Kansas State had its chances, but the Wildcats simply couldn’t capitalize in a 3-1 loss to Baylor on Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium.
It was Baylor’s first road win since Feb. 14 at Arizona State — the Bears’ first road game of the season.
“It was little things, the little things cost us,” K-State coach Brad Hill said. “In a game like this one you had to be perfect.
“I thought (Shane) Conlon gave us two great swings and they found a glove. Just not enough good at-bats and little execution things.”
The Bears (18-21, 5-9 Big 12) got on the board first in the third inning on a Brett Doe groundout that scored Logan Brown from third.
Carter Yagi doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning plating Taylor Anderson to give the Wildcats (22-18, 4-8) their first run and tie the game 1-1.
Baylor took the lead in the fifth inning with a leadoff home run from Darryn Sheppard, taking K-State starting pitcher Nate Griep long to left-center field.
The Wildcats (22-18, 4-8) had a chance to answer in the bottom of the inning when Ross Kivett singled to put Max Brown on third, and advanced to second on the throw with two outs. Shane Conlon hit a hard grounder to short to end the inning.
K-State had Yagi on second and Kivett on first with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Conlon hit a slow grounder in the infield and Kivett was tagged out at second on a bang-bang play.
“I felt like I put good swings on the ball,” Conlon said. “That’s baseball. It’s just tough because you want to have your best at-bats with runners in scoring position, and they just find the gloves.”
Ethan Landon allowed Lawton Langford to get to third with one out in the eighth before K-State went to its second reliever of the night in left-hander Jared Moore.
Adam Toth singled between Austin Fisher and Yagi — who both dove at the ball — to put the Bears ahead 3-1.
Freshman pitcher Daniel Costano left the game after giving the Bears eight innings, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts.
“Their kid threw a great game,” Hill said. “What great composure. That guy wanted the ball tonight. Freshman kid — he was on a mission to not let them get swept. He was outstanding.”
Griep pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one strikeout and one walk as he dropped to 3-3 on the season.
“Nate was good — he just didn’t have good fastball command,” Hill said. “He got hurt with his fastball. He left pitches up and they got some mistakes. He competed well, he just didn’t have good fastball command.”
Kivett and Yagi combined for four of the Wildcats’ six hits, while Fisher and Brown had the other two.
The Wildcats were in search of their first Big 12 sweep this season. Conlon said finishing a series has been a thorn in the Wildcats’ side.
“Those little things always are going to get you beat,” he said. “You can win a game with six hits, seven hits, we just didn’t do the little things and that’s kind of how it’s been going for us when we’re going for the sweep.”
The Wildcats will now host Cal-Bakersfield at Tointon on Monday and Tuesday before setting their sights on their next Big 12 series at West Virginia, beginning on Friday at 5 p.m.
K-STATE 6, BAYLOR 4
Blair DeBord broke a tie game with a two-out infield single that scored two runs in the eighth inning to help give the K-State a 6-4 win over Baylor on Friday at Tointon Family Stadium.
In a game that saw K-State take the lead four times and Baylor tie the game twice, DeBord’s two-run single, a high chopper that required the K-State catcher to slide head first at first base, provided the difference for the Wildcats’ series-clinching victory. The series win against Baylor is K-State’s first series victory in Big 12 play this season.
The win was K-State’s third straight against Baylor dating back to last season. It was the also the Wildcats’ second victory of the season when tied after the seventh inning or later.
Jake Matthys earned the win for K-State after the right-hander held Baylor to no runs in 1 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.