Texas comes back to spoil K-State upset bid, Boerema’s 12-strikeout night

Owen Boerema
Senior Owen Boerema pitches the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners. The Wildcats beat the Sooners 7-1 on March 24, 2023, at Tointon Family Stadium. (Tori White | Collegian Media Group)

Despite Kansas State leading most of Friday night’s contest, the No. 21 Texas Longhorns (22-9) took Game 1 of a three-game series against the Wildcats (19-13). Each team saw its aces on the mound, with K-State senior Owen Boerema recording a season-high 12 strikeouts in the loss.

Texas opened the night’s scoring early with an RBI single from left fielder Porter Brown in the bottom of the first. K-State responded in the second.

The Wildcats took advantage of poor pitching by Texas starter Gordon Lucas. The southpaw put catcher Raphael Pelletier on base with a hit-by-pitch, then proceeded to walk two more batters and score Pelletier on another hit by pitch. K-State led 2-1.

Texas turned to its bullpen in the top of the seventh as K-State extended its lead using small ball tactics. In the inning, a run scored due to a throwing error after right fielder Cash Rugely laid down the first of two sacrifice bunts.

Left fielder Cole Johnson followed, laying down a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Brendan Jones stole home and scored easily on Johnson’s bunt. After Rugely charged home and avoided a tag, Texas made the out at first base. K-State extended its lead 5-1 with two and a half innings to play.

In the seventh inning, Boerema continued to hold the Longhorns down and recorded his 12th strikeout. K-State opted to keep its ace on the mound in the eighth inning and Texas took full advantage. A single and pair of doubles led off the eighth and ended Boerema’s strong night. Another double, triple and sacrifice fly scored five runs in the inning as Texas took a late lead 6-5. 

K-State was unable to come back, losing what looked to be a dominant upset win to kick off the road weekend series. 

Ty Rulh, who relieved Boerema, recorded the loss and moved to 1-3 on the season. Chase Lummus got the win for Texas, moving his record to 1-1. 

The second game of the series will take place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 8, and the series finale is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.