The 2014 baseball season began on a high note for K-State (24-28, 4-17 Big 12) as they were not only picked to repeat as Big 12 Champions in the preseason coaches poll, but they also earned a spot in the national preseason rankings.
However, Sunday’s 17-5 run-ruled loss to No. 7 Oklahoma State (38-13, 16-5 Big 12) mathematically eliminated the Wildcats from the Big 12 Championships. After a monumental season in 2013, this year’s team will get no taste of postseason play.
“Just a learning thing for us, seeing the number one pitching staff in
the Big 12,” head coach Brad Hill said after the blowout. “They’re
obviously the number one team right now in the Big 12, and there’s a
reason for that.”
The Omaha-or-bust expectations received a major hit when the team started 1-7 at the beginning of the season. Despite a rally during non-conference play, an abysmal record in Big 12 play lowered those expectations to Oklahoma-City-or-bust as the team simply tried to qualify for the conference tournament.
Freshman Nate Griep dropped to 3-6 on the season by allowing seven runs in 3 2/3 innings for K-State. After a fantastic start to the year, Griep had a miserable conference season, losing all six starts against Big 12 competition.
Freshmen Jordan Floyd and Ethan Landon each pitched 1/3 of an inning with no success in relief of Griep. Floyd allowed four runs and walked three during his one-out appearance, while Landon was hit hard for five runs in his appearance. Freshman Jon Roblez finished the game off with 2 2/3 innings, giving up one run while walking two.
After showing some fight last night, the Wildcat offense started slowly with just one run in the game’s first five innings, but struck for four in the sixth. However, the runs came too late as they already faced a 16-1 deficit at the beginning of the inning.
“I appreciated them, their bats were at least competitive,” Hill said of his offense that he felt had given up in game one on Friday night. “Guys stayed up there and fought, but at least we didn’t just lay down. They did compete and we had some pretty good at-bats.”
Junior right fielder Mitch Meyer hit his third home run during the four-run sixth, while junior shortstop Austin Fisher led the team with two hits.
The team will play their last games of the season next weekend against Texas Friday through Sunday. The series begins Friday night with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.