Kansas State held Oregon State without a run for seven innings in Friday's season opener. In Saturday's game against Gonzaga, K-State allowed at least one run in seven separate innings.
Not surprisingly, Saturday's formula wasn't a recipe for success, as the Wildcats lost 17-5 to the Bulldogs on Day 2 of the Sanderson Ford College Classic in Surprise, Ariz.
"Story of two days right there. That’s baseball," K-State head coach Pete Hughes said in a release. "Credit Gonzaga. They got hits with runners in scoring position and we didn’t."
The 17 runs are the most the Wildcats (1-1) have allowed in a game since Baylor scored 18 on April 27, 2018.
And the Bulldogs (2-0) could have done far more damage: They left 15 runners on base.
"There were runners on base all night long," Hughes said. "We didn’t pitch it well enough and we didn’t swing it well enough, to be honest. You combine those two things, and that’s the outcome you’re going to get."
K-State played from behind from the outset. Starting pitcher Carson Seymour allowed three runs on three hits in the top of the first. Seymour left the game after three innings, having given up four runs on six hits. He had two strikeouts and three walks in a no-decision outing.
Immediately after Seymour exited the contest, the Wildcats' offense came alive, scoring four runs in the bottom of the third to draw level with the Bulldogs.
Cameron Thompson's RBI double brought home Kamron Willman for K-State's first run. Zach Kokoska's RBI single notched Run No. 2. Then Dylan Phillips' two-run single made the score 4-4.
But that was as good as it got for the Wildcats on Saturday.
Gonzaga went on to score eight unanswered runs over the next three frames, highlighted by a five-run fifth inning.
In the decisive fifth frame, Gonzaga had four straight run-scoring hits with two outs; all the hits came against K-State reliever Jaxon Passino.
Though the Wildcats plated one run in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 12-5, they wouldn't score again. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, combined to score five more runs over the final two innings to more than triple the Wildcats' output.
In sum, Gonzaga outhit K-State 19-7.
Despite stranding 15 runners, the Bulldogs still hit .370 (10-for-27) with runners in scoring position. And they were even better when they stepped to the plate with two outs, posting a .471 (8 of 17) batting average.
Gonzaga had four players notch three RBI, with Brett Harris going 4-for-4 (and scoring five runs) and Tyler Rando finishing 4-for-6.
Both Kokoska and Phillips went 2-for-4 to take top honors for K-State.
It was a forgettable day for the Wildcats' pitching staff. Every K-State hurler who toed the rubber Saturday, six in all, allowed at least one earned run. After Seymour departed, five relievers combined to give up 11 earned runs and 13 hits over the final six innings. And even when the Bulldogs weren't putting their bats on the ball, the Wildcats' pitchers struggled — they plunked five batters and issued eight walks.
If that weren't enough, K-State also committed two errors in the 12-run loss.
The issues on the mound and in the field made any thoughts of a comeback impossible.
"When you go through nine innings and not one of them is clean," Hughes said, "you can’t expect to play catch up offensively."
K-State takes the diamond again at 6 p.m. Sunday, facing New Mexico on Day 3 of the four-day tournament.