Kansas State (16-19, 3-8) routed the West Virginia Mountaineers (17-16, 5-5) on Saturday evening, accounting for 16 hits and 15 runs against six different Mountaineer pitchers. Starting pitcher Ross Vance (4-3) pitched just 1.2 innings, allowing seven runs - five of which were earned, on six hits. Four of the hits Vance allowed were extra base hits - two doubles, a triple and a home run. Michael Grove came in to relieve Vance in the top of the second inning but his appearance would be short-lived after he allowed Kansas State right fielder Quintin Crandall to triple in the top of the third inning. Grove's night ended after just 27 pitches. After Grove's departure the Mountaineers brought in Tanner Campbell, who immediately allowed an RBI single to Kansas State third baseman Josh Ethier.
WVU got on the board in the bottom of the third on an error by shortstop Tyler Wolfe, but Kansas State was able to get that run back and more after Josh Rolette singled and picked up his second RBI of the day. Shortly after Rolette's single, Tyler Wolfe doubled and picked up his fourth RBI of the afternoon, extending the WIldcats lead to 10-1 at the end of the fourth inning.
In the fifth inning WVU made yet another pitching change, bringing in sophomore right-hander Shane Ennis. Ennis wouldn't fare much better than the previous WVU pitchers, loading the bases and failing to get any outs before being pulled. Jacob Potock then entered the game to try to get the Mountaineers out of the jam. Potock immediately allowed an RBI single to Jake Wodtke and a sacrifice fly RBI to Josh Rolette, which made the score 12-1 through five innings.The pitching woes continued for WVU in the sixth inning as the Wildcats were able to add three more runs off of Potock. In the seventh inning the Mountaineers brought in Jacob Brewer, who fared better than any other Mountaineer pitcher on the day by holding Kansas State to three scoreless innings.
After the game head coach Randy Mazey commented on the team's disappointing performance.
"It's one of those games," Mazey said. "You play 56 games in a season and there's a good chance, it doesn't matter who you are, that one time you're going to get your butts whooped. It's unfortunate that it happened to us in front of the best crowd of the year."
Darius Hill also spoke after the game, speaking about the importance of bouncing back for the series finale tomorrow.
"It's going to be a big time test for us to see how we come out tomorrow," he said. "After a day like today we have to come out and play well tomorrow, otherwise we'll be struggling going into another big week next week."
The Mountaineers have now lost five out of the last six games and are in danger of falling under .500 in conference play. The series will conclude tomorrow at noon as WVU looks to avoid a sweep.