The Kansas State baseball team traveled to Lubbock, Texas, for a weekend series against Texas Tech, where the Wildcats were dismantled and swept by the Red Raiders, 3-0.
The series had a suboptimal beginning. In game one, K-State was thumped 21-4.
Texas Tech, ranked No. 4 in the country, controlled the game from the start, scoring two runs in the first inning. They would score eighteen more runs before the fifth inning ended, while the Wildcats remained scoreless until the seventh.
Sophomore left fielder Grant Little was the top man for Texas Tech in the series opener. He finished 4-5 for the day, including two home runs, one of which was a grand slam in the fourth inning. He also tied a school record with nine RBIs.
K-State scored its four runs in the final three innings, one each in the seventh and eighth and two in the ninth. Junior outfielders Kyle Barfield and Hanz Harker both had two hits and combined to drive in three of four Wildcat runs.
The results of Saturday’s game two were virtually the same. Texas Tech came out on top again, this time with a crushing score of 26-6.
K-State did not take as long to score this time, first getting on the board in the second inning, but their effort was still outmatched. The Wildcats scored one run in the second and fourth innings, as well as two in the seventh and eighth, but the Red Raiders again got their runs in bulk.
Texas Tech had three innings with five-plus runs, six in the second, nine in the third and five in the seventh.
K-State saw more success offensively, achieving 12 hits compared to just seven in game one.
Harker had another good game, going 2-4 with two RBIs. Freshman third baseman Dylan Watts went 3-5 with three hits, one run and an RBI.
Junior centerfielder Drew Mount hit a two-run homer in the eighth. It was the ninth home run of the season for Mount.
Despite the improved hitting, the Wildcats still struggled on the mound, allowing 23 hits and striking out just four batters.
Sunday’s series finale saw a more competitive game.
K-State was trailing Texas Tech 8-3 going into the eighth inning, but a great outing in the top of the eighth got the Wildcats back into the game, 8-6. The rally was due in part thanks to RBIs from sophomore left fielder Will Brennan and redshirt junior catcher TK McWhertor.
When the bottom half of the inning rolled around, K-State freshman pitcher Alex Belch retired the first two Red Raiders. It was looking like the Wildcats would escape to the ninth with a legitimate chance to tie or take the lead, but things fell apart when Belch gave up a double and a single, allowing Texas Tech to score a run.
Brennan took to the mound for K-State and struck out the first batter he faced. The Wildcats would head into the ninth inning needing three runs to extend the game.
No luck was had though, as the Wildcats went down in order, and the game ended in a 9-6 loss for K-State.
While there are no moral victories in baseball, K-State can be a little glad that they put up a fight in the final game of the series.
K-State now has an overall record of 15-21 and 2-9 in Big 12 Conference play, and the Wildcats are on a nine-game losing streak. The Wildcats will prepare for their next game on Tuesday against Nebraska, whom they lost to at home last Tuesday. The matchup with the Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Nebraska, will be the fourth of an eight-game road trip.