Manhattan, Kan. - Butler took a three-run lead early on and held a one-run advantage as late as the sixth, but host Kansas State responded for five runs in their final three frames to come away with an 8-4 decision in the first game of a four-game set on Friday (March 13) afternoon at Tointon Stadium.
The Bulldogs spotted themselves a 3-0 advantage in the third inning thanks to some timely hitting.
Back-to-back one-out singles by Luke Duncan and Griffin Richeson put runners on first and second for Jason Jamerson, who lined a double down the left field line that plated Duncan with the first run of the game and sent Richeson to third. A wild pitch by the Wildcat starter allowed Richeson to cross the plate while moving Jamerson 90 feet from home before Bobby Mosser sent a deep fly to second that brought Jamerson in to score.
Butler left-hander Matt Sokolowski, meanwhile, kept the Wildcats in check in the early going, allowing just two hits while facing just one batter over the minimum through 3.2 innings.
After recording the first two outs of the fourth, however, KSU reached for five hits to bring the score back to even at 3-3.
The Bulldogs responded in the top of the sixth, as three-straight one-out singles by Kyle Schultz, Colin Ziegel and Grant Fillipitch gave Butler a 4-3 advantage late and kept the threat alive with runners on first and third. The Wildcats would escape further damage, though, as Fillipitch was caught trying to swipe second before KSU recorded an inning-ending strike-out.
Kansas State took its first lead of the evening in their half of the frame, as a two-run home run gave the Wildcats a 5-4 advantage. The host team would plate two more in the seventh before adding another in the eighth while holding the Butler offense hitless in the final three innings.
Butler returns to action on Saturday (March 14) when it battles the Wildcats in double-header action beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET.