After a rough weekend against Cal Poly, the Wildcat baseball team was looking for a win to get their 2014 on track against the University of San Francisco yesterday. They looked to have it in the ninth inning, but a costly error and a hot lineup meant an 0-4 start for K-State.
Two runs in the first inning put the Wildcats up early, and they never lost their lead until the bottom of the ninth when the Dons pushed three runs across home plate to steal the win off K-State sophomore closer Jake Matthys.
The life of a closer is a fickle one, he either plays the hero or the goat. Matthys served as the latter last night after being the hero for much of his freshman year in 2013. The sophomore gave up five hits and recorded just one out, but was hurt by an untimely error by junior Max Brown in right field that allowed the first run of the inning to cross home and put fuel on the rally fire.
San Francisco freshman Harrison Bruce got the rally started leading off the ninth inning with a single to left field, his third hit of the day. Don freshman Matt Sinatro followed him to the plate, slapping a single to left and advancing to second on Brown’s throwing error, which allowed Bruce to score from first. San Francisco freshman Nico Giarratano’s single scored Sinatro and tied the game at 6-6. Another single from senior Zack Turner put Giarratano on third base, and a deep ball to center field off the bat of junior Derek Atkinson went over a shallow Wildcat freshman Clayton Dalrymple’s head, scoring Giarratano and winning the game with one out in the ninth inning.
On the bright side, K-State was the better team for 8 1/2 innings, banging out nine hits and six runs while receiving some solid pitching on the mound.
Sophomore Landon Busch, in his first start, allowed just one unearned run in four innings off four hits, striking out one and walking another. Freshman Jake Fromson allowed three runs in 1.1 innings after Busch, but fellow freshman Nate Griep dazzled in 2.2 perfect innings, striking out four of the eight batters he faced and keeping all of them off base.
Offensively, the senior class led the way, as Shane Conlon and R.J. Santigate led K-State with two hits each, and Ross Kivett slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning that gave the Wildcats a 4-1 lead at the time. Kivett’s two RBIs were tied for the team high with junior Mitch Meyer, whose first inning double put the Wildcats up early.
The Wildcats’ next chance for win number one will come Thursday at noon against Portland at the Gael Invitational in Moraga, Calif. They will face four teams in the invitational’s four days.