K-State Baseball: Wildcats Lose In Extra Innings to Nebraska-Omaha, 6-5

Felt like one of those nights again... - Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Free baseball night ends with a Wildcat loss.

It was not a pretty night for baseball to start the month of April. Cold conditions in Omaha helped lead to a sloppy game by both teams, resulting in seven combined errors, five for the Cats. In the end, those errors combined with overall sloppy play on defense spelled doom for the Wildcats who fell to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (13-9, 2-0) 6-5 in 10 innings. The Wildcats move to 17-11, 1-2 with the road loss

This was not a good night for the Wildcat’s two best hitters, with both Senior’s Ross Kivett and R.J. Santigate seeing their hitting streaks come to an end at 13 and 12 games respectively. This also marks the first time since the second game of the season that Kivett has failed to reach base in some way. It was not a good way to start April for the Cats, and surely not the way Kivett expected his 180th consecutive start to go.

The Wildcats were, however, still led at the plate by seniors, as Blair DeBord (3-4, 2 RBI) and Shane Conlon (4-6, 1 RBI) looked solid on the night. The Wildcats recorded 14 hits on the night, but only managed to score five runs, stranding 14 runners on base.

The real story of the night was pitching. No Wildcat pitcher went more than two innings on the evening. Part of that was due to strategy, but the young arms also looked shaky at times as their defense continued to fail in bailing them out, especially late. RS-Freshman Colton Kalmus (2-1) got the start for the Cats, giving up no runs on one hit with two walks in two innings of work. He was relieved by Sophomore Landon Busch who gave up one run on three hits while facing 12 batters in his two innings. Freshman Jake Fromson looked solid in the 5th & 6th innings, putting up zero’s while facing the minimum.

Then, in what proved to be the first turning point in the game, Freshman Jordan Floyd gave up three runs on two hits while only recording on-third of an inning of work. Freshman Ethan Landon came in and cleaned up the mess, then pitched a perfect 8th to give the Cats an opportunity in the 9th.

And after the Cats moved ahead, former-ace closer Sophomore Jake Matthys came in. He promptly allowed the first batter he faced to go yard to tie the game. Matthys then recorded two outs before catcher’s interference allowed a runner on. The next batter hit a blopper down the 3rd-base line, but a running error allowed the Cats to end the inning with another chance. After his offense left him needing to hold serve, Matthys sat down his first two batters. But a walk, followed by a steal gave the Mavericks the threat they needed, and the final batter capitalized with a single to left that allowed the winning run to score. Matthys was saddled with the loss, his second of the season putting him at 1-2 as pitcher of record.

Sophomore Marcus Ethen (2-1) got the start for the Mavericks and went four and two-thirds, giving up two runs on five hits. He was followed by four more Maverick pitchers who combined for three runs on nine hits, but allowing nothing in the final inning to give their offense the chance to win. Junior Cole Volkers, who pitched the 10th inning, recorded the win and moved to 2-1 on the season.

The Mavericks were led at the plate by Junior Daniel Jewett (3-4, 2 RBI), and as a team came up with 10 hits off the Wildcat pitchers. However, none were bigger than the homerun in the 9th by Sophomore Clayton Taylor that tied the game at 5, and then the single by Sophomore Alex Schultz, his only hit of the game, in the 10th that scored the winning run.

The Wildcats will need short memories after this one. The Cats come home to face rival Kansas in a weekend series in Manhattan. The games will all be broadcast on Cox/TWC Ch. 22, and will also be available on the radio dial on 1350 KMAN (for those of you broadcast range). Live online audio streaming should be available from K-Stateports.com, but with the TV coverage the feed may be blocked on 1350KMAN.com. The game schedule is 4/4-6:30pm, 4/5-2:00pm, & 4/6-1:00pm (all times Central).

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