MANHATTAN, Kan. – Craig Stinson’s solo homer in the top of the seventh inning broke a 1-1 tie and Texas A&M held off another ninth-inning rally from Kansas State as the No. 11 Aggies clinched the series with a 2-1 win Saturday night at Tointon Stadium.
With the loss, Kansas State fell to 31-19 overall and 9-13 in Big 12 play, while the Aggies improved to 40-11 and 13-9. After Saturday’s Big 12 action, K-State remains in sixth place in the standings at 9-13, just ahead of Baylor and Oklahoma, who are tied for seventh at 9-14. Kansas sits in ninth place at 8-15, while Texas Tech is 10th at 7-15.
Down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, K-State put its leadoff guy on in Jordan Cruz as he drew a four-pitch walk from reliever Gary Campfield. Rivers then entered the game and got the first out when Byron Wiley moved Cruz to second on a sacrifice bunt. Then, Derek Bunker struck out looking and Nate Tenbrink flied out to center on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat and the game.
Both teams got solid outings from their starters for the second straight night as K-State’s Trevor Hurley and A&M’s David Newmann battled pitch for pitch for six-plus innings. Hurley (1-3) took the tough-luck loss after giving up Stinson’s homer to lead off the seventh. The sophomore struck out a career-high seven batters over 6.0 innings, which also marked his longest outing of his career.
Newmann (9-1) went 8.0 strong innings and struck out eight Wildcats while giving up just three hits and one unearned run. Kirkland Rivers earned his second save after getting the final three outs in the ninth.
The Cats took an early 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the second off Newmann. Eli Rumler drew a two-out walk and then stole second to set the stage for Tyler Ruch, who singled to third base. Third baseman Dane Carter made a nice diving stop on the ball down the line but his throw to first sailed wide and allowed Ruch to go to second and Rumler to score the game’s first run.
Texas A&M tied the game in the fourth when Blake Stouffer was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a Luke Anders single to center. Stouffer then crossed the plate on a Stinson sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game.
Saturday night was Senior Night at Tointon Stadium as seniors Eli Rumler and Eddie Vasquez were recognized prior to the start of the game.
Kansas State and Texas A&M conclude the series Sunday with a 1 p.m. matchup at Tointon Stadium.
Courtesy: Kansas State University