Nunez solidifies TCU win in a close ninth inning rally by the Wildcats

Freshman outfielder Kyan Lodice watches the pitcher against Texas Tech University. The Wildcats won 3-2 against the Red Raider on April 28, 2023, in Tointon Family Stadium. (Sarah Anliker | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State baseball fell 4-3 to the TCU Horned Frogs in the regular season finale. The Wildcats finish the season with a record of 33-22 (13-11) and move on to Big 12 tournament play.

Ty Ruhl got his first start for the Wildcats on the mound, playing a full five innings with a solid performance, recording only five hits, one walk and allowing two runs. 

Ruhl was followed up by Tyson Neighbors. Despite being a closing pitcher, Neighbors took the mound for the rest of the ball game, recording five strikeouts, five hits and allowing one home run.

For TCU, Sam Stoutenborough started on the mound and played a full five innings. Stoutenborough recorded five hits and two strikeouts, with the only run allowed off of a sacrifice fly.

The starting innings saw active defense, with well-executed defensive plays made by both teams.

The scoring did not open up until the fourth, when TCU’s Brayden Taylor hit a deep drive to center field, clearing the fence for a single home run to put the Horned Frogs up 1-0.

K-State responded at the bottom of the inning with a double from right fielder Cash Rugely, setting up a sacrifice fly from second baseman Brady Day to send him home and tie the game. The tie did not last for long, as TCU mirrored K-State’s inning with a leadoff double and sacrifice fly, putting the Horned Frogs back up 2-1.

TCU added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings with a homer to left field from Karson Bowen and an RBI off of a bunt from Austin Davis.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Wildcats rallied back into the game with a leadoff hit from Rugely followed up by a double from Day, setting up a tying score at the plate.

A wild pitch from Garrett Wright sent Rugely home and Day to third, cutting the deficit to two. The following at-bat from shortstop Nick Goodwin resulted in a sacrifice fly leaving freshman Kyan Lodice with the final at-bat.

Lodice battled, eventually hitting a deep drive off of a fastball to center field that looked out of the park, but was caught for an out by center fielder Elijah Nunez, ending the ball game 4-3.

Moving into tournament play, K-State will matchup against TCU in the first round at 9 a.m. on Wednesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.