LINCOLN, Neb. – The K-State baseball team allowed a season-high 22 hits against Nebraska on Tuesday as the Wildcats lost 14-5 at Hawks Field.
K-State (20-17, 2-7 Big 12) scored the game’s first four runs, all with two outs, in the top of the first, but Nebraska (24-14, 7-2 Big Ten) plated 14 of the night’s final 15 runs to secure the win. The loss snapped the Wildcats’ five-game winning streak against the Cornhuskers and extended their overall losing streak to four games.
“We were not finishing off pitches very well tonight,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill, “but it was more about them offensively. Nebraska battled and competed at the plate really well, and they would get a pitch that they could handle and did some damage with it.”
RJ Santigate, who matched his career-high with four hits, started K-State’s four-run first with a one-out single. After Santigate stole second and Tanner DeVinny walked, Shane Conlon drove them both home with a two-out double. Tyler Stover followed with an RBI single to plate Conlon, and Blair DeBord drove in Stover with an RBI single.
K-State forced Nebraska’s starting pitcher Austin Christensen to use 38 pitches in his only inning of work.
Nebraska bounced back, though, with two runs in the bottom of the first when the first three batters reached on singles. Michael Pritchard, who had a career-high five hits, drove in the first run, and Pat Kelly trimmed K-State’s lead to 4-2 with a sacrifice fly.
The Cornhuskers tied it up for the first time with two more runs in the bottom of the third. Kelly made it 4-3 K-State with an RBI single, preceding Austin Darby’s double play that brought in Pritchard to tie the game at 4-4.
K-State regained the lead, however, on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. Ross Kivett worked a full count before drawing a two-out walk, and he advanced to third base on an executed hit-and-run by Santigate. With Austin Fisher at the plate, Kivett gave K-State a 5-4 advantage on a wild pitch delivered by Colton Howell.
Howell went on to throw three innings in relief of Christensen, earning his first win of the season. Howell allowed three hits and two walks while striking out two.
Nebraska scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth to quickly take the lead from K-State. With Pritchard at the plate and two outs, Landon Busch committed a balk to allow Ryan Boldt to score and tie the game at 5-5. On the next pitch, Pritchard dropped a bunt single down the third base line to score Jake Placzek for the eventual game-winning run.
Nebraska tacked on four runs in the fifth and eighth innings to add to its advantage. Tanner Lubach hit a two-run home run off K-State’s Jordan Witcig to highlight the fifth, and in the eighth, three straight two-out doubles off Braxton Wilks allowed the Cornhuskers to score the four runs.
Nebraska scored eight of its 14 runs with two outs while K-State plated all five of its runs with two outs.
Busch took the loss for K-State, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings.
In addition to tying his career-high in hits, Santigate matched his career-high with two stolen bases. Santigate reached base in all five of his plate appearances after drawing a walk in the ninth inning.
Stover, making his first career start at first base, had two hits and an RBI. DeBord also finished with two hits and an RBI.
Tuesday was the first time the Wildcats allowed 20 or more hits in a game since June 9, 2013 vs. Oregon State (21).
K-State returns home and to Big 12 action on Thursday, April 17 with the first game of a three-game set against Baylor. First pitch on Thursday is set for 6:30 pm at Tointon Family Stadium.