MANHATTAN, Kan. – Baylor got seven innings from starter Jake Jackson, holding K-State to one hit with runners on base, as the Bears came away with a 4-2 victory in the series opener at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State (25-23, 6-13 Big 12) had the go-ahead runs on the base paths in the eighth inning and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but finished the night 1-for-13 with men on base and 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Down four runs after five innings, Dylan Phillips got the Wildcats on the board with a solo homer in the sixth. Josh Nicoloffwho went 3-for-4, added an RBI single in the eighth to trim the deficit to two.
Later in the eighth, Cole Johnson drew a two-out walk to load the bases and put the typing runs in scoring position. BU reliever Matt Voelker induced an inning-ending strikeout to escape the jam. Voelker then got back-to-back fly outs in the ninth to strand Dominic Johnsonwho had roped a one-out double.
Baylor (24-22, 6-13 Big 12) built its lead behind a season-high five walks from K-State starter Blake Adams. The Bears’ leadoff hitter reached in five of Adams’ six innings, including three by way of a walk.
“In baseball, the percentages of scoring when the leadoff runner gets on base in the inning goes through the roof,” said head coach Peter Hughes. “That puts you behind and forces you to field bunts, it puts runners in scoring position and puts more pressure on every pitch. They got hits when their runners were in scoring position and with two outs, two-out RBIs, and we didn’ T. We had our opportunities.
“It’s unfortunate because our bullpen did a great job to give us a chance to get back in that game. We just didn’t get the hit tonight, and they did. That was the difference in the game.”
Tre Richardson drove in the game’s first run with two outs in the third, scoring Jacob Schoenvogel who walked, reached a second on a sacrifice bunt and stood on third following a groundout.
Richardson added an RBI double as part of a three-run fifth inning. Richardson ended the night 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and two doubles.
Jared McKenzie followed Richardson’s two-out double with an RBI single, as three of Baylor’s four runs came with two outs.
Jackson scattered six hits over his seven innings, with the only run against him being Phillips’ team-leading 13th homer of the year He struck out three and walked one.
“We didn’t do a good enough job against their starter, working counts and putting pressure on him,” Hughes added. “We let him get through seven innings and on a Friday night, you can’t let their starter go seven. We’re a better offense than that. We weren’t very disciplined tonight.
“To his credit, when you strike out three and give up one run, you’re not missing many spots. He moved his slider around and did a good job when he was up in the count with it. I thought he pitched a great game tonight.”
In relief of Jackson, Voelker yielded three hits while issuing two walks over his two innings. Voelker picked up his third save, striking out one and allowing one run.
The K-State bullpen held BU scoreless over the game’s final three innings, led by Christian Ruebeck’s 2 1/3 scoreless frames. Blake Corsentino came in for the final two outs of the ninth, striking out both he faced.
Jeff Heinrich and Cole Johnson added two hits apiece, as the pair along with Nicoloff accounted for seven of the Cats’ nine base hits.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A leadoff walk drawn by Schoenvogel set up the game’s first run, as Richardson drove home Schoenvogel with a two-out single to right field. Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo moved Schoenvogel to second by dropping down a sacrifice bunt before standing on third following a groundout by Jack Pineda.
Baylor added three in the fifth, extending its lead to four runs. With two outs, Richardson doubled while McKenzie added an RBI single. The Bears tallied three hits while benefitting from a pair of walks and Wildcat errors in the frame.
Phillips got the Cats on the board with his solo homer in the sixth while Nicoloff trimmed the Bears’ lead to two with an RBI single in the eighth.
Later in the eighth and trailing 4-2, Cole Johnson drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Voelker got out of the jam with an inning-ending strikeout.
Dominic Johnson doubled with one out in the bottom of the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate. Voelker again worked out of trouble by inducing back-to-back fly outs to end the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- K-State scored two runs on nine hits with two errors and left 10 on base.
- Baylor scored four runs on eight hits, committed no errors and stranded nine baserunners.
- Nicoloff led the Wildcats with three hits, going 3-for-4 with an RBI.
- Heinrich and Cole Johnson each had two-hit performances.
- Phillips hit his team-leading 13th home run of the season.
- Dominic Johnson recorded his team-high 17th double.
- Eight of K-State’s nine hits came with the bases empty.
- Adams issued a season-high five walks (one intentional) over six innings.
- The K-State bullpen combined to keep Baylor scoreless over the final three innings.
- The Bears were led by Richardson’s three hits (3-for4) and two RBI.
- Jackson went seven innings in the start, striking out three with one run allowed on six hits.
- Voelker picked up the save, tossing the final two innings with one run on three hits.
- Baylor tallied three two-out RBI.
- K-State finished 1-for-13 with two runners on base and 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
- Baylor was 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position and 4-for-20 with men on base.
- Baylor leads the all-time series 53-30 (49-24 Big 12), dating back to 1966.
- K-State is 15-19 at home against the Bears.
- The teams have alternated wins over the last seven games in the series.
- The Cats are now 19-7 at home and have won 10 of the last 14 at Tointon Family Stadium.
- K-State now has 75 home runs on the season, tied for second-most in a single season in program history.
- Fifty-seven of K-State’s 75 home runs have come at home.
- Phillips now has 44 career home runs to extend his own school record.
- Each of the Cats’ last six games have been decided by three runs or fewer (five have been two-run contests).
K-State and Baylor continue the series Saturday at 4 pm at Tointon Family Stadium. The game series can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and with radio coverage on the K-State Sports Radio Network. Free, live audio is also available at K-StateSports.com/Watch.