Aggies Blank Farmers, Capture Fall World Series

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– Junior Jordan Floyd and senior Lucas Benenati combined to throw a four-hit shutout while the Aggie offense scored six runs over the final two innings, leading the Aggies to a 7-0 win over the Farmers on Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium and clinching the Fall World Series.

The pair of returning pitchers in Floyd and Benenati scattered 10 total baserunners over the seven-inning game, with Floyd earning the win and Benenati notching the save. The left-handed Floyd surrendered just one base hit in his three innings of work while also striking out three against four walks and a hit batsman. The righty Benenati was summoned to start the fourth and went on to strike out five, including the side in the seventh.

With the help of Sunday’s shutout, the Aggies outscored the Farmers in the series, 15-4.

For the second time in as many games, the Aggie hitters combined for nine hits and were led by multi-hit efforts from redshirt junior Jake Wodtke and junior college transfer Josh Ethier. The middle infielders each went 2-for-4, with the shortstop Wodtke scoring two runs and the shortstop Ethier plating a pair. 

In total, seven of the eight Aggie hitters had at least one hit. Wodtke and freshman Michael Smith each reached base three times as Wodtke was also hit by a pitch while Smith had a single and two walks in his four plate appearances.

Senior Tyler Wolfe took the loss for the Farmers despite allowing just one run in a four-inning start. The two-way player experienced his lone blemish in the first when he loaded the bases with one out. He surrendered an RBI single to Ethier but worked out of the jam with one of his three strikeouts and a fly out to deep left field.

After the first, Wolfe scattered three base runners over his final three innings pitched. He stranded a runner on second in both the second and the fourth, with a pair of two-out hits left out to dry by the Aggies.

The Aggies, though, broke the game open in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out against freshman John Boushelle. After a wild pitch allowed Smith to score from third, junior college transfer Jake Scudder hit an opposite-field, ground-rule double to left to plate senior Clayton Dalrymple and Wodtke. Ethier later drove in Scudder, who advanced to third on a balk by freshman Davis Schwab, with a two-out single up the middle.

The Aggies added their final two runs in the seventh when junior Steve Serratore, who opened the frame with a single, scored on a throwing error to home after a safety by Smith. Dalrymple capped it all with a sacrifice fly that plated Smith, who also advanced two bases on the previous throwing error as the ball went into the Farmer dugout.

The Farmers had runners on base in every inning and put a runner in scoring position in four of the frames, but they finished 0-for-6 in such situations. In the second, Floyd worked out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out redshirt sophomore Brian O’Bannon while in the third, the southpaw once again escaped a sticky situation of runners on second and third by getting a runner’s interference on a groundball to second base to end the inning.

With the conclusion of the Fall World Series, K-State baseball’s fall practice schedule came to a close. The Wildcats will now move towards their 2016 season opener on February 19 at UC Riverside.