That was quite the finish to a game.
With a full count and two outs already recorded, K-State senior catcher Tyler Moore took the pitch into shallow right field. Sophomore outfielder Sam Chadick, who was pinch running for freshman catcher Josh Rolette, took off on a dead sprint for home from third base.
Moore, running full-speed ahead, appeared to be safe at first to the naked eye, which would have tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning.
But, Moore was not safe, Chadick’s run did not count, and the Wildcats lost to the No. 19 Oklahoma State Cowboys by a score of 5-4.
“It’s a loss,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said. “Great, great competitiveness by our guys tonight. We just came up a run short. That kid made a heck of a play at the end of the ballgame.”
K-State junior pitcher, Parker Rigler, took the loss for the Wildcats on Friday after giving up 3 hits and 3 runs in his 5 innings pitched. Rigler fell to 2-4 with the defeat.
Oklahoma State earned the game’s first runs in the third inning. Junior catcher Collin Theroux earned a walked and took his place at first base. Cowboy junior outfielder, Ryan Sluder, would eventually step up to the plate with Theroux still on first.
Sluder would take Rigler’s pitch over the wall in left-center for a two-run home run and Oklahoma State jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, K-State had its chance to respond when senior outfielder Clayton Dalrymple doubled to left field.
But the Wildcats’ hopes were quickly shot down when the next three batters all failed to reach base, leaving the Cowboys’ 2-0 lead, unharmed.
“It’s frustrating,” Dalrymple said. “We emphasize doing our job and it’s hard. They’re a great pitching staff and we’re going to credit them, but when you’re in situations when you need to get the job done and you don’t, it’s really frustrating.”
Oklahoma State took Rigler for another home run in the top of the fourth inning, this time thanks to sophomore outfielder, Jon Littell who gave his team a 3-0 lead.
This time however, K-State would respond in the bottom of the inning.
The Cowboys’ starting pitcher, junior Trey Cobb, walked three Wildcats with only one out recorded on the scoreboard. Then with the bases loaded, a passed ball would allow junior infielder Jake Scudder to score and cut the Oklahoma State lead to 3-1.
Although Cobb started the game for the Cowboys, it was junior Garrett Williams would would earn the win and improve to 1-0 after giving up 1 run on 1 hit in 1.2 innings pitched.
K-State brought in senior pitcher Brandon Erickson to start the sixth inning, hoping he might fare better than his teammate Rigler did against the Cowboy bats.
But when Erickson gave up a base-hit single up the middle to sophomore outfielder Jon Littell, it allowed sophomore infielder Garrett Benge to score from second base and make it a 4-1 game, in favor of Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys added another run in the top of the seventh thanks to a double from senior infielder Donnie Walton that scored Sluder.
The Wildcats crept their way back into the game when Dalrymple was brought home off of a single from Rolette making the score 5-2.
K-State would continue to slowly chop away at the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when the Wildcats got two runners in scoring position with one out. Dalrymple would single, advancing Tyler Moore to third and bringing home Serratore to make it 5-3.
The Wildcats set up the incredible ninth inning finish when a wild pitch brought Moore home. Oklahoma State’s lead was then cut down to 5-4 with just one inning to play.
Unfortunately for K-State, it would be the last run they would score before the final out was recorded.
“We’re playing from behind and we’re able to punch back, get a couple runs on the board and make it really close in the ninth,” Dalrymple said. “They’re the best pitching staff in the Big 12, according to the statistics, and so we’re ready to line it up tomorrow.”
K-State, 11-12 (0-2), looking to avoid another series sweep and their seventh straight loss, will face the Cowboys, 16-7 (2-0), one last time today at 2:05 p.m. inside of Tointon Family Stadium.
“It’s a really hard one to swallow today, since we were able to fight back so well and not come away with the win,” Dalrymple said. “But those last couple innings will definitely give us confidence heading into tomorrow.”