MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–In the second game of a three-game series, the West Virginia University baseball team lost to Kansas State on Saturday afternoon, 15-2.
The Mountaineers (17-16, 4-6 Big 12) scored two runs on 11 hits, while the Wildcats had 15 runs on 16 hits. WVU had three errors and left 11 runners on base, while KSU recorded four errors and stranded seven baserunners.
The game came in front of 2,304 fans on a warm, sun-filled afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark. It was the eighth-largest home crowd in program history and fourth-best at the Mountaineers’ second-year home.
“It’s one of those games.” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “When you play 56 games in a season, there’s a good change, no matter who you are, that one time you’re going to get (beat like we did today). It’s unfortunate that that happened today for us. To see all these young guys out here trying as hard as they can is super encouraging. There are going to be games like this, and we have to learn how to overcome adversity and play with distractions. We’re not getting down on this group at all, we’re just going to keep fighting.”
K-State scored seven runs in the first two innings and all 15 runs in the first six innings, and it was a deficit West Virginia could not overcome.
Senior left-hander Ross Vance (4-3) suffered the loss and pitched 1.2 innings. He allowed seven runs on six hits.
In relief for the Mountaineers, freshman lefty Jacob Brewer pitched the final 3.0 innings of the game. In his fifth appearance of the season, he allowed just one hit and no runs while striking out four.
Freshman left fielder Braden Zarbnisky hitting leadoff, had a team-best three hits, while freshman right fielder Darius Hill added two and a run scored. Freshman shortstop Jimmy Galusky drove in a run and had a hit. Freshman catcher Ivan Vera also had a hit to extend his hitting streak to a team-best and career-high nine games, and he has reached base in 12 consecutive contests, also a career best.
Kansas State opened the game with four runs in the first inning, capped by a three-run home run by Tyler Wolfe. The Wildcats followed with three runs on three hits in the second with the help of two WVU errors.
Two Mountaineers reached in the second with one out, but a lineout and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Wildcats added a run in the top of the third before West Virginia scored one in the bottom half. With two outs, freshman Hill doubled down the right field line. After his team-high 43rd hit, he scored when freshman designated hitter Marques Inman reached on an error.
K-State got the run back with two unearned runs in the fourth, and following a double play in the bottom of the inning, the Wildcats added two more in the fifth and three in the sixth.
That’s when Brewer came in and shut the Wildcats out for the final three innings.
In the bottom of the sixth for the Mountaineers, Hill and Inman hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, but a double play and a groundout ended WVU’s scoring changes.
WVU added a run in the ninth. Sophomore pinch hitter Caleb Potter led off the inning with a double and freshman third baseman Cole Austin followed with a single. Potter scored when Galusky reached on a fielder’s choice.
The series between WVU and KSU concludes on Sunday. The series finale has been moved up to a noon ET start, to accommodate Kansas State’s travel schedule.