Wildcat baseball loses big against No. 4 Texas Tech

Freshman Tyson Neighbors on the mound during the game against Creighton on April 5, 2022. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

No. 4 Texas Tech’s early lead told the story for Saturday’s match-up against Kansas State. Unlike Friday, the Red Raiders controlled every aspect of the game, beating the Wildcats 14-0.

Texas Tech’s Brandon Birdsell threw lights out against the Wildcats, similarly to Friday starter Andrew Morris. However, unlike Morris, Birdsell never surrendered traffic on the base paths.

Birdsell retired 12 Wildcat batters on strikeouts and only allowed one hit in six innings pitched. On top of that, K-State only reached second base twice and equaled a season-low hit total of just three.

Birdsell’s six-inning shutout performance accompanied a three-run lead in the first inning, which climbed to an eight-run lead after a five-run second inning. All three of Tech’s first-inning runs came off a 3-RBI homer, and a solo shot led off the second inning for the fourth-best team in the land.

It spiraled quickly out of control for K-State and perhaps could have been avoided if an error didn’t extend the first inning, which came before the three-run blast.

“You’ve got to play fundamentally sound, especially on the road against these guys,” head coach Pete Hughes said to K-State Athletics. “You can’t get down eight runs after two on the road in this place – can’t do it. The unfortunate thing, if we just make routine plays early on, maybe things play out differently. We’ve got to get back to fundamentals because we weren’t very fundamentally sound today.”

As “Raider-Power” echoed in Lubbock, Texas, the men dressed in red tops and grey pants added to their lead in the sixth inning with two runs and eighth inning with four. The insurmountable lead guaranteed a win, solidifying K-State pitcher Blake Corsentino’s third loss of the season (2-3).

Corsentino only pitched the first two innings as Tech scored four earned runs and eight total. From there, the Wildcats used four arms: Christian Ruebeck, Ben Weber, Dillon Pearson and Landry Jurecka.

Dylan Phillips was the one sliver of shining light in the loss, responsible for two of K-State’s three hits. Although Christian Ruebeck had a positive four strikeouts, he also walked five batters.

K-State hopes to avoid the three-game sweep in tomorrow’s match-up at 12:30 p.m. at Rip Griffin Park in Lubbock, Texas. Viewing is available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, while radio is available for listening on KMAN.