WACO, TX (K-State Athletics) – K-State led off Big 12 play with an 8-1 victory over Baylor on Friday night in Waco, Texas at Baylor Ballpark to extend the Wildcats win streak out to nine for the first time since 2014.
Friday marked the Cats first conference opener victory since 2012 and first win in the Big 12 opener on the road since 2006. The Wildcats improved to 13-5 overall while the Bears drop to 6-12.
“It was a good solid team win tonight,” said Pete Hughes. “I’m proud of our guys for setting the tone on the road.”
“We scored early while Owen [Boerema] settled in immediately and played solid error-free baseball with great energy. Everyone played a part in the win tonight.”
Boerema earned his third consecutive victory on the mound after tossing 5 2/3 innings in his fifth appearance with the Wildcats. The Litchfield, Minn., product allowed the lone earned run and limited the Bears to six hits while striking out six to total 32 on the year. Boerema is just one of four pitchers from the Big 12 to register 30-plus strikeouts this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State opened scoring in the first inning for the ninth time of the year after the Wildcats quickly loaded the bases with a pair of walks and Dom Hughes’ bunt to bring cleanup batter Nick Goodwin to the plate.
After falling behind 0-2 in the count, the junior shortstop fought his way to a full count before ultimately walking to tab the first run to the board. The Cats plated a pair of runs just one batter later after capitalizing on a throwing error during an attempted double play to extend the lead out to three.
With one out, the Wildcats strung together two consecutive hits before Cole Johnson singled through the 5-6 hole to score Orlando Salinas, Jr. from third, pushing the lead out to four, 4-0.
Baylor jumped on the board in the third frame as Cortlan Castle led off with a single up the middle before coming around on a deep fly ball out to right center but a lineout to first ended the threat.
Salinas singled in the fourth before moving into scoring position on a grounder to the mound until he scored on Johnson’s second straight hit of the game.
K-State would plate three runs over the seventh and eighth frames to back the bullpen that left Baylor hitless in the final 3 1/3 innings of the conference opener, handing the Bears their 12th loss of the season.
INSIDE THE BOX
- K-State scored eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits with no errors and 11 left on base
- Ty Ruhl and Kyler Heyne combined for 3.1 innings without allowing a single hit and two strikeouts
- Three players had multiple hits while Cole Johnson and Nick Goodwin each drove in two RBI
- Raphael Pelletier matched a career-high three hits with three singles
- Cole Johnson went 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBI
- Boerema now ranks second in the league with 32 strikeouts
- Three plays went under review on Friday; all calls were in favor of K-State
- Pelletier threw out his eighth runner of the year; ties first in the Big 12
- Longest win streak in program history since 2014; program record is 16 set in 2006
- First series opener win over Baylor since April 17, 2014 in Manhattan; first in Waco since 2013
- K-State won its 11th victory in Waco; Baylor leads the all-time series 53-33 and 31-11 at home
- Cats won their first Big 12 opener since 2012 against Texas A&M on March 16 (W, 15-12)
- The Wildcats won their first Big 12 opener on the road since 2006 against Missouri on March 24 (W, 5-3)
- K-State currently has the longest win streak in the Big 12 after Oklahoma State dropped the conference opener to Texas Tech
The Wildcats return for game two of the Big 12 opening weekend against the Bears on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 2:02 p.m. inside Baylor Ballpark. The Baylor series will be carried on the Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and the ESPN App while with radio coverage available on News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM). Live streaming audio is available for all four games at K-StateSports.com/watch and on the K-State Sports app.