Baseball drops finale to Loyola Marymount

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Blake Burrows attempts a bunt against Oklahoma on April 18, 2021. (Archive photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Following two decisive victories over Loyola Marymount, K-State dropped its series finale, 14-7, over the Lions on Sunday. K-State finishes its West Coast road trip with a 3-4 record.

“We didn’t pitch well enough, and we didn’t swing the bats well enough,” head coach Pete Hughes said to K-State Athletics. “We left 12 guys on base and left a lot of runs on the board.”

For the third-straight game, the Wildcats took an early lead with a three-run second inning. The Lions scored in every inning but the first and third innings, however, to claim the victory.

Senior transfer Josh Nicoloff launched the lone K-State homer of the day in the second inning, a two-run shot that kick-started the scoring and his first of the season.

In five of those innings, the Lions scored multiple runs, including three-run innings in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.

K-State did attempt a comeback in the seventh, cutting the lead to two runs behind a bases-clearing double by Dominic Johnson — one of three hits on the day for the sophomore.

However, a three-run shot by Lion’s sophomore Diego Baqueiro in the bottom half of the inning off sophomore Christian Ruebeck ended any hopes of a K-State comeback.

“Loyola could’ve packed it in when it was 3-0, but they didn’t,” said Hughes. “We didn’t put them away when we had the chances.”

While the bats did show up for the third straight game, the pitching fell apart. Starter Blake Corsentino couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning, and both Ruebeck and Tyler Ruhl were roughed up for multiple runs on the afternoon.

The offense also stranded 12 men on-base and wasted some golden opportunities to tack on runs. This included going just 4-16 (.250) with men in scoring position.

The Lions took advantage of their opportunities, going 7-14 (.500) with two outs and 13-27 (.481) with men on-base.

In total, the Wildcats gave up a season-high 19 hits and 14 runs. Like K-State did the previous game, LMU got at least one hit from everybody in its starting lineup.

Devan Ornelas, Dylan Dennis and Khadim Diaw each had three hits in the victory.

K-State now heads back to Manhattan to start a 10-game homestand at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, against Nebraska. The game will be televised on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and broadcast on the radio through KMAN. Stayed tuned to the Collegian for coverage on the men’s baseball team all season long.

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