March 23, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – The No. 22 Texas Longhorns fell behind 4-1 through four innings and were unable to make up the deficit in a 5-2 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats at Tointon Family Stadium on Friday evening.
The Longhorns pounced on the Wildcats for a run in the top of the first inning. Mark Payton doubled down the rightfield line and moved to third on a wild pitch. Jonathan Walsh bounced an infield hit that eluded the shortstop and third baseman allowing to Payton to score and stake Texas to a 1-0 lead.
Kansas State (13-8, 2-2 Big 12) claimed its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Ross Kivett snuck a ball down the leftfield line for a double and scored when Jake Brown blooped a single into leftfield. Brown stole second base and moved to third when Jacob Felts’ throw bounced away from Jordan Etier. After Jared King was issued a walk to put runners on the corners, Wade Hinkle singled to right field to bring Brown home for the 2-1 lead.
With two outs, the Wildcats brewed up a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth. Tanner Witt drew a walk and moved to third when Kivett bounced a ball into the spot vacated by Longhorns second baseman Brooks Marlow who was going to cover the bag on a Witt’s stolen base attempt. The single put runners on the corners. Brown followed with an RBI single to the gap in left centerfield and King singled through the right side of the infield to plate Kivett for the 4-1 lead.
Texas (11-9, 3-1 Big 12) shaved a run off the lead in the top of the sixth. With one out, Erich Weiss singled up the middle and he moved to second on a two-out single by Marlow. Alex Silver hit an 0-2 offering down the rightfield line to send Weiss home, but the Horns were unable to do any more damage in the inning and trailed 4-2.
Kansas State inflated the cushion back to three runs in the eighth. With one out, Witt tripled to the gap in right centerfield and Kivett was issued a walk. Witt came home to score when reliever Dillon Peters committed a balk and the Wildcats took a 5-2 lead.
Walsh was the lone Longhorn to register two hits, going 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Kivett led all batters, going 3-for-3 with two walks, two runs and one double. Brown went 2-for-2 with one walk, one sacrifice bunt, one run, two RBI and one stolen base.
Nathan Thornhill (2-2) was saddled with the loss for the Longhorns. He allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out four over 5.1 innings. Hoby Milner pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief striking out two.
Matt Applegate (2-2) earned the win for Kansas State. He allowed two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six over 5.2 innings. Gerardo Equivel held on to the lead with 2.1 shutout frames, scattering two hits and striking out three. Nate Williams earned his second save of the season allowing one walk and fanning two in the ninth inning.
Texas and Kansas State return to action at Tointon Family Stadium at 2 p.m. on Saturday.