College baseball is a long season and with 52 games remaining, there is ample time for the No. 18 K-State baseball team to show the nation why they deserve the accolades that have been piling up for them recently.
However, they certainly did not help themselves in their opening weekend, dropping all three games against Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and scoring just three runs in the process.
Friday night was a showdown between the pitching staffs, as both starters turned in strong performances. However, Cal Poly pushed three runs across in the sixth inning and K-State’s bats could not mount a comeback, totaling just two hits in the 3-0 loss.
The bright spot in the loss for the Wildcats was sophomore pitcher Levi MaVorhis, who tossed five shutout innings while striking out four, walking none and allowing just two hits. Freshmen pitchers Jake Fromson and Ethan Landon finished the game with two and two-thirds scoreless innings, but sophomore pitcher Landon Busch gave up all three runs in a third of an inning in relief of MaVorhis.
K-State’s only hits came from senior infielders Ross Kivett and RJ Santigate, as Cal Poly starter junior pitcher Matt Imhof dazzled through seven-plus innings, striking out 14, which tied Cal Poly’s Division 1 record for strikeouts in a game.
On Saturday, the Wildcats found some offense, but it was not enough for a win as they fell 5-2. Senior Jared Moore took the loss in his first start of the season, allowing three runs off eight hits in five and a third innings, striking out four and issuing one walk. Reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year Jake Matthys also made his season debut, allowing one run off three hits in the ninth inning.
Although they avoided being shut out, K-State’s offense mustered only five hits while striking out 11 times. Nobody tallied a multi-hit game, but junior outfielder Max Brown managed an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth.
While Friday and Saturday’s games were close, Sunday got ugly as the Wildcats lost 10-1. Once again, their offense sputtered with only four hits, all singles, but this time their pitchers also struggled mightily.
Sophomore pitcher Jordan Witcig, in his second career start, gave up four runs, three earned, off six hits in two and two thirds innings, while freshman pitcher Colton Kalmus allowed six runs, two earned, in two innings of relief.
All in all, it was a rough weekend for K-State. However, there is still a long road ahead of them in 2014 to make a run for the College World Series in Omaha. The Wildcats will play again Tuesday against the San Francisco Dons in San Fransisco at 4 p.m. as their California road trip continues.