K-State Drops Pitching Duel in Season Opener

Feb. 15, 2014

Box Score | Notes

K-State Athletics

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The No. 18 K-State baseball team was stifled by Cal Poly starting pitcher Matt Imhof as the Wildcats were shut out, 3-0, in their season opener on Friday at Baggett Stadium.

The left-handed Imhof struck out 14 – tying Cal Poly’s Division I program-record for strikeouts in a game – and held K-State to two hits in seven-plus innings.

“[Imhof] blew us away with his fastball and that just doesn’t happen very often,” said head coach Brad Hill. “It’s a credit to him, but also not good on our part that we couldn’t adjust a couple times through the order. [His fastball] is 92-94 [mph] and he is going to be a very high MLB draft pick, but we’re going to face those types of guys throughout the course of the year.”

K-State starting pitcher Levi MaVorhis went toe-for-toe with Imhof through the night’s first five innings. The right-hander struck out four – matching his career-high – while holding the Mustangs to just two hits in the no-decision. The sophomore also did not walk a batter for the second time in his seven career starts.

“Five innings, no walks, competed and made pitches when he had to,” said Hill about MaVorhis. “Clayton [Dalrymple] made a couple nice plays for him, too, but that’s what it is all about. When a guy is throwing strikes, we’re going to make some plays behind him. I thought Levi did exactly what we needed.”

Cal Poly inflicted all of its damage in the sixth inning after MaVorhis was relieved. The Mustangs attacked sophomore pitcher Landon Busch with back-to-back base hits to open the frame. After a balk by Busch advanced Jordan Ellis and Tim Wise to second and third base, respectively, the southpaw Busch struck out Cal Poly’s three-hole hitter, Nick Torres.

Busch then loaded the bases with an intentional walk before being removed for Jake Fromson. The freshman surrendered a hard-hit single to the first batter he faced, Jimmy Allen, allowing the game’s first two runs to score. Fromson then allowed another single up the middle, past a diving Austin Fisher at shortstop, to once again load the bases. Fromson issued a bases-loaded walk to the subsequent batter, Mark Mathias, to force home a run and cap the game’s scoring at 3-0.

Busch suffered the loss after being responsible for all three Cal Poly runs in his 1/3 of an inning pitched. Fromson allowed three hits in 1 2/3 innings.

With the K-State offense held in check all night, Fisher and Ross Kivett were the only Wildcats to reach base more than once. Fisher had two walks while Kivett had an infield single off the third base bag in the third inning as well as a leadoff walk in the sixth.

RJ Santigate tallied K-State’s second hit with another infield single in the fifth.

Freshman Ethan Landon held Cal Poly scoreless in his only inning of work in the eighth inning.

Cal Poly’s Reed Reilly turned in a two-inning save after spelling Imhof in the eighth inning. Imhof hit Dalrymple to lead off the top of the eighth.

The loss for K-State was its first defeat in a season opener since 2008.

The Wildcats and Mustangs face off in game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 6 pm PT/8 pm CT. K-State will start senior Jared Moore while Cal Poly will send freshman Slater Lee to take the bump.