MANHATTAN, Kan. – Blair DeBord broke a tie game with a two-out infield single that scored two runs in the eighth inning to help give the K-State baseball team a 6-4 win over Baylor on Friday at Tointon Family Stadium.
A game that saw K-State (22-17, 4-7 Big 12) take the lead four times and Baylor (17-21, 4-9 Big 12) tie the game twice, DeBord’s second infield hit of the season, a high chopper that required the K-State catcher to slide head first at first base, provided the difference for the Wildcats’ series-clinching victory. The series win against Baylor is K-State’s first series victory in Big 12 play this season.
“[Baylor] really battled tonight, and we battled right with them – we had to,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “[DeBord] just put the ball in play, and we were fortunate. The big one, though, was scoring two [runs] rather than just one. It took some pressure off.”
Pinch runners Taylor Anderson and Clayton Dalrymple scored the go-ahead runs on DeBord’s single. Anderson, who replaced Tanner DeVinny after the designated hitter started the inning with his third hit of the night, scored from third on DeBord’s hit, but Dalrymple hustled from second to beat out a Baylor throw to add the insurance run.
The win was K-State’s third straight against Baylor, dating back to last season. It was the also the Wildcats’ second victory of the season when tied after the seventh inning or later.
The Wildcats had 13 hits, led by three from DeVinny. Shane Conlon, Ross Kivett, and Tyler Stover each had two hits while Kivett and Stover also had an RBI apiece.
DeBord’s hit in his final at-bat extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games.
K-State seized its first lead of the game when the Wildcats had three straight one-out singles in the second inning. Conlon and Stover notched singles to left field, setting up an RBI single by Mitch Meyer to give K-State a 1-0 advantage.
K-State trailed for the first and only time when Baylor scored two runs in the third inning. Ben Carl hit an RBI single to left field that also brought in another run on a fielding error by Conlon to make it 2-1 Bears.
The Wildcats answered quickly in the bottom half of the inning, though, when Kivett led off the frame with a home run, his third of the season, on the first pitch he saw from Baylor starting pitcher Dillon Newman. Later in the third, K-State grabbed a 3-2 lead when Stover drove in DeVinny with a two-out single.
Baylor evened it up again in the fourth with a leadoff homer by Adam Toth, his second home run of the year, to bring the score to 4-4.
In the fifth, Kivett drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Carter Yagi, and scored on Austin Fisher’s RBI single to right field to make it 5-4 Wildcats.
A leadoff triple by Toth off K-State reliever Jake Fromson in the sixth inning turned into a game-tying run when Matt Menard plated the Baylor right fielder with a sacrifice fly. The run was the only blemish in Fromson’s three innings worked. The Wildcat right-hander had a career-high four strikeouts and no walks.
Jake Matthys earned the win for K-State after the right-hander held Baylor to no runs in 1 1/3 innings. The sophomore entered the game in relief of Jared Moore in the eighth, inheriting a runner on third, but Matthys walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases for Aaron Dodson. On a 1-2 count, Matthys induced a strikeout swinging by Dodson, but the strike-three pitch bounced in front of DeBord, who fielded the wild pitch and tagged home to force out Lawton Langford at the plate for the inning’s final out.
Moore, making his first relief appearance of the season, struck out one and allowed two hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Doug Ashby took the loss for Baylor, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk in 1 2/3 innings. Newman surrendered 10 hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings of a no-decision.
K-State pitcher Jordan Floyd, making his first career start, also did not factor into the decision after he allowed three runs on five hits in three innings. The left-hander walked two and had no strikeouts with his 47 pitches.
The Wildcats will go for the sweep of Baylor, something they have not done since 2010, on Saturday, April 19 in the series finale. First pitch is set for 7 pm at Tointon Family Stadium.