K-State Quiets Creighton after First Inning, Wins 8-2
K-State Quiets Creighton after First Inning, Wins 8-2
6-4 (0-0 Big East)
8-4 (0-0 Big 12)
W: Heinen (1-0) L: Elman (0-1) S: --
- Time of Game: 3:07
- First Pitch: 3:04 pm
- Temperature: 60 F
- Wind: Calm
- Attendance: 1,920
MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State scored eight unanswered runs while the Wildcat pitching staff limited Creighton to two hits after the first inning as the Wildcats extended their winning streak to six with an 8-2 victory over the Bluejays on Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium.
Despite Creighton (6-4) scoring two runs on three hits in the top of the first, K-State (8-4) – behind a group of six pitchers – quieted the Bluejay bats over the final eight innings. Relievers Brogan Heinen, Jordan Floyd and Jacob Ruder did not surrender any hits over their combined four innings pitched from the fifth through eighth while Brandon Erickson gave up just one safety in his two frames over the third and fourth.
Creighton, which had its six-game winning streak snapped, finished with five hits – its lowest in a game since the first weekend of the season.
“We got on the pitchers really hard after the weekend (against UAPB), and they took it to heart,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “We got on them about pitch location, competitiveness, the whole thing. Today, we stressed getting the ball back down in the (strike) zone. For the most part, they did a nice job with it. I was impressed with all of them.”
Heinen earned the win, the first of his career. The freshman struck out one in his perfect – and career-high – two innings pitched.
The offense, meanwhile, evened the game two-all in the third with two-out RBI by Jake Wodtke and Steve Serratore and then took the lead in the fifth with another pair of two-out runs off an infield single by Jake Scudder.
Wodtke, Serratore and Scudder – along with Clayton Dalrymple and Tyler Wolfe – helped the top of the K-State lineup generate eight of the team’s nine hits. Seniors Dalrymple and Wolfe as well as Scudder turned in two hits each.
The top-five Wildcat hitters also went a combined 5-for-10 with two outs and delivered five of the team’s seven RBI in such situations. Over the six-game winning streak, K-State is hitting .382 (29-for-76) with two outs.
“We’re doing a great job right now with two-out hitting, and getting some clutch RBIs,” said Hill. “Those are the little things that we have to continue to do. “
Two of those two-out RBI came in the third when K-State erased a two-run deficit. After the first two batters were retired, Dalrymple took a 3-1 pitch to right for a single and then stole second on a 2-2 pitch with Wodtke at the plate. Wodtke, who was 5-for-5 in the UAPB series with runners in scoring position last weekend, delivered a double down the left field line to plate Dalrymple. Serratore then came through when he pulled a double into right to score Wodtke and tie it at 2-2.
“Clayton gets thrown out (stealing) in the first inning, and then comes back and gets the stolen base (in the third),” added Hill. “Some guys get a little gun-shy when something like that happens, but he didn’t. He was aggressive, stole a base and then (Wodtke) got the big two-out RBI and (Serratore) followed it up. Those two guys (Dalrymple and Wodtke) definitely got us going.”
Scudder came through with his pair of two-out RBI in the fifth when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. Scudder hit a 2-2 pitch up the middle for a would-be single that deflected off Creighton pitcher Nick Highberger’s glove towards second base. The hit still went down as a single, but more importantly drove in Michael Smith from third and Wodtke from second. Creighton’s Ryan Fitzgerald made a throw to home to get Wodtke on the play, but the K-State second baseman made an elusive slide past the tag of catcher Keith Oren to give the Wildcats a two-run lead.
In the eighth, K-State used the help of a passed ball and the lone Creighton error to score four insurance runs. After Scudder scored on the passed ball, Tyler Moore, Quintin Crandall and Dalrymple all drove in runs to cap the Wildcats’ scoring.
Lucas Benenati pitched the scoreless ninth, working around a leadoff single with two fly outs and a strikeout to end the game. The single was the first hit allowed by Benenati in his five appearances this season.
Creighton’s Taylor Elman took the loss after he allowed two of his three batters faced in the fifth to reach base on a walk and hit by pitch. Both runners came around to score on Scudder’s single.
K-State starting pitcher Logan Wiley bounced back from the two-run first inning by working a scoreless second. The freshman, in his first career start, did not allow a runner into scoring position in second after he surrendered both runs in the first with two outs.
K-State continues its 12-game homestand on Friday when it opens a three-game series against Milwaukee. First pitch for the opener against the Panthers is set for 3:05 p.m.
K-State’s six-game winning streak is its longest since 2014 when it won 12 straight.
This season marks the Wildcats’ best 12-game start to a campaign since 2013 when they also were 8-4.
Head coach Brad Hill is one away from 900 in his all-time coaching career. Along with his 398 wins at K-State, Hill had 83 victories at Hutchinson CC (83-50; 1988-90) and 418 at Central Missouri State (418-91; 1995-2003).
Dalrymple, who reached base safely four times with two hits, a walk and a hit by pitch, extended his on-base streak to 19 games – a career-high.
Dalrymple and Wodtke are the current owners of eight-game hitting streaks, the longest by a Wildcat this season.