FORT WORTH, Texas — The Kansas State baseball team allowed three two-out runs in the fourth inning, giving No. 13 TCU the only runs it needed beat the Wildcats’ 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at Lupton Stadium.
K-State starting pitcher Nate Griep allowed a leadoff single in the fourth, but quickly retired the next two batters to bring the Wildcats (23-24, 4-13 Big 12) within one out of escaping the frame.
Griep, however, walked Jerrick Suiter on four pitches and then surrendered an RBI single to Dylan Fitzgerald to tie the game 1-1. Griep was lifted in favor of reliever Jake Fromson, but the K-State right-hander allowed a two-run triple to Keaton Jones that gave TCU (33-13, 12-5) the game-deciding runs.
Saturday’s result extended K-State’s losing streak to five games and pushed TCU’s winning streak to 11 games.
Ross Kivett led off the game with a home run, his team-leading fourth of the season, but K-State had two of its four hits after the first inning as TCU’s pitching staff — led by starter Tyler Alexander — contained the Wildcats.
Alexander allowed all four hits and struck out five in his seven-plus innings to earn his sixth win. Riley Ferrell notched his 11th save after holding the Wildcats hitless in 1 1/3 innings.
The Wildcats only had one runner in scoring position in the game — Austin Fisher — who led off the fourth with a single. He later advanced to second on a groundout by Shane Conlon, but a groundout by Blair DeBord stranded Fisher at second.
K-State left three runners on base, while TCU stranded seven.
Fisher was the only Wildcat with multiple hits as he went 2 for 4. The junior is 3 for 8 in the first two games of the series. K-State lost to the Horned Frogs 5-0 on Friday night.
Mitch Meyer, who also has three hits in the series, had the fourth and final K-State hit when he led off the eighth with a single off Alexander. TCU brought in Trey Teakell to replace Alexander, and the right-hander struck out the only two batters he faced before the Horned Frogs spelled Teakell with Ferrell.
K-State neutralized TCU’s nine hits and four walks with the help of two pickoffs and a pickoff/caught stealing. TCU had runners on base in seven of the eight innings, but Griep and catcher Blair DeBord had a pickoff to end the first and eighth innings. Griep added another pickoff in the second inning for the frame’s first out.
Griep took the loss — his fifth straight — after he allowed three runs on four hits, while also walking three.
The K-State bullpen was not responsible for any runs in a combined 4 1/3 innings. Ethan Landon pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings.
K-State will look to capture a win in the series finale today at 1 pm when right-hander Jake Matthys takes the mound for his first start of the season. TCU has yet to announce its starting pitcher.