Kansas State had its big innings, but unfortunately for the Wildcats, Baylor did too… and in clutch time.
The fifth-ranked Bears completed their sweep of K-State Sunday in Tointon Family Stadium. Baylor won the resumed game two match-up from Saturday 14-12 and was victorious in the final game, winning 12-11 in 11 innings.
BU improved to 30-7 on the season and an undefeated 15-0 in Big 12 play. The Wildcats, meanwhile, dropped to below .500 at 17-18 and 3-9 in the conference. The series marked the first time KSU was swept by a conference opponent at home since 2008.
The Bears were fueled by senior catcher Josh Ludy, who was a combined 7-for-8 for games two and three and totaled four home runs. He also accounted for nine RBIs through both games — seven alone in game three.
“That s been the story in the Big 12 for us,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said. “We’ve played just close enough to get beat. We have to step up. We had two opportunities to win game (three) and we need to get it done. You just don’t get very many opportunities against those guys.”
KSU got things going quickly in the late game when doubles by sophomores Blair Debord and Ross Kivett fueled a five-run inning in the bottom of the second to lead Baylor 5-1.
The Bears retook the lead in the top of the fourth and extended it in the top of the fifth, 7-5, but the Wildcats answered back with three runs in the bottom of the inning and another run in the bottom of the sixth.
Both teams failed to plate a run in the seventh inning and K-State went into the eighth holding a 9-7 advantage.
But like in game two, Baylor was able to turn it on late.
The Bears’ senior catcher Josh Ludy, who had been making the Cats pay the entire series, took advantage of the wind — launching a three-run homer over the right field wall.
Right after that, junior third baseman Cal Towey hit a home run, and just like that, Baylor was back on top 11-9.
Still, K-State didn’t give up and loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning.
The Wildcats’ Jon Davis hit a sacrifice fly to left to plate Tanner Witt and Debord followed up with an RBI single through the right side to tie the game.
The Bears struck out the next at-bat, though, and two K-State base runners were left on base.
Both teams went down in order in the ninth. And each squad left two men on base in the 10th frame.
But in the 11th inning, Baylor’s Michael Howard hit a solo home run to right field with two outs to give the Bears the lead.
The Wildcats had an opportunity to tie the game with runners on the corners with two outs, but BU’s Max Garner kept his cool and struck out Kivett looking to end the game.
“Momentum (was) on our side,”Hill said. “We executed everything we needed to except for the game-winning hit. That’s very disappointing. We had fight and we had competitiveness, but now we need to get back to winning. Who can step up, get that big hit and win a game for us.”
K-State starting pitcher Kayvon Bahramzadeh went 4 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits. The senior right-hander walked two and struck out six.
Bahramzadeh was relieved by Jared Moore for 2/3 of an inning and sophomore Gerardo Esquivel followed for 1 2/3 innings. Nate Williams pitched the eighth and Matt Wivinis threw the final three.
Baylor also went through five pitchers, with starter Joey Hainsfurther going the same distance as Bahramazadeh. In that span, Hainsfurther allowed eight runs — six earned — on eight hits, walked one and struck out three.
The Bears’ Dillon Newman, who pitched 2/3 of the eighth and the entirety of the ninth and 10th innings, got the win, while Garner picked up the save.
Wivinis suffered the loss.
K-State was led by Kivett and Debord, who totaled three hits and three RBIs each.
Jake Brown, who was 2-for-6 on the day with an RBI, said it was another case where the Wildcats left the game with a tough pill to swallow.
“These are the games that break your heart, you know?” the senior shortstop said. “It was up and down, we get up, they come right back, get up, and then we come back. It’s just who can stay locked in the longest.
“It’s extremely tough. Bad things are going to happen, good things are going to happen… you have to keep your head up.”
In Game 2, which was resumed at noon Sunday after storms suspended the game in the top of the sixth Saturday, Baylor picked up right where it left off and tallied three more runs to total five for the inning to narrow K-State’s lead to 10-9.
The Wildcats were stifled in the bottom of the inning and the Bears poured it on again in the top of the seventh with another five-run performance to take a 14-10 lead.
K-State put up two runs in the bottom of the frame, but couldn’t find anymore runs the rest of the way as BU was able to hold on to a 14-12 win.
In total, KSU went seven-deep in the bullpen for Game 2, with Johnny Fasola — who resumed the game on the mound in the sixth — suffering the loss.
Baylor’s Tyler Bremer, who pitched the sixth and seventh innings, received the win.
K-State will continue play Tuesday against Northern Colorado at 6:30 in Tointon Family Stadium.
BAYLOR 14, K-STATE 12
Baylor 3 1 0 0 0 5 5 0 0 — 14 17 1
Kansas State 2 0 1 1 6 0 2 0 0 — 12 14 1
WP — Bremer (3-0). LP — Fasola (0-1). Save — Garner.
2B — Baylor 3 (Langford, Vick and Howard); K-State 2 (Witt, King). HR — Baylor 3 (Orf, Ludy, Miller); K-State 1 (Hinkle).
BAYLOR 12, K-STATE 11
Baylor 1 0 2 3 1 0 0 4 0 0 1 — 12 18 2
Kansas State 0 5 0 0 3 1 0 2 0 0 0 — 11 15 1
WP — Newman (3-1). LP — Wivinis (1-2). Save — Garner (5).
2B — Baylor 2 (Orf, Muncy); K-State 4 (Kivett, Davis and 2 DeBord). 3B — K-State 1 (Kindel). HR — Baylor 4 (Ludy 3, Towey, Howard).