BEAUMONT, Texas – Jeff Blauer’s two-run homer in the top of the 11th inning spoiled a ninth-inning comeback from Kansas State as the Wildcats dropped an 11-inning, 8-6 decision Sunday to Cal-Santa Barbara at Vincent Beck Stadium. With the loss, Kansas State dropped to 9-2 on the season and finished the Lamar Classic with a 2-1 mark, while Cal-Santa Barbara improved to 4-7.
Down 6-2 in the bottom of the eighth, K-State rallied as Adam Muenster legged out an infield single with one out and Byron Wiley followed with a walk. Nate Tenbrink, who entered the at-bat with one hit in his last 27 plate appearances, blasted a three-run homer to left center to draw the Cats to within 6-5. Eli Rumler was then hit by a pitch and Derek Bunker followed with a double to right to tie the game at six.
Neither team threatened again until the top of the 11th as Blauer lifted a 2-1 pitch from Trevor Hurley over the wall in right, after a leadoff single and a sacrifice, to give the Gauchos an 8-6 lead. Hurley (0-1) suffered the loss after surrendering two runs on three hits over 3.0 innings. The Wildcats got two hits in the bottom half of the 11th, but a caught stealing and a fly out ended the threat and the game.
Bryan Fleming (1-0) earned the win in relief by tossing the final 3.1 shutout innings while scattering two hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
The Gauchos struck first in the top of the second as Matt Anderson sent the first pitch of the inning over the wall in right center for a 1-0 UCSB lead. K-State tied the game in the bottom half as Justin Bloxom walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Eli Rumler followed with a two-out single to right and Bloxom raced home to tie the score.
UCSB regained the lead in the top of the fifth on back-to-back doubles and a single as three runners came around to score on three hits to give the Gauchos a 5-2 lead. UCSB added a run in the sixth to take a 6-2 lead until the Cats rallied in the eighth.
Murray surrendered five runs on five hits over 5.0 innings, but the sophomore did tie a career high with seven strikeouts in the no decision. Freshman Scott Bachman made his first career appearance and had a solid outing, scattering four hits and one run with two strikeouts in 3.0 innings.
Rumler led the offense with three hits, while Bloxom had one hit and two walks in four at-bats.
Kansas State opens its home portion of the schedule Monday and Tuesday as BYU visits Tointon Stadium for a midweek series. First pitch on Monday is set for 3 p.m.
Courtesy: Kansas State University