Hunter Pitches Cats Past The Citadel

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Kansas State left-handed pitcher Kyle Hunter was masterful on Sunday, limiting The Citadel to one run on three hits in 8.1 innings as the Wildcats topped The Citadel, 2-1, at Riley Park.

Hunter (1-0), who had just three starts last season as a freshman, struck out three batters and walked none in his career-long outing. The sophomore retired the first 12 batters he faced until Bryan Altman singled to lead off the fifth inning. Hunter quickly snuffed any potential rally by striking out the next batter while Altman was caught stealing on the play.

The Galesburg, Ill., product also allowed a leadoff single in the sixth, but a failed sacrifice bunt and a double play ended the frame. Hunter went on to retire the next seven batters until he gave up a single and a double with one out in the ninth to cut the Cats' lead to 2-1 and end the shutout bid.

James Allen came on in relief and retired the next two batters to end the game, picking up his second save of the season in as many appearances.

"Kyle was outstanding today," said head coach Brad Hill. "He pitched to both sides of the plate and we played some great defense. We had some key defensive plays and he made some key pitches in clutch situations.

"Carter (Jurica) made a great pickup on the sacrifice bunt in the sixth. Kyle threw to second and short-hopped him. He made a great pickup and Kyle came right back with great composure, makes a pitch, and we get the 5-4-3 double play."

"I just tried to make solid pitches and my defense worked for me," said Hunter. "The defense did a great job of bailing me out of some big situations. After we got the guy out at second on the bunt and the double play, that was a huge momentum changer."

It was an interesting day for Citadel starter Mike Clevinger (0-1) as he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings with four walks and six strikeouts in 121 pitches. However, he kept the Bulldogs in the game by picking off two Wildcats at first base and having another runner thrown out on the basepaths.

For the third-straight game in the opening weekend, the Wildcats scored first as they received production from the bottom of their order. Matt Giller, who batted seventh, was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a Blair DeBord single. Giller scored on a two-out RBI single by Jake Brown.

The Cats came back with another run in the third when Jurica hit an infield single and moved to third on a walk and a passed ball. After another walk loaded the bases, Mike Kindel was hit by a pitch to score Jurica and give K-State a 2-0 lead.

Kansas State was led offensively by DeBord, who went 3-for-3.

The Wildcats will conclude its opening weekend play with another game against The Citadel. First pitch from Riley Park is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (CT).