas Tech’s fourth error of the game, a throwing miscue by the third baseman Barrios on a ground ball.
Texas Tech capped the game’s scoring by responding once again in the bottom of the seventh. Burleson came through with another RBI double while Gutierrez plated Burleson with a two-out single.
Of the Red Raiders’ 11 RBI, four were registered with two outs.
Drozd earned the win for Texas Tech after the reliever held K-State to two hits and one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings. Red Raiders starting pitcher Dylan Dusek did not factor into the decision. The left-hander allowed four hits and four runs in four innings.
K-State ends its stretch of five-straight road games with the second of two trips to Lincoln to take on the Big Ten’s Nebraska. First pitch is at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, April 15.