Manhattan, Kan.– For the first time this season, No. 21 West Virginia University dropped a Big 12 series with Sunday’s 11-4 loss to Kansas State.
The Mountaineers (23-15) scored four runs on 10 hits but the bullpen fell apart, allowing the Wildcats (21-19) to come from behind for the win.
Kade Strowd (1-1) suffered the loss. He pitched 2.1 innings, surrendering three runs on two hits.
Starter Alek Manoah pitched four innings of one-hit baseball. He gave up one run and walked four.
Kyle Gray had three hits and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle for WVU.
In the fourth, Gray belted a solo shot over the right center wall to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead.
Then Brandon White singled and advanced to second on a passed ball. On Kasey Ford’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt, the freshman scored. Chase Illig’s base hit to right center knocked in Darius Hill to extend WVU’s lead to 3-0.
Following a leadoff base hit and two quick outs, Manoah walked two batters to load the bases. However, the freshman got Kyle Barfield to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
With Gray on third, Jackson Cramer singled up the middle to give the Mountaineers a 4-0 advantage in the fifth.
K-State picked up five runs on four hits. After hitting Josh Ethier, head coach Randy Mazey called upon Riley Troutt. The freshman gave up a base hit and walked a batter to load the bases. Cameron Thompson’s single to left field drove in two and cut the Wildcats’ deficit to 4-2.
Once again, WVU dipped into the bullpen, bringing on Strowd. Jake Scudder’s bloop single loaded the bases and Steve Serratore’s double cleared them, giving K-State a 5-4 lead.
The Wildcats added two more runs in the sixth and Josh Rolette’s home run in the seventh gave K-State an 8-4 lead.
The Wildcats tacked on three more runs in the eighth.
The Mountaineers will travel to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. (ET).
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS