K-State stuns Jayhawks in extras
MANHATTAN, Kan. – It took 11 innings to decide the Dillons Sunflower Showdown Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium with Kansas State walking off Kansas, 7-6, in the series rubber match.
The Wildcats (20-30, 5-19 Big 12) used a two-out fourth inning grand slam off the bat of Kyle Barfield to tie it early, who later drove in a go-ahead run off a RBI-triple in the sixth. Kansas (23-27, 6-14 Big 12) knotted it up in the ninth off a RBI-double by redshirt-sophomore right fielder Brendt Citta to send the game into extras.
“You can take the team records out of it on rivalry weekend,” head coach Ritch Price said. “That might have been the best weekend of baseball Kansas State has played all season. All three games were competitive right to the very end.”
The competitiveness carried into the top of the 10th when junior third baseman David Kyriacou led off with a go-ahead home run to right field. K-State answered back in the home half off KU reliever junior Zack Leban (3-3), who gave up two triples in the frame.
The Wildcats then loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 11th, and Hans Harker hit the walk-off single to earn K-State the Sunflower Showdown series victory.
“It was a really good college baseball game just like last night was,” Price said. “I have incredible respect for what coach (Brad) Hill has done at Kansas State. I saw him transform this program into a top-25 team.”
Kansas relinquished a 4-0 lead with senior lefty Taylor Turski on the mound in the third inning.
The Wildcats caught a break in the frame after Cam Thompson struck out with one out, but reached first via a wild pitch in the dirt. That pitch extended the frame and Turski got tagged for a single before loading the bases on a two-out hit-by-pitch. Barfield followed and took the second pitch he saw off the left field foul pole for his third home run of the season.
“Turski got the strikeout, but the ball hits the plate and almost bounces over the backstop,” Price said. “To K-State’s credit, they got a fourth out and Barfield smoked the ball off the foul pole. It was kind of that close to winning and losing every one of the games this weekend.”
Barfield’s day wasn’t done as he tagged KU reliever Tyler Davis for a RBI-triple in the bottom of the sixth to give the Wildcats the 5-4 advantage.
Citta tied it up with that RBI-double in the ninth and Kansas took the lead after the Kyriacou solo shot, but the Wildcats scored in each of the final two frames to walk it off, 7-6.
Kansas closes out league play when it hosts Oklahoma May 17-19, at Hoglund Ballpark.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Wild pitch: Senior lefty Taylor Turski struck out the second batter he faced in the third inning, but spiked the ball off home plate to allow him to reach first. Instead of having nobody on and two outs, the Wildcats had a runner at first and one out. That forced KU to have to record four outs in the frame, and the Jayhawks got beat with bases loaded and two down by a grand slam that knotted the game up, 4-4.
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