Texas Baseball Tops K-State, 9-8, in 10 Innings
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Ben Johnson and Tres Barrera blasted solo home runs to break a 7-7 tie in the top of the 10th inning and the No. 25/28 Texas baseball team held on for a 9-8 win over Kansas State in both team's regular season finale Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.
Texas earned a series victory with the win and improved to 36-16 overall, 13-11 in the Big 12, heading into the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship which opens Wednesday in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
It didn't come easy, with K-State twice rallying from a deficit and nearly winning it in the bottom of the ninth. Texas made the plays it had to at the most important times, though, including solo shots from Johnson and Barrera in the 10th.
K-State had the tying run 90 feet from home in the bottom of the 10th, but reliever Ty Culbreth got a flyout to center field to end the game. An inning earlier, the Wildcats had loaded the bases with one out, but Texas got a 4-6-3 inning ending double play to stay alive.
Barrera finished the afternoon 3-for-6 with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs, capping off a series that saw him go 7-for-13. Brooks Marlow, C.J Hinojosa, Madison Carter and Collin Shaw all had two-hit days.
The Longhorns received a season-high six innings in relief from Morgan Cooper, who struck out a season-high six and allowed three runs on seven hits. Culbreth (2-0) was credited with the win after pitching the final 2 2/3, surrendering two runs on two hits and five walks.
With the game tied 3-3 in the sixth, a two-out rally put Texas ahead. Shaw and Kacy Clemens kept the inning alive with a pair of singles, and Zane Gurwitz delivered a three-run home run to deep left field on a 0-2 count to make it 6-3.
The Longhorns added to the lead an inning later, again on a two-out rally, when Carter reached on an error and scored on a double from Hinojosa.
But Kansas State came right back in the bottom of the seventh, making it 7-4 when Taylor Anderson drove in Max Brown, who had led off the inning with a double.
The Wildcats then rallied for three runs to tie it in the eighth. After two consecutive singles to start the inning, Texas got the first out when Cooper fielded an attempted sacrifice bunt and threw out the lead runner at third. The Longhorns went to the bullpen for Culbreth, who came on and got a flyout for the second out of the inning. A walk, however, loaded the bases, and two straight singles from RJ Santigate and Blair DeBord tied it up at 7-7.
Earlier in the game, Texas took advantage of a K-State miscue to strike for a run in the first inning. With two outs, Mark Payton got to second base when Wildcats first baseman RJ Santigate couldn't handle an in-between hop. Payton then stole third and scored on a single to left field from Barrera.
K-State, though, answered in the bottom of the second. After starting pitcher Parker French issued a leadoff walk, Alex Bee tied it up with a RBI double to the gap in left-center field. Four batters later, Austin Fisher hit a bases loaded single through the left side to score one, and a walk forced in another run to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.
Texas went to the bullpen for Cooper, who came on and prevented further damage by getting a strikeout and flyout to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
Barrera continued a hot stretch this weekend in the fourth when he led off with a solo home run. The Longhorns then loaded the bases with no outs and tied it up at 3-3 when Kacy Clemens hit into a double play.
The Longhorns made a great defensive play to keep the game tied in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on second and third and one out, Hinojosa caught a hard liner at shortstop and threw to Marlow at second, who dove to tag the runner and complete an inning-ending double play.
Texas opens play in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. vs. Texas Tech.