Big innings too much for Cats in 13-5 loss

By The Mercury

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The Kansas State baseball team spotted No. 19 Oregon State a six-run lead after three innings and battled back to get to within two, but the Beavers scored six unearned runs in the sixth inning on their way to a 13-5 win Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

With the loss, the Wildcats finished their season-opening road trip with a 3-4 mark, while OSU improved to 5-3 on the season.

Oregon State hit three home runs in the game, including a sixth-inning grand slam by Danny Hayes that turned a 7-4 game into a seven-run advantage. The Beavers also received two RBIs apiece from Michael Conforto and Ryan Barnes.

K-State starter Jared Moore (0-1) took the loss after surrendering six runs on six hits in just more than two innings.

Gerardo Esquivel entered the game to limit the Beavers the next two frames, but he allowed a run in the fifth inning before left-hander Shane Conlon surrendered six unearned runs in the sixth.

Trailing 6-0, the Wildcats got back into the game by scoring two runs in both the third and fourth innings. In the third, Ross Kivett scored on a passed ball followed by a Jared King RBI double.

Then, in the fourth, Matt Giller reached on a leadoff error, while two straight two-out walks on a pair of full counts loaded the bases. Wade Hinkle was next and also worked a full count before slapping a base hit into right field to make the score 6-4.

K-State seemed to have momentum at that point with runners on the corners and two outs in the inning. That’s when Oregon State went to the bullpen to bring in Matt Boyd (2-0), who got out of the inning with a fielder’s choice before throwing two scoreless frames. Boyd totaled 4 2/3 innings in the game, allowing three runs — one earned — on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts.

The Oregon State offense went back to work in the fifth by scoring on a bases-loaded walk to go up by three before its big sixth inning.

The frame began with a single before a pop-out, an error and a foul-out put runners on second and third with two outs. K-State then elected to intentionally walk Conforto to load the bases for Hayes, but the first baseman hit a ball over the right-center field wall to break open the game.

King, Hinkle, Jake Brown and RJ Santigate led the Wildcats at the plate with two hits apiece. Hinkle drove in a pair of runs to improve his season total to a team-high seven on the year. Mike Kindel also recorded his second homer of the season, a solo shot over to right field in the seventh.

K-State relievers Robert Youngdahl, Nate Williams and Jake Doller each threw no-hit innings to finish the contest on the mound for the Wildcats.

K-State will open up its 30-game home schedule Friday, as the Wildcats begin a three-game series with Pacific at 3 p.m.

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