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Texas Rides The Long Ball, Late Rallies To Prevail Over Kansas State In Key Big 12 Series




The Texas Longhorns made the Easter weekend trek to Manhattan and took two out of three against a Kansas State Wildcat team that entered the series at the top of the Big 12 standings. Here is a recap of everything that happened at Frank Myers Field at Tointon Family Stadium.


Game 1 (Thursday): Wildcats 14 Longhorns 6

The Wildcats rode an eight-run second inning to open the series in explosive fashion with a 14-6 victory over the Longhorns on Thursday night.

Jalin Flores and Dee Kennedy hit home runs (a solo and 2-run shot respectively) in the first two innings to give Texas an early 3-0 lead, and from there it was all Kansas State. In the aforementioned eight-run rally, Kyan Lodice started things with an RBI single that drove in Kaelen Culpepper and later stole second which led to a Longhorn throwing error that scored Nick English to cut the deficit to 3-2. Danniel Rivera then tied things up with an RBI double that scored Lodice and then scored on a wild pitch to give the Wildcats the 4-3 lead. Kansas State then added on from there by way of a bases loaded walk by Brady Day that scored Raphael Pelletier and a bases-clearing double by English to make it 8-3 Wildcats after two innings.

From there, Kansas State kept tacking on runs with an RBI single in the third by Chuck Ingram and a solo home run in the fifth by David Bishop to increase their lead to 10-3. In the sixth, Culpepper and Lodice would hit home runs of their own while Culpepper drove in another run in the seventh to make it 14-3 Wildcats.

Texas would not go down without a fight however and staged a rally of their own in the ninth on a Will Gasparino solo home run and a two-run double by Flores. The built-up deficit was too much to overcome, and Kansas State held on to win 14-6.

Bishop led the Wildcats on the day with four hits while Ingram tallied three hits of his own. Day, Culpepper, English, and Lodice each had two hits for Kansas State. For the Longhorns, Flores, Kennedy, and Max Belyeu had two hits apiece while Gasparino, Jared Thomas, Peyton Powell, and Porter Brown each logged a hit.

Josh Wintroub got the start for Kansas State and struck out five batters in 5.1 innings to earn the win. Lebarron Johnson Jr started, and took the loss, for Texas.


Game 2 (Friday): Longhorns 22 Wildcats 11

             

Friday night ended up becoming a high-powered slugfest as big days at the plate by Kennedy, Belyeu and Rylan Galvan carried the Longhorns to a convincing 22-11 win to tie the series up.

             

Kansas State started the scoring early with solo home runs by Ingram in the first and Pelletier in the second to give the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead. Texas then responded in the third with a pair of home runs of their own with Thomas and Flores each having a two-run shot to give the Longhorns a 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the third, Kansas State would cut the deficit 4-3 after Ingram scored on a groundout by Day.

             

The two teams then went tit-for-tat in the next four innings and answered each rally with a rally of their own. The Longhorns added on to their lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Galvan and a two-run homer by Kennedy and in the fifth after Flores scored from a throwing error to make it 8-3 Texas.

             

The Wildcats would then tie things up in the sixth on a five-run rally of their own. Culpepper started things off with a solo shot to left-center while runs six and seven would be scored in small-ball fashion with Rivera driving in Lodice on a fielder’s choice (who beat out the throw to home) and a sac fly by Bishop that brought in Rivera. Ingram would then tie the game up with his second home run of the game, a two-run shot, and just like that it was a brand-new ballgame after six innings were completed.

             

Both teams then scored three runs each in the seventh, with Texas scoring their runs via a pair of singles by Belyeu (who drove in one run) and Galvan (who drove in two). Kansas State would score their runs on a two-run single by Rivera and a bases loaded walk by Bishop that brought in Lodice to make it an 11-11 game.

             

The Longhorns would then take control of the game in the eighth and never look back, taking the lead on a Flores single that drove in Thomas which was followed up by a Belyeu two-run homer to make it 14-11 Texas. The scoring would then continue in the ninth for Texas as they put up a seven spot that was highlighted by RBI doubles by Belyeu, Galvan, and Kennedy, which would end up being too much for Kansas State to respond to as Easton Tumis finished things off on the mound to give the Longhorns the 21-11 victory.

             

There were multiple Longhorns that recorded three or more hits on the night with Galvan leading the way with five hits and five runs driven in. Belyeu and Flores had four hits apiece while Kennedy and Thomas each had three on the night. Kansas State had 15 total hits of their own with Ingram, Culpepper, and Pelletier having three apiece.

             

Ace Whitehead got the start for Texas while Jacob Frost started for Kansas State, with both pitchers receiving no decisions. Gage Boehm got the win for the Longhorns while Jackson Wentworth took the loss for the Wildcats.


Game 3 (Saturday): Longhorns 6 Wildcats 3


While Thursday and Friday primarily consisted of offense, Saturday ended up consisting of pitching and defense with Texas taking the rubber game in a 6-3 win over the Wildcats.

             

After the first two innings where neither team scored the run, the Longhorns put up two runs in the third on a two-run double by Kimble Schuessler and two runs in the fourth (with a run scoring on a fielder’s choice by Powell and a sac fly by Flores) to get off to a 4-0 lead.

             

Kansas State would then return the favor as the game went on to cut the Longhorn lead to 4-3. Culpepper tripled and drove in a run in the sixth while the Wildcats loaded the bases in the seventh before Boehm relieved Grant Fontenot on the mound and got the third out to strand the bases to end the inning, preserving the Longhorn lead. The Wildcats then added two more runs in the eighth on a pair of RBI singles by Bishop and Ingram before Gasparino made a diving catch in shallow center field to end the inning that gave the momentum back to Texas.

             

The Longhorns then put up a pair of insurance runs up in the ninth after Thomas and Powell hit solo homers to make it 6-3, which ended up being the final score after Andre Duplantier II went three up, three down in the bottom half to complete the four-out save and give Texas the series victory.

             

Six Longhorns recorded a hit apiece on the afternoon with Brown and Kennedy logging hits along with the aforementioned hits. Kansas State had 11 hits and were led by Ingram and Jones who each had three hits.

             

Max Grubbs started and got the win for Texas as he went six innings and struck out five batters while only giving up one unearned run. Owen Boerema got the start for Kansas State, where he threw six innings of his own and struck out six batters in a losing effort.

             

With the series win, the Longhorns improved to 17-11 on the season and 6-3 in Big 12 play, while the Wildcats drop to 18-8 overall and 6-3 in Big 12 play.


What’s Next?

             

The Longhorns will return to Austin and play Abilene Christian on Tuesday night before playing BYU Thursday through Saturday at UFCU Disch Falk Field. Kansas State will go to Springfield on Wednesday to face Missouri State before heading down to Orlando for a weekend series against UCF.


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