By Chris Kutz, K-State Athletics Communications
MESA, Ariz. – The K-State baseball team fell for the second straight game on a walk-off hit as Washington’s Branden Berry hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning to deal the Wildcats a 6-5 loss on Saturday at Sloan Park.
After falling to Oregon State on a ninth-inning walk-off on Friday, the Wildcats (3-4) were able to force extra innings when Carter Yagi swatted an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning that tied the game at 5-5. However, in the 10th, the Washington (5-2) used a third-strike passed ball and a Kyle Halbohn throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt to put two runners on. An intentional walk to Alex Schmidt loaded the bases prior to the Berry’s game-ending base hit.
“Our kids are showing good fight, and we’ll come back,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “We’re showing some toughness, but now we have to do the little things to win games.”
K-State, which has scored in the ninth inning in each of its last four contests, committed three errors on Saturday, with two coming around to hurt them. In addition to Halbohn’s throwing error in the 10th, Yagi had a throwing error to start the fourth that put Josh Cushing on base, who later scored to make it 2-1 Washington.
The Wildcats had scored the game’s first run in the top of the first, on an RBI single by Steve Serratore, but Washington quickly answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame before adding the go-ahead run in the fourth.
In the fifth, Clayton Dalrymple led off with a hit by pitch and Yagi reached with one of his three hits. Shane Conlon later stepped up and delivered a two-out, two-run triple that returned the lead back to the Wildcats, 3-2.
K-State tacked on an insurance run in the seventh when Dalrymple once again reached base to lead off the inning, this time with a walk, and later scored on a balk to make it 4-2.
Washington would go on to score three runs over the seventh and eighth innings, with the eighth-inning run off Lucas Benenati putting the Wildcats behind, 5-4.
Halbohn suffered the losing decision, his first of the season, after being responsible for an unearned run in his one-plus inning pitched.
Washington’s Spencer Jones picked up the win after he turned in 1 2/3 innings of shutout baseball.
Wildcat starting pitcher Colton Kalmus did not factor into the decision despite allowing two runs, one earned, in five innings pitched – which matched his career-high.
K-State ends its weekend in Arizona on Sunday with an 11 a.m. MT/12 p.m. CT contest against Washington State. The Wildcats will start junior Corey Fischer while the Cougars will have Nick Leonard take the bump.