TCU wins Sunday, but Cats take series

By Brady Bauman

The offense that put the Kansas State baseball team first in the nation in batting average was stifled by TCU Sunday afternoon in Tointon Family Stadium.

The Horned Frogs defeated K-State 5-2, in the series finale, though the Wildcats took the first two games of the series.

K-State dropped to 31-14 overall and 9-6 in the Big 12, just two games out of first place. TCU improved to 20-23 and 8-10.

The loss snapped a 13-game home winning streak for K-State, which was the second-longest under K-State head coach Brad Hill. The 2006 squad began its home schedule by winning the first 16 games.

“TCU has a great pitching staff,” Hill said. “That’s as deep a pitching staff as we’ve seen all year. They ran guy after guy out there, and, quite honestly, that’s the first time I’ve seen our offense get worn out. We just got worn down.”

For the game, a total of 12 pitchers were used with seven of them coming from K-State alone.

TCU was led offensively by Jantzen Witte, who went 3 for 3 with a RBI, while left fielder Boomer White recorded two hits. The Horned Frogs had three infield singles in the game and finished the weekend totaling eight.

“That’s what we’re going to see (the rest of the way),” Hill said about the obstacles the K-State offense has ahead, especially when it comes to pitching. “We might not see as quite as deep of pitching staffs (like TCU), but that quality of arms, we’re going to see that against Texas, KU and Oklahoma.

“We’ll need better at-bats and we can’t get worn down like we did (today).”

The contest began as a stalemate throughout the first two innings until the top of the third.

Horned Frogs center fielder Cody Jones got his team on the scoreboard with an RBI single to right and Paul Hendrix added another RBI shortly after with a groundout to second. Another run was plated when Witte singled to the shortstop.

In the bottom of the inning, K-State’s offense was again silenced and in the fourth the same was true for both sides.

The Wildcats finally got going in the bottom of the fifth when senior Jon Davis doubled to left center.

Teammate RJ Santigate kept the momentum going by drawing a walk and catcher Blair DeBord juiced the bases with a single to left. A run was brought home when designated hitter Mitch Meyer sacrificed to center.

K-State’s momentum was cut short, though, when a double-play ended the inning.

Trailing 3-1, the task was made tougher for K-State in the top of the sixth.

TCU opened the frame with a walk and then benefited from a passed ball.

A triple by Brett Johnson and a sac fly by Kyle Bacak pushed the Horned Frogs’ lead to 5-2 — a score that would stick the rest of the way.

K-State freshman starter Blake McFadden took the loss and dropped to 4-2. He tossed 2 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Jared Moore tossed 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. Gerardo Esquivel made a brief appearance after that but didn’t register an out.

Nate Williams then came to the mound for 1 1/3, followed by Hayden Nixon — whose duration lasted nearly as long as Esquivel’s.

Jake Matthys finished the seventh and pitched the eighth, with Tanner Witt wrapping up the ninth.

Justin Scharf, who relieved starter Andrew Mitchel in the fifth, received the win for TCU. Alex Young was credited with the save.

K-State will play Tuesday at Creighton.

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