A disastrous seventh inning doomed Kansas State’s baseball team in a 14-5 series-opening loss to No. 20 Oklahoma State to start Big 12 play.
The Wildcats never led in the game after sophomore starting pitcher Jordan Wicks gave up three runs in the bottom of the first on a one-out solo home run and a two-run RBI single from the Cowboys.
After the three-run first, Wicks settled in and finished the night with six innings of work in which he gave up five runs on six hits walking two and striking out nine.
The Wildcats got two runs back in the top of the fourth with a two-run home run from senior designated hitter Chris Ceballos. Ceballos entered the night batting .140 on the year but finished the night 2-3 with two RBIs.
The Cowboy bats came alive once manager Pete Hughes pulled Wicks going into the top of the seventh.
Junior pitcher Jaxson Passino faced six batters in the inning without recording an out. Junior pitcher Andrew Stratman faced another four, while the Cowboys batted around.
The inning started with an error by sophomore first baseman Daniel Carinci when a hard-hit ground ball found its way between his legs.
Passino walked the next batter and then another error — this time on the second baseman — allowed a runner to score. Two more singles and an intentional walk helped Oklahoma State put up a seven spot on four hits and two errors in the inning.
The Wildcats rallied in the eighth after Cowboy ace Parker Scott’s tired as his pitch count reached the 100s.
A one-out single and an error by Oklahoma State’s second baseman Nolan McLean put runners on for junior right fielder Zack Kokoska, who promptly got an RBI single.
Carinci grounded to the shortstop who traded an out at second base for a Wildcat run. Junior catcher Dylan Caplinger would plate Kokoska with a single of his own before a line drive to left field got Scott out of trouble.
Oklahoma State got two back in the bottom of the eighth on a home run from Christian Encarnacion-Strand.
The Wildcats threatened in the top of the ninth but did not bring anyone in to score in their last chance.
The Wildcats get two more shots at Oklahoma State this weekend. Sophomore Carson Seymour will likely toe the rubber for K-State at 6 p.m. in Stillwater, Oklahoma, tomorrow night.