Wichita State pitchers cool down K-State bats in 5-1 loss

Junior outfielder Zach Kokoska prepares before stepping up to bat during the first game against Eastern Illinois on March 5, 2021, at Tointon Family Stadium. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Throwing errors and lack of timely hitting proved costly for Kansas State (13-7) in a 5-1 loss on the road to Wichita State (9-8) on Tuesday night. The two errors by the Wildcats allowed runners to score.

The team also failed to hit runners in from scoring position.

K-State had six hits led by freshman infielder Nick Goodwin and junior outfielder Zach Kokoska. Wichita State pitchers struck out ten, and the Wildcats left ten runners on base.

Junior pitcher Zak Herbers (1-1) started the bullpen day for K-State and was credited with the loss. Herbers pitched three innings allowing three runs, one earned off four hits with a strikeout. Wildcat pitchers combined to strikeout nine Shockers led by four Ks by freshman pitcher Brett Wozniak.

Freshman pitcher Jace Kaminska (1-0) earned the win for the Shockers with five innings, limiting the Wildcats to just one run, which was unearned off three hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks.

Sophomore Ryan Stuempfig bridged the gap between starter and closer with 2.2 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and two walks with only two hits.

The Wildcats capitalized on a Wichita State error in the top of the second inning. Sophomore outfielder Dylan Phillips reached on a leadoff error. Redshirt junior outfielder Kaden Folwer batted in Phillips on a fielder’s choice to take an early 1-0 lead.

Wichita State responded the following inning and tied the game at one apiece on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore infielder Jack Sigrist. Junior catcher Ross Cadena came around to score on a throwing error by Nick Goodwin, leaving two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Freshman outfielder Couper Cornblum cleared the bases in the following at-bat with a two-run single to give the Shockers a 3-1 lead.

K-State failed to capitalize on a bases-loaded, no-out threat in the top of the eighth, which was the best chance for the Wildcats since the fourth inning. The Shockers got out of the inning with three straight strikeouts, ending the threat.

Wichita State got two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth after a wild throw to second by sophomore infielder Daniel Carinci in an effort to catch senior outfielder Corrigan Bartlett stealing. Junior infielder Paxton Wallace came in to score off the error. Junior outfielder Hunter Gibson knocked in Bartlett with a single to give the Shockers a 5-1 lead headed into the ninth.

The Wildcats got a leadoff double by Fowler in the ninth but was left on base after K-State went down in order from that point. Sophomore pitcher Aaron Haase collected his fifth save of the season, going 1.1 innings allowing only one hit with a strikeout.

K-State travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to face Oklahoma State in the opening series of Big 12 Conference play. The first pitch for game one is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday. Redshirt sophomore Jordan Wicks (4-0, 1.72 ERA) will take the mound for the Wildcats. All games of the series will be available on ESPN+ and KMAN radio.