K-State Jumps Out, Pulls Away from UAPB in 18-8 Win




0-9 (0-0 SWAC)

5-4 (0-0 Big 12)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
UAPB 0 1 0 0 6 0 0 1 0 8 11 2
KST 0 7 0 0 2 2 6 1 X 18 17 1
W: Floyd (1-1) L: Holdridge (0-2) S: --
  • Time of Game: 2:43
  • First Pitch: 3:04 pm
  • Temperature: 70 F
  • Wind: 20-25 SW
  • Attendance: 2,233

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Steve Serratore, Tyler Moore and Michael Smith each hit a home run as K-State fought off Arkansas-Pine Bluff and powered its way to an 18-8 win in its home opener on Friday at Tointon Family Stadium.

The three home runs nearly matched the season total for the Wildcats (5-4), who entered the contest against the Golden Lions (0-9) with four. For Serratore and Moore, it was their second homer in as many games while for Smith, it was his first in just his second career at-bat.

The three roundtrippers were among K-State’s seven extra-base hits and 17 total safeties. Jake Wodtke led all batters with a career-high four hits as he went 4-for-5 with three RBI. The redshirt junior now leads the team in hits (16) and is batting .457 on the season.

“Wodtke has been good for us,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “He is not trying to do too much. He has been a good catalyst – today it was the big double down the line and the three RBIs (in the second). We had a lot of guys have good days today.”

Moore finished 3-for-4 with four RBI, falling one short of his career-high. The catcher has five hits and seven RBI in his last three games.

“When (Moore) goes up there and is aggressive, especially on the fastball, he puts in a good swing,” said Hill. “For him it is just trying to stay consistent in his approach.”

UAPB also had three home runs, including two by Michael Bradley. The catcher hit a solo shot in the second to give the Golden Lions a 1-0 lead and then hit a grand slam in the fifth to help the Golden Lions erase a six-run deficit. A two-run shot by Tommy Haas in the inning evened it at 7-7.

K-State struck right back, though, as it scored two in the fifth and sixth, six in the seventh, and one in the eighth.

Following the 20 runs against Utah on February 28, Friday marked the first time the Wildcats had scored 18 or more runs in back-to-back games since May 16-17, 2006 at South Dakota State.

Jordan Floyd picked up the winning decision despite allowing the game-tying home run in the fifth. The left-hander spelled starter Corey Fischer in the frame, and after a walk and home run, he held the Golden Lions scoreless in the inning. The junior faced one batter in the sixth after K-State regained the lead in the bottom half of the fifth.

Jacob Ruder threw 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing one run on two hits. The freshman also struck out one in his longest appearance of the season.

“I hope you got your eyes opened - that any time, any game with the wind going out,” said Hill about his message to the team. “(Pitching was) not very sharp today, throwing a lot of balls thigh-high, and (UAPB was) aggressive with the bats. It was an impressive show with them swinging the bats. We did not feel real comfortable until Ruder came in. He got the ball down, and it changed a little bit of their aggressiveness.”

UAPB’s Ashton Holdridge threw 4 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, surrendering four runs on five hits and two walks. The right-hander held K-State scoreless in the third and fourth before the two runs in the fifth and sixth.

K-State did all of its early damage in a seven-run second, starting with a two-run single by freshman Josh Rolette with the bases loaded. K-State then reloaded the bases with a walk by Quintin Crandall, preceding a one-out, bases-clearing double by Wodtke to make it 5-1 Wildcats. Serratore promptly swatted his third career home run, a two-run shot, to chase UAPB starting pitcher Anthony Bowmaker from the game.

After Moore hit his homer to left field in the sixth, K-State broke out for six runs in the seventh. Rolette, Clayton Dalrymple, Moore and Tyler Wolfe all had RBI in the inning, with back-to-back two-run hits by the seniors Moore and Wolfe capping the frame.

Smith gave the Wildcats their 18th run in the eighth when he drove a ball over the wall in right-center. The freshman had entered the game originally in the seventh as a pinch runner.

K-State and UAPB will meet for game two of their three-game set on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. Left-hander Parker Rigler will get the start for the Wildcats and face righty Humberto Medina.

The seven runs by K-State in the second inning were its most in a frame since May 2, 2015 when it also scored seven in the fifth against Arkansas State.

K-State is 30-5 in its last 35 non-conference home games, a stretch that dates back to March 20, 2013 vs. Minnesota.

The Wildcats are one home run away from tying their season total from 2015.

K-State is 20-for-42 (.476) with runners in scoring position over the last three games. It is averaging 15.7 runs per contest over that stretch.

Dalrymple, Wodtke and Serratore have all reached base safely in the first nine games of the season.