Horns Drop Second In A Row to K-State

The No. 5 Texas Longhorns fell into a first-place tie in the Big 12 Conference baseball standings, dropping a, 12-inning, 5-4 decision to the No. 23 Kansas State Wildcats at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Saturday afternoon. The loss put the Horns at 12-8 in Big 12 play in a tie for first place with the Texas A&M Aggies who won their Saturday game against Oklahoma State.
Texas (29-11) grabbed another early lead vs. the Wildcats with a pair of runs in the home half of the first. Travis Tucker laced a single up the middle to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Torres and scored on a single to left by Kevin Keyes. Keyes moved to second on a single by Preston Clark and scored on a throwing error by Kansas State third baseman Jason King on a ground ball by Cameron Rupp. Kansas State (31-11, 10-7) knotted the score at 2-2 with two runs in the top of the second. King hit a leadoff single to left, stole second base and scored on a two-run home run by Jordan Cruz near the Wendy’s sign in right. After the early offense, the respective pitching staffs kept the offenses hemmed in through 10 innings. Texas patched together potential rallies in fifth, sixth and ninth innings, but left two on in all three innings. Tucker singled to start off the fifth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, but was thrown out at third on a fielder’s choice grounder by Tant Shepherd. Keyes followed with a single to center, but Wildcats’ starter Lance Hoge induced a pop up by Clark. In the sixth inning, Brandon Belt and Brandon Loy seamed back-to-back one-out singles, but Russell Moldenhauer’s fielder’s choice groundout put runners at the corners and Tucker ended the inning with a grounder. Loy doubled down the right field line to start the ninth and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Lusson. KSU intentionally walked the next two UT batters to load the bases and the inning ended when Tant Shepherd grounded into a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play. The Wildcats’ claimed their first lead of the game in the top of the 11th frame. Texas reliever Taylor Jungmann sandwiched a pair of strikeouts around King’s single, but offered up a two-run home run to Cruz, his second of the game, to give Kansas State a 4-2 lead. Belt hit a lead-off home run to the scoreboard in left center to trim one run from the lead to start the bottom of the 11th. The rally continued when Loy doubled to the wall in left and Michael Torres tied the score at 4-4 with a single over the glove of the leaping KSU shortstop. Kansas State stitched the game-winning rally in the top of the 12th. With one out, Adam Muenster drew a walk and Carter Jurica singled to the gap in left centerfield to put runners at the corners. Nick Martini drove in the game-winning run with a single down the right field line. Texas once again put a couple runners on in the bottom of the 12th, but was unable to come up with another equalizer. With one out, David Hernandez singled to centerfield. Belt followed a Rupp pop up to put runners at first and second with two outs, but Wildcats’ reliever Matt Applegate induced a grounder by Loy to end the comeback attempt. Jungmann (4-3) was fitted with the loss for Texas, allowing three runs on four hits and one walk while striking out four in 2 innings. UT starter Cole Green allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out five over 6-1/3 innings. Austin Dicharry and Austin Wood combined for 3-2/3 innings of shutout relief. Applegate (2-1) picked up the win. He scattered two hits while striking out one over 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Hoge allowed two runs, one earned, on nine hits and one walk while striking out two over 5-1/3 innings. James Allen worked 3 shutout innings, allowing one hit and two walks with three strikeouts. Loy went 4-for-6 with two doubles to lead the Texas offense. Belt went 3-for-5 with his fourth homer of the season. Tucker and Keyes each added a pair of hits. Cruz highlighted the KSU offense, going 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI. Martini and King each added three hits. The Longhorns look to avoid the three-game series sweep with a 1 p.m. game at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Sunday.