Baseball blows two leads in series loss at TCU

Junior Cole Johnson finishes his swing. The Wildcats fell to the Falcons on March 23, 2022 at Tointon Family Stadium. (Archive photo by Madison Riebel | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State baseball held two significant leads (2-0, 5-2) in game two of a three-game series against a ranked TCU squad but could not finish the job.

With two runners on and two outs, head coach Pete Hughes substituted freshman RHP Landry Jurecka into the game, where he gave up a 2-RBI shot to tie it.

Shortly after, pitchers Landry Wideman and Wesley Moore entered the contest, but no good would come of it. TCU scored eight runs in the sixth inning on just three hits to take an insurmountable lead.

“I loved the way we started out, but you’ve got to play nine innings,” Hughes said to K-State Athletics. “We didn’t pitch well enough or play good enough defense to win a game today.”

K-State’s Connor McCullough pitched well enough for a win after 4.2 innings pitched. He exited with a 5-3 lead and four strikeouts but was responsible for four earned runs on four walks and four hits.

From a positive outlook, the Wildcats hit the ball extremely well in the contest: matching TCU’s nine hits. Of those nine hits, K-State scorched three doubles and two home runs.

Kaelen Culpepper hit a soaring ball to left field for his second home run of the season — a 2-run homer. Then, coaches’ son Dom Hughes pulled a line-drive homer just to the left of the 325-foot sign in right field.

The two long balls gave K-State a three-run lead for McCullough to pitch from in the bottom half of the fourth inning, but McCullough struggled with two outs. That’s when everything fell apart for the Wildcats.

Dominic Johnson extended his hitting streak to 16-games and started another 2+ hit streak in his second consecutive multi-hit game.

Justin Mitchell got back on track with a two-hit affair as well. Mitchell smoked a double over the center fielder’s head in the big fourth inning for K-State and recorded a single later to go along with two runs scored.

No. 19 TCU’s powerful lineup was simply too much for the Wildcats to play toe-to-toe with, eventually getting the better of the ‘Cats. TCU’s Tommy Sacco led the Horned Frogs with a grand slam and a home run for 6 RBIs.

TCU secured the series victory with the 14-5 home victory and gets a chance at a sweep in tomorrow’s 1 p.m. match-up against K-State’s Griffin Hassall on the mound.

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