No. 1 Texas drops 5-3 decision to Kansas State
AUSTIN, Texas -- Despite putting the tying run on base with one out in the bottom of the ninth, No. 1 Texas (26-5, 4-4 Big 12) could not pull off the comeback as Kansas State (15-12, 2-7 Big 12) held on for a 5-3 win during the series finale in front of 5,150 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Sunday, April 3. Notably, even with the Wildcats' victory, the Longhorns won the conference series by a 2-1 count.
A leadoff double from Calvin Beamon (Aurora, Colo.) in the bottom of the first combined with a bunt base hit from Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) and a safety-squeeze bunt from Seth Johnston (Boerne, Texas) to bring home the first run of the game. First baseman Chance Wheeless (Round Rock, Texas) then came up with a two-out single to score Stubbs and stake the Longhorns to a 2-0 advantage. Kansas State immediately countered in the top of the second when the Wildcats loaded the bases on two walks and a bunt base hit in front of a one-out, two-run single from shortstop Eric Eymann to knot the game at 2-2. With KSU still threatening in the frame, Texas starter Randy Boone (Yoakum, Texas) then registered his fourth strikeout of the contest and induced a flyout to work out of the jam.
From there, the game settled into a pitcher's duel as both Boone for UT and Kansas State starter Adam Cowart did not allow a hit during both the third and fourth innings. Then, in the bottom of the fifth, a leadoff double from third baseman David Maroul (Benbrook, Texas) followed by a groundout to the right side and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Beamon reclaimed the lead for Texas at 3-2. Following a scoreless sixth by both sides, the Wildcats battled back in the top of the seventh by using back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. After a failed safety squeeze attempt caught the runner at third in a run down, a balk moved both runners into scoring position before Eymann delivered a two-run double to give Kansas State its first lead of the series at 4-3. Clayton Stewart (Angleton, Texas) then came on and retired the first two batters he faced to end the frame with the Horns only trailing by one.
While UT would challenge the K-State lead in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out double from Wheeless, Cowart got Thomas Incaviglia (Monterey, Calif.) to line out to shortstop to end the inning and send the game to the ninth. Kansas State then used two infield singles and a throwing error to plate an insurance run in the top of the ninth to make it a 5-3 game. Down to their final three outs, the Longhorns placed runners on the corners with one out after a dropped fly ball and a single up-the-middle from Robby Hudson (Redlands, Calif.). B.J. Kissel then retired the one batter he was called into face on a flyout before Bryan Peterson came on and induced a groundout to end the game while earning his first save of the year. Picking up the win was Cowart, who hurled 8.1 innings and allowed only three runs on nine hits while striking out six and walking one. Shouldering the loss was Boone, who tossed 6.1 strong frames, fanned seven and retired 14 straight batters at one point.
Pacing the Horns' offense on the day was Wheeless, who went 3-for-4 while also driving in one run, and Van Hook, who collected a pair of hits. Meanwhile, the Wildcats were led by Eymann, who recorded two hits and drove in four of KSU's five runs, and the duo of Steve Murphy and Barrett Rice, who each tallied multiple-hit efforts while combining to account for three runs scored.
Up next, the Horns face Texas State in a 6:15 p.m. Central matchup on Tuesday, April 5 at Disch-Falk Field.