West Virginia bests K-State in home series

The Wildcats played the West Virginia Mountaineers in a three-game series from March 31-April 2. K-State lost 2-1 in the series. (Madison Riebel | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State Wildcats baseball team fell to West Virginia in the final game of the Wildcats three game series, falling to 19-11 on the season and 5-3 in Big 12 play.

Collin Rothermel, starting pitcher, encountered early struggles. He allowed a total of five runs, including three unearned runs due to errors.

Scoring opened up in the second inning with a sacrifice fly and a home run to put the Mountaineers up 3-0. K-State responded with an RBI by Cash Rugely and a homerun from first baseman Roberto Pena, putting the Wildcats up 4-3.

Problems continued for Rothermel in the third as center fielder Braden Berry homered deep into the right outfield, putting West Virginia back in front at 5-4.

West Virginia outperformed the Wildcats throughout the fourth and the fifth innings with effective hitting and pitching. The Mountaineers increased its lead in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly, followed by a homerun from Caleb McNeely. Pitching stayed consistent for both teams throughout the game until the eighth inning.

West Virginia finished up in the top of the ninth with three insurance runs before K-State would get its final appearance at the plate. Pena finished off scoring with his second home run of the night to finish 10-6 in the loss.

Pitching at the end, Ty Ruhl recorded five strikeouts. Ruhl’s night would be soured in the ninth off a single by Landon Wallace, sending home three runs.

Pitchers for the Wildcats struggled throughout the afternoon as the Mountaineer hitters took advantage of breaking balls.

K-State hitting struggled to find the wall with plenty of fly balls falling just short of home runs. Winds were strong at the beginning of the day but gradually decreased, affecting the Wildcats’ hitting as the game progressed.

With this win, West Virginia takes an important advantage in the Big 12, recording the first win in a road series by any team in the conference.

On Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium, K-State will face the Nebraska Cornhuskers, an old rival, and aim to bounce back from this loss.