K-State Closes Out Sweep of UAPB with 13-8 Win




0-11 (0-0 SWAC)

7-4 (0-0 Big 12)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
UAPB 3 0 0 3 0 0 2 0 0 8 14 3
KST 7 0 0 0 0 2 3 1 X 13 12 1
W: Kalmus (2-1) L: Lewington (0-2) S: ---
  • Time of Game: 3:12
  • First Pitch: 1:04 pm
  • Temperature: 72 F
  • Wind: S 20-30 mph
  • Attendance: 2,078

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State scored double-digit runs for the fourth straight game as it stretched its winning streak to five and capped off a sweep of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday with a 13-8 win at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Wildcats (7-4) scored seven runs in the first to give them an early four-run lead and then went on to score two in the sixth, three in the seventh and one in the eighth. K-State finished the series against the Golden Lions (0-11) with 46 runs, its most in a three-game set since 2005. The Wildcats also batted .411 in the series.

“These were some good days of hitting,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “Our guys had a pretty good approach, did some nice things. We need that. It’s always good to get that confidence. We started swinging the bats better down in Arizona against Utah, and it carried over to this weekend.”

The double-digit run effort by K-State was also its fourth straight. The Wildcats, who have scored 66 runs over the last four games, have tallied 13 or more runs in four consecutive contests for the first time since 2005.

Jake Wodtke finished out his impressive series by going 2-for-3 with three RBI, two walks and two runs scored. The redshirt junior hit .727 (8-for-11) with 12 RBI and six runs on the weekend as he currently leads the team in hitting this season with a .488 clip and an-already-career-high 15 RBI.

With the help of Wodtke and Brooks Zimmerman’s career-high three hits, K-State had 12 hits along with seven walks, two hit batters and two of the three UAPB errors to produce its 23 baserunners. 

UAPB did not make it easy for the Wildcats in the finale as it took a three-run lead in the first and cut it to one in the fourth and seventh. However, K-State busted out for eight of its 12 hits after the fifth inning to notch its first sweep of an opponent since Santa Clara March 6-8 of last season.

“A three-game sweep is always nice – and never easy,” said Hill. “Give Arkansas-Pine Bluff a lot of credit. They competed all weekend. They never gave us a time that we could breathe.”

K-State scored its first seven runs in the first with the help of just two hits. The first four Wildcats of the frame reached via a walk or hit by pitch, but a sacrifice fly by Tyler Wolfe and three UAPB errors helped bring in the first four runs to give K-State a 4-3 lead. Michael Smith then delivered an RBI infield single, which was followed two batters later with a two-run, two-out single by Wodtke to make it 7-3 Wildcats.

UAPB trimmed it to one in the fourth when three straight hits opened the inning off K-State starting pitcher Levi MaVorhis. The final of the three hits, a two-run single by Michael Bradley, ignited the scoring before an RBI double off the bat of Jerimiah Figueroa – against reliever Colton Kalmus – made it 7-6 K-State.

Kalmus, who earned the win after throwing three innings out of the bullpen, escaped the fourth without any further damage when he struck out Jacob Columbo with runners on second and third.

MaVorhis did not factor into the decision as he lasted 3 2/3 innings in his third start of the year. The senior did match his career-high in strikeouts, though, as he fanned eight. He also gave up nine hits and three walks that resulted in six UAPB runs.

K-State, which had just four hits through the first five innings, broke out the bats in the sixth when a walk and single by Wodtke and Steve Serratore, respectively, set up Jake Scudder’s two-run triple off the wall in center that gave K-State a 9-6 advantage.

UAPB, however, struck back with two runs of its own in the seventh. A leadoff walk issued by Kalmus followed by a single and fielder’s choice put runners on the corners for Bradley. The first baseman drove in Roberto Colon with a sacrifice fly before a double by Jordan Knox made it 9-8 and chased Kalmus from the game.

Mitch Zubradt stranded one of UAPB’s 12 runners left on base in the seventh he induced a groundout to the right side to end the frame.

In the bottom half of the seventh, K-State scored three runs to pull away as a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Cory Wright, an RBI triple by Clayton Dalrymple, and another run-producing hit by Wodtke staked the Wildcats to a 12-8 lead. K-State then made it 13-8 in the eighth when a delayed steal with runners on the corners and two outs allowed Josh Rolette to cross home.

In addition to the stolen base, Rolette reached base three times with two hits and a walk. The freshman finished series with a .643 OBP.

UAPB starting pitcher C.J. Lewington suffered the loss after he allowed seven runs, but just one earned, on three hits, five walks and two hit batters over three innings. The right-hander needed 54 pitches to get through the first – as he faced 13 batters – but finished his outing with 74 pitches thrown.

The five-game winning streak for K-State is its longest since 2014 when it won 12 straight in March.

K-State continues its 12-game homestand on Wednesday when it hosts Creighton for a 3 p.m. game.

Wodtke is in the midst of a career-high seven-game hitting streak. Over the stretch, he is batting .536 (15-for-28) with 13 RBI and 10 runs scored. He also has a multi-hit effort in four straight games.

Wodtke batted with the bases loaded three times in the series, going 3-for-3 in such situations. On Sunday, he had a two-run single in the first with the bases fully occupied. As a team, K-State was 6-for-8 with the bases loaded against UAPB.

During its current five-game winning streak, K-State is hitting .395 (73-for-185) while averaging 15 runs per game (75 runs total).

The last time K-State scored more than 46 runs in a three-game series was 2005 when it registered 51 against Saint Francis March 4-6.