K-State leaves 12 stranded in extra-inning loss

Senior short stop Tyler Wolfe tags out a Nebraska player during the game between K-State and the University of Nebraska in Tointon Family Stadium on April 19, 2016. (Austin Fuller | The Collegian)

K-State had plenty of chances to beat Nebraska for the second time this season.

For example, the Wildcats had a man on third base in the second inning but scored no runs. They also loaded the bases in the fifth inning with no outs but only managed one run in a situation that could have provided multiple runs.

When it was all said and done, the Wildcats left 12 men on base in their 11-inning matchup against Nebraska. This was a large deciding factor in the Huskers’ 5-1 win in a game that lasted nearly four hours.

“Somebody had to win tonight eventually,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said. “Thought we pitched it really well tonight. A bad thing takes place early in the game, (an injury), now all of a sudden you have to shuffle around and mix and match pitching with pinch-hitters. It’s one run on 11 hits, unfortunately.”

The Huskers scored the game’s first run in the top of the fourth inning. Nebraska senior infielder Jake Placzek singled to start the inning. He was eventually followed by sophomore infielder Scott Schreiber, who walked on six pitches to put men on first and second for Nebraska.

Sophomore outfielder Jake Meyers stepped to the plate next and took a 1-2 pitch to center field for a single. Placzek scored from second, giving the Huskers a 1-0 lead.

K-State’s response came in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and no outs.

Freshman pitcher and pinch hitter Cory Wright popped a ball up into left field, which was caught for an out. But the ball was deep enough to give junior infielder Josh Ethier time to get from third to home and tie the game up at 1-1.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, despite loading the bases, they only managed to put one run on the board when the final out of the inning was recorded.

“No question, (it hurts),” Hill said of the lack of run production in the fifth. “Bases loaded, no outs, that should be a minimum of two, but we only got one out of it. That’s part of it, and we did have some other opportunities. There’s enough hits on the board to have four or five runs.”

The 11th inning is where the game — and a chance to beat Nebraska for the second time this season — got away from K-State.

Singles in the top of the inning from senior catcher Taylor Fish and junior infielder Jake Schleppenbach allowed three Husker runs to cross the plate.

A balk against K-State senior pitcher Lucas Benenati allowed another run to come home en route to Nebraska scoring four runs in the inning and taking the extra-inning game from the Wildcats by a four-run win.

The Wildcats look to shake off this loss as they are back in action again tonight. They will make a return trip to Papillion, Nebraska, to face the Omaha Mavericks inside Werner Park at 6:35 p.m. The Wildcats defeated the Mavericks 11-3 earlier this year at Tointon Family Stadium.

“Unfortunately the rain chances don’t look good tomorrow,” Hill said. “You could see it out there, though, in their eyes like, ‘We want to go play tomorrow and get a win.’ That would be a good game for us headed into the weekend against Baylor and getting that winning feeling. It feels good to win. These guys know what it’s like to win.”