Baseball team swept by Oklahoma State, loses fifth game in a row

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Caleb Littlejim pitches the ball during the game against Oklahoma State at Tointon Family Stadium on April 9, 2018. (Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State baseball team was swept by Oklahoma State in their series this weekend. Even after an extra day to mentally prepare, as the three-game series started on Saturday due to Friday’s weather, the Wildcats fell short.

Game one resulted in a 6-3 loss to the Cowboys. It saw the Wildcats miss out on multiple scoring opportunities. They accumulated nine hits on Saturday while leaving a whopping 20 runners on base.

Junior pitcher Justin Heskett started the game for the Wildcats and fared well through two innings. It was in the third inning when things took a turn for the worse; Cowboys Trevor Boone and Carson McCusker smashed back to back home runs.

Oklahoma State led 3-0 when the third inning closed. In the bottom of the fourth, K-State started to breathe life into Tointon Family Stadium. With two outs, freshman infielder Brett Owen hit an RBI single to get the Wildcats on the board. After that though, K-State finished the inning with the bases loaded, failing to capitalize as they did most of the game.

The Cowboys would go on to score three more runs in the fifth inning. The Wildcats attempted to put together a comeback late, scoring two in the ninth, but their attempt was squashed and OSU took game one in Manhattan.

K-State stayed in the game a little bit longer in game two, but ultimately the result was the same, as it lost 6-1.

Cowboys’ starting pitcher Carson Teel was a star in Sunday’s game. Teel pitched a complete game, pitching all nine innings. He struck out nine Wildcats, while allowing six hits and just one earned run.

The pitching for the Wildcats was not the biggest problem. For much of the game, it was the offense that struggled.

Starting K-State pitcher Kasey Ford pitched five and two-thirds innings. He allowed seven hits, but he only gave up two of the six Oklahoma State runs.

The Cowboys scored in the top of the first, but the Wildcats answered in the bottom half of the inning as sophomore outfielder Will Brennan scored on a steal. That was all the scoring, K-State would see, as Oklahoma State scored five runs in the final inning, highlighted by a three-run home run in the ninth from Jon Littell.

Sophomore outfielder Cameron Thompson and senior outfielder Kyle Barfield were K-State’s best offensive players. Both went 2-4 from the plate.

The third and final game of the series on Monday was by far the most competitive. Despite a late-game surge, the Wildcats again lost to the Cowboys, 13-8.

After six and a half innings, K-State found itself down 4-2. That all changed after Thompson hit his first home run of the season. The homer drove in three runs and was part of a four-run seventh inning that gave the Wildcats a 6-4 lead.

K-State went on to score a run in each of the final two innings, but Oklahoma State more than matched that. The Cowboys were lifted to victory as Boone blasted a grand slam to score all four runs in the eighth inning. The Cowboys added another five in the ninth.

With the loss, K-State now has a 15-17 record, and is just 2-7 against Big 12 opponents. They are eighth in the conference, just ahead of West Virginia. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is now 18-11-1 overall and 7-2 in Big 12 play, sitting at second in the conference.

The Wildcats will take on Nebraska in their next game. The game will be played Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and will stream on ESPN3, as well as be broadcast on KMAN.

I’m Jarrett Whitson, the sports editor this semester. I’m from Blue Rapids, KS, a town of just over 1,000 people about 40 miles north of Manhattan. I’m a junior in Public Relations, and a member of FarmHouse Fraternity. I love playing and talking about sports— especially college football