Kansas State baseball’s regular season ended in forgettable fashion in Lawrence on Sunday.
In-state rival Kansas won both games of a doubleheader, taking the first contest 9-6 and the second 6-4. That completed a three-game sweep for the Jayhawks, which also won 10-0 Friday.
“We gave up too many free baserunners (Sunday),” K-State head coach Pete Hughes said in a release. “That killed us. And they were a better two-out team, all three games. Usually the team that walks the fewest and makes the fewest errors and gets the most two-out hits, wins. That’s exactly what happened all three games.”
The Wildcats (25-31, 8-16 Big 12) hit four home runs in Game 1 Sunday, but it still wasn’t enough.
Trailing 7-2 entering the seventh inning, the Wildcats used homers from Chris Ceballos, Mason Crews and Dylan Phillips to draw within 7-6. But the Jayhawks scored two more runs in the bottom of the eighth to hold the Wildcats at bay.
K-State went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position while KU ended the game 4-for-10.
In Sunday’s nightcap, K-State led three times throughout the course of the contest before falling 6-4, giving KU its first three-game sweep of K-State in Lawrence since 1994.
Cameron Thompson and Jordan Maxson gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the first inning after back-to-back doubles. After Kansas tied the game with a run in the bottom of the first, Maxson hit a go-ahead solo home run — his first of the season — to edge K-State ahead 2-1. The Wildcats extended the advantage to 3-1 after Thompson scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning.
But KU tied it again on a two-run homer from Jaxx Groshans in the bottom half of the fifth frame. K-State responded immediately, with Phillips launching another home run to put the visitors back on top 4-3.
The Jayhawks wouldn’t be denied, however, scoring the final three runs of the contest to win 6-4.
Phillips’ three homers Sunday gave him nine for the season, setting a K-State freshman record. It surpassed the previous mark set by Brian Culp (1990) and Todd Fereday (1994).
K-State now looks ahead to the Big 12 tournament, which begins Wednesday in Oklahoma City. The No. 8 seed, K-State takes on top-seeded Texas Tech at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.