Wildcat baseball loses series to Highlanders

K-State versus UC-Riverside. (Sabrina Cline | The Collegian)

The Kansas State baseball team lost two out of three games at home over the weekend to the University of California-Riverside at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Wildcats are now 12-4 this season after the series loss to the Highlanders.

With inclement weather expected on Saturday, the two teams decided to play two games on Friday.

In the doubleheader, K-State had a hard time generating much offensively as they only scored a combined three runs in the two games.

“They have a good club, they have some real quality arms,” head coach Brad Hill said to K-State Sports. “Credit to our guys coming back in the second game, we found a way to scratch a run across and (Brogan) Heinen, (Mitch) Zubradt and (Jordan) Floyd put up zeros.”

In game one, the Wildcats were held to five hits as the Riverside pitchers controlled the upstart offense of K-State.

Riverside scratched across two runs in the fourth inning. The Wildcats got one run back in the bottom of the sixth inning on a single by senior infielder Josh Either that scored senior infielder Quintin Crandall.

However, the Highlanders opened up the game, as they scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to win the game 5-1.

The second game was also a pitcher’s duel, but it was the Wildcats who broke through in the bottom of the eighth inning. Wildcat junior outfielder Kyle Barfield started the inning with a double and then crossed the plate after a double by freshman infielder Cameron Thompson.

Wildcat sophomore starting pitcher Brogan Heinen threw six shutout innings and only gave up two hits on the day.

“Much better,” Hill said. “You could just see he was more confident today and the ball was down in the zone and had more life on it, much more command than the previous two outings. Great bounce-back for him.”

In the final game of the series, K-State scored right out of the gate in the bottom of the first inning after Thompson hit a triple and then scored on the next at-bat after a ground out.

But after that, it was all Highlanders as they scored seven runs in the ninth inning, ending with a 11-2 win over the Wildcats.

K-State will now turn its attention to Creighton as the Blue Jays visit Manhattan on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium.