Iowa defeats Wildcat baseball with ninth inning home run

K-State men's baseball team completes a three-game sweep against Texas Southern. The Wildcats pulled a 16-1 win over the Tigers at Tointon Family Stadium on May 2, 2021. (Archive photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State marched back from a 4-0 deficit in the fourth inning to take a 5-4 lead in the sixth. Then, Iowa scratched a run across in the seventh and Keaton Anthony’s ninth inning solo-homer defeated the Wildcats 6-5, marking K-State’s fourth consecutive loss.

The Wildcats’ early deficit marked back-to-back games trailing by four runs. Against the Bearkats, K-State trimmed the lead to 4-3 in the eighth inning before surrendering five runs in the ninth on Saturday, but the Hawkeyes only needed one run to escape with a win.

Anthony stroked a double down the right field line and tagged on a deep fly ball to reach third base prior to scoring on a passed ball. Ty Ruhl’s breaking ball squeaked past Raphael Pelletier’s left so Anthony could score both the game tying run and the go-ahead run.

The rare mishap from Pelletier didn’t overshadow the catcher’s performance from behind the plate and in the batter’s box. Pelletier gunned Michael Seegers out at second base, the third runner he’s caught stealing in the past two games. He also pulled a two-run single through the right side to help K-State’s comeback.

Carson Queck scored two runs in his starting collegiate debut, drawing two walks and hitting a triple. He smoked his triple off the 407-foot distanced wall in left-center prior to scoring on Brady Day’s RBI-sac fly to take the lead. Playing part in scoring the tying run as well, K-State head coach Pete Hughes ordered a delayed double-steal for Day to reach home prior to Cole Johnson’s out.

Brendan Jones made some noise with three singles in the afternoon, scoring K-State’s first run of the contest. Jones’ initial single adventured past the second baseman’s outstretched arms. He then stole second and scored on a wild pitch for his run.

German Fajardo allowed four runs — three earned on seven hits while striking five Hawkeyes out in 4 1/3 innings. Swirling winds in Round Rock, Texas aided base runners and runs scored during Fajardo’s outing, starting with a bloop-double between Day and the outfield and an error on Kyan Lodice.

However, Tyson Neighbors gets hit with the loss because of the ninth inning solo-bomb he surrendered and K-State’s five-run comeback. Neighbors relieved Ruhl, who struck out two batters and allowed the tying run in 3 2/3 innings pitched. 

Right-handed pitcher Zack Voelker relieved Marcus Morgan following a four-earned run performance by Iowa’s Sunday starter. Voelker permitted the game-tying run to score, but earned his first win of the season with the comeback performance by the Hawkeyes.

K-State travels to Omaha, Nebraska, to face the 0-6 Omaha Mavericks at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 before opening at Tointon on Friday, March 3. Audio is available on KMAN Radio.