The K-State Wildcats baseball team left no doubt against the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners Tuesday night, winning by a decisive 13-0 score. K-State starting pitcher Jordan Witcig earned his first career win. This was the sixth time this season that the Wildcats have shut out their opponent, the most by a Wildcat team since 1991.
“It’s just focus,” coach Brad Hill said. “Our guys were focused, locked in and you know, you get embarrassed last night. You would hope they come out more focused tonight. But you can just see from the whole approach, the how our guys took the field tonight. You can just see from their body language our guys were just locked in and ready to play tonight and last night we weren’t.”
After a miserable Monday night, K-State (23-19, 4-8 Big 12) had seemingly everything go right on Tuesday. The bats were alive as the Wildcats had five extra-base hits. They took advantage of having runners on base, hitting .370 in those situations. The Wildcats also played good defense, committing zero errors just one night after committing four.
The Wildcats struck early and often against Bakersfield. After loading the bases with no outs in the second inning, junior left fielder Max Brown cleared them with a triple. Brown eventually scored, and the Wildcats led by four runs through two frames.
“I was just up there, and really wasn’t trying to do to much with the pitch,” Brown said. “Just trying to get a base hit, driving in a few runs, and stay relaxed with the bases loaded. Good things happen when you stay relaxed.”
K-State got on the board again in the fourth inning with a two-RBI triple hit by short stop Austin Fisher. Fisher came in to score later in the inning, and the Wildcats tacked on another run in the fifth. They added five more runs in the bottom of the eight inning.
“You’ve just got to be cutthroat I guess, and just really step on their throats and just finish them off and that what we did, got those five extra runs,” Brown said.
Bakersfield were not without opportunity on Tuesday, they would strand 11 runners on the night. The Roadrunners struggled with runners in scoring position on Monday as well, but errors by K-State left the door open. The improved defense was a large part of why Bakersfield had a hard time on offense.
With such a stark difference between two nights, the midweek series once again showed how the defending Big 12 champions have struggled with consistency. K-State currently sits in last place in the Big 12 standings. They will travel to Morgantown, W.Va. to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers for a three game series starting Friday in hopes of reaching the conference tournament.