K-State’s bats have struggled in Berkley, California through two games, as the Wildcats fell to California 6-2 Sunday.
“It all started with that we weren’t ready to play today, and that’s on me,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said to K-State Sports. “We were flat, which was totally different than the last five games. We are not a very good ball club when we don’t bring intensity, I can tell you that. Everyone was flat, on the field and in the dugout, and (California) took advantage of it.”
K-State managed just six hits against Bears starting pitcher Ryan Mason, who threw seven innings in his second win of the season
K-State sophomore starter Colton Kalmus had a much less productive start, giving up four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings pitched.
“(Kalmus) wasn’t sharp,” Hill said. “He was throwing balls out, balls in — he just didn’t have really good command today. He’s a competitor, but at the same time, he just didn’t have good command of what he was doing.”
The Wildcats fell behind 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Kalmus was pulled. Junior Kyle Halabon inherited players on the corners and allowed back-to-back hits to extend the Bears’ lead to 5-0.
K-State tried to build momentum toward a comeback by scoring runs in both the fifth and ninth innings. But in the top of the ninth inning, senior Max Brown struck out to end the game.
Sophomore pitcher Nate Griep threw a career-high eight strikeouts, but K-State could not overcome a strong pitching performance by the Bears as they dropped the first game of the series 4-2.
“(Griep) didn’t have great stuff, but he competed and gave us an opportunity to win,” Hill said.
Senior infielder Carter Yagi scored one of the two Wildcat runs in a three-hit effort, his second three-hit game in K-State’s last four games.
Junior catcher Danny Krause, who was responsible for the other K-State score, also managed three hits, which was a career high.
The Wildcats looks to salvage the series in the final game against the Bears today at noon.
K-State will send junior Corey Fischer (1-0, 1.54 ERA) to the mound against California left-hander Matt Ladrech.