MANHATTAN, Kan. – Despite matching Kansas State in hits and scoring first, a tough first inning set the tone as TSU fell in its series opener Friday night.
TSU jumped out to 1-0 lead after the top of the first inning as Justin Cooper led the game off with a single and scored on Oscar Ponce’s RBI single.
The Tigers were their own worst enemy in the bottom half as a walk, error, wild pitch and passed ball led to the first run by Kansas State. After that, starter Kam Fields (4-5) walked two straight followed by an RBI single for a 2-1 deficit. Another single scored two runs as TSU had an opportunity pick up an out at home after solid throw from centerfielder Avery Chatman but the ball popped out of the catcher’s glove making the tag. Kansas State would add four more runs before TSU’s first out but walks, errors combined with the hot bats of the Wildcats extended the margin to 15-1 at the end of the inning.
Ponce hit another RBI double in the third for TSU’s second run followed by Cooper’s RBI in the fourth for the third run. Nic Garza homered in the sixth for TSU’s final run of the game. Due to the run-rule, the game was called after the seventh.
Despite the rough start on the mound, Adam Dearinger came on in relief and led the pitching staff with four strikeouts in three innings of work while Jordan Martinez allowed a run in 2.1 innings. Offensively, Cooper finished 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI while Ponce went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
The series resumes tomorrow with a 4 p.m. first pitch.