The second game in a three-game home series against No. 5 Baylor was suspended due to lightening and then eventually rain Saturday afternoon — an hour after the initial delay was put into effect.
Lightening was reported within 10 miles of Tointon Family Stadium at 3:20 p.m. in the top of the sixth inning with one out recorded and K-State leading the Bears 10-8. The game will resume at noon today. Game three — originally scheduled for 1 p.m. — will take place 30 minutes after the conclusion of Saturday’s resumed game.
The Wildcats (17-16, 3-7) fell into a quick hole to Baylor (28-7, 13-0) when the Bears opened the contest with three runs propelled by a two-run homer by senior catcher Josh Ludy.
K-State answered in the bottom of the first with a two-run single by designated hitter Mike Kindel, but Baylor added a run in the in the next inning to extend its lead to 4-2.
A single by sophomore second baseman Ross Kivett plated a run and tied the game 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth, and a quick top of the fifth by the Baylor offense — courtesy of two strikeouts by Wildcats’ starting pitcher Joe Flattery — kept the score equal.
K-State was then on a mission in the bottom of the fifth and scored six runs in the inning. First baseman Wade Hinkle and left fielder Jon Davis started the inning with a walk and single, respectively. The Bears then pulled starting pitcher Trent Blank, who is considered one of the top pitchers in the nation. Blank entered Saturday’s game with an 8-0 record and 1.67 ERA, and he was replaced by sophomore Brad Kuntz.
The Wildcats didn’t miss a gear, though, and continued to load the base paths.
A two-run single later in the lineup by shortstop Jake Brown gave KSU a 7-4 lead. Following a Tanner Witt fly-out and a Kivett walk, sophomore center fielder Jared King reached on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded and an error by the Baylor shortstop gave up three Wildcats runs — all unearned — to extend the lead 10-4.
After all that, BU pulled Kuntz and put in junior Crayton Bare, who was finally able to hold off K-State.
The Bears got right back into the game with a three-run homer to center field off freshman pitcher Matt Wivinis, who began the inning in relief for Flattery.
BU’s Michael Howard followed with a double and Wivinis was pulled in favor of Jake Doller, who saw three batters before the game was delayed due to lightening.
Flattery ended his day giving up five runs — four earned — on seven hits. He walked three and struck out four.
Baylor’s Blank — who came into Saturday’s game leading both the Big 12 and the country in wins, plus leads the conference in ERA amongst starters — had his worst outing of the season.
Blank gave up eight runs — six earned — on six hits, walked four and posted just one strikeout.
The 10 runs the Bears gave up as a team Saturday is the most they’ve allowed this season.
Witt was 3-for-4 for K-State before the game was suspended.
BAYLOR 5, K-STATE 2
Baylor’s Josh Turley has been dominant all season long, and that continued on Friday night. The left-handed senior went the distance for the Bears, throwing nine innings while allowing just two runs — one earned — as Baylor defeated K-State 5-2 in the series opener.
Turley (5-0), the Big 12’s career leader in walks per nine innings, struck out six and didn’t walk a single K-State batter on Friday, as Baylor improved to 9-0 on the season when Turley is on the mound.
Turley, who allowed just six hits on the night, shut down the heart of K-State’s lineup. The Wildcats’ 1-5 hitters combined to go 0-20, while Baylor’s first five hitters went 9-22 on the night.
“We needed a big hit,” K-State coach Brad Hill said. “That is a team that is breathing confidence. There is no panic over there at any time. We’re a little uncertain right now. We need something really good to happen.”
Despite the offensive struggles, the Wildcats were tied with the Bears at two-all heading into the seventh inning. But with one out in the seventh, Lawton Langford singled, which was followed by a Max Muncy double, putting runners on second and third for Baylor.
That ended Matt Applegate’s night, as the senior right-hander went 6 1//3 innings for the Wildcats. Gerado Esquivel entered the game in relief of Applegate, but Josh Ludy, on a 1-2 count, singled softly to center to score two and give the Bears a 4-2 advantage.
“We needed to get out of the seventh inning somehow,” Hill said. “We needed that ball to find a glove so they didn’t score those two.”
K-State’s Dan Klein went 3-for-4 to lead K-State, while Muncy went 3-for-5 with a home run.