Texas Tech beats Wildcats to win series

By Joel Jellison

A good start wasn’t enough to help Kansas State steal a series on Saturday.

Despite an early four-run lead, the Wildcats allowed No. 6 Texas Tech to score 10 unanswered runs in a 12-8 loss at Tointon Family Stadium. The Red Raiders win two out of three games in the series.

“That’s frustrating,” K-State coach Brad Hill said of the game. “I thought we had a good shot. I thought we had a good matchup pitching-wise.”

K-State (17-18, 2-10 Big 12) scored the first four runs of the game to lead 4-0 after two innings. Will Brennan walked to start the game and then Jake Scudder hit a two-out home run to make it 2-0 in the first.

Brennan brought home a pair of runs in the second inning. With two outs, Brennan smacked a single to left center to drive in a pair of runs and extend the lead.

Texas Tech (31-8, 8-4) came right back to tie the game in the third inning. Cody Farhat led off the inning with a solo home run, and then Josh Jung added a two-run home run with one out to pull within a run of the Wildcats’ 4-3 lead. Orlando Garcia hit an RBI single to tie the game at 4.

“I just did a horrible job when they tied it,” Hill said. “I thought we got really flat. We had four innings (after that) of doing nothing offensively. I felt when they tied it 4-4, we didn’t do a good job of getting reenergized.”

The Red Raiders took the lead in the fifth inning when Tanner Gardner grounded out with the bases loaded to score Jung.

Texas Tech chased K-State starter Hudson Treu from the game in the fifth after he allowed five runs on six hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. It’s his second loss of the season.

Colton Kalmus came on and allowed a hit and a walk before leaving the game in the fifth, and Jared Marolf worked around the rest of the batters to limit the damage.

“That’s a tough lineup to go through,” Hill said. “They fight, they compete — they get really locked into some at-bats. He made a mistake, left it up, nine hole gets it and then all of the sudden they pop a couple runs on you. Then they came back and got focused down again. We have to continue to make pitches and not give in. We just gave in.”

Texas Tech used the seventh inning to extend its lead to 10-4 with five runs. Hunter Hargrove singled up the middle to bring in a pair of runs, then Kholeton Sanchez hit a bases loaded double down the left field line to score three more.

“That should have never happened,” Hill said. “That five-run inning — we just didn’t compete well enough on the mound.”

K-State didn’t go away, though. The Wildcats came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning, starting with a two-run home run from Josh Rolette. Cam Thompson grounded into a bases loaded double play that brought in a run, and the Wildcats stranded a runner at third down 10-7.

“I don’t know how many double plays we hit into, but we need to try and elevate some of those,” Hill said. “We need to do a better job, too, with runners in scoring position.”

Ryan Long singled in a run for the Red Raiders in the ninth and Grant Little hit a bases loaded sacrifice fly to make it 12-7.

Quintin Crandall doubled in a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but the Red Raiders avoided further damage to preserve the win.

Crandall had two of the Wildcats’ nine hits, while Brennan, Scudder and Rolette each had two RBIs.

The Wildcats return to the field on Tuesday for a doubleheader against New Mexico. Game 1 starts at 2:30 p.m. with the second game scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start.

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