March 26, 2011
WACO, Texas - Baylor erased a three-run deficit in the sixth inning, but Jason King's two-run homer in the eighth put Kansas State back on top and the Wildcats held on for a 6-3 win to even the series against the Bears on Saturday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
Trae Davis (3-1) took the loss after allowing two runs without recording an out. He came on in relief to start the eighth inning and issued a walk to Nick Martini before King battled back from a 0-2 count to homer down the right-field line on a 3-2 pitch.
Baylor (15-8, 2-3 Big 12) starting pitcher Josh Turley scattered 10 hits across 7.0 innings and allowed three runs, but he did not factor in the decision after leaving with the score tied 3-3.
"He gave us seven innings with less than 100 pitches and our game was tied 3-3," head coach Steve Smith said. "He made maybe the best defensive play I have ever seen by a pitcher today on a drag bunt in the sixth inning. Turley threw that ball blind and right on the money, and it was just a great play."
Kansas State (13-8, 1-4 Big 12) reliever Shane Conlon (1-0) picked up the win by retiring all seven batters faced in 2.1 innings of shutout relief. James Allen worked around two singles in the ninth to notch his sixth save of the season.
KSU took an early lead on Ross Kivett's RBI single in the second. Kivett added another RBI single in the fourth, and the Wildcats extended their lead to 3-0 on Martini's fifth-inning sacrifice fly.
The Bears managed only three hits through the first five innings against K-State starting pitcher Matt Applegate, but Baylor finally broke through against him with three runs in the sixth.
Chris Slater got the inning started with a double down the left-field line, and Max Muncy reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners. Josh Ludy cut the deficit to 3-1 with a RBI single, and Joey Hainsfurther moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, ending Applegate's day.
Tyler Sturges came out of the bullpen and struck out Landis Ware for the second out, but Muncy scored on a wild pitch before Jake Miller tied the game with a two-out RBI single. Sturges walked Towey before handing the ball to Conlon, who struck out Steve DalPorto to end the inning.
"(Applegate) was just a good pitcher, guys were able just to hang in there, and Josh (Turley) kept it close," Smith said. "We got some hits when we needed to. Right there in the game, all we needed to do was find a guy who could get us three outs."
K-State regained the lead on King's homer in the eighth and added on an insurance run when Kivett knocked his third RBI single of the game later in the inning.
Baylor brought the potential tying run to the plate after Miller and Cal Towey singled to start the ninth, but Allen got DalPorto to hit into a double play before striking out Brooks Pinckard to end the game.
Miller and Muncy each went 2-for-4, while Towey went 2-for-3 and drew his team-leading 14th walk of the season. Kivett drove in half of Kansas State's six runs and had three hits on the day.
The Bears and Wildcats will decide the series in Sunday's finale that has been moved up to a 12:30 p.m. first pitch. Trent Blank is expected to take the mound for the Bears against Kayvon Bahramzadeh of Kansas State.