Big Fifth Inning Propels K-State to First Win

Feb. 21, 2014

Box Score | Notes

K-State Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. – A six-run fifth inning helped the K-State baseball team break out for a 9-4 road win over Saint Mary’s at Louis Guisto Field on Friday. The Wildcats (1-5) picked up their first win of the season and snapped a season-opening five-game losing streak.

The six-run frame for the Wildcats were the most runs scored by K-State in an inning since a nine-run first in the Wildcats’ Regional victory over Wichita State on May 31, 2013.

The Wildcats sent 12 batters to the plate in the fifth as six reached with a base hit while two got on base via a hit by a pitch and another with a walk. For the game, K-State hitters had a season-high 11 hits, eight walks and three hit by pitches.

“We just saw things offensively that we are used to doing,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “Guys took walks – [a combined] 11 walks and hit by pitches. That’s a lot of free base runners, and that’s what we are normally good at: play discipline and not chase pitches.”

The first four hitters of the fifth reached with a base hit, including an RBI single by Tanner DeVinny. After Tyler Stover hit a sacrifice fly to score Austin Fisher, Alex Bee made it 6-2 with his first of a team-best three hits on the afternoon that drove in DeVinny. Clayton Dalrymple followed Bee’s RBI single with an RBI double that scored RJ Santigate. The Wildcats also picked up RBI in the frame from Carter Yagi on a bases-loaded walk and Shane Conlon’s sacrifice fly.

“We created offense,” said Hill. “The bottom of the order was fantastic, taking walks and getting on-base. We also had a couple big RBI by Bee and Dalrymple. Everybody contributed today. There were a lot of positives from an offensive standpoint.”

In addition to Bee, K-State had multi-hit games by Fisher, DeVinny and Santigate. Fisher reached base a team-high four times with two hits, a walk and a hit by pitch.

K-State starting pitcher Jared Moore earned the win after holding the Gaels to two runs, one earned, on four hits and three walks in five innings pitched. The left-hander also struck out three.

Saint Mary’s was poised to break out for its own big inning in the first when it loaded the bases three batters in and with no outs. K-State, however, traded a run for a double play when Moore induced a ground ball by Gaels cleanup hitter Nikko Saenz. Moore walked the next two batters, though, to load the bases once again, but the senior locked in and struck out Ian McLoughlin to end the frame with only one run on the board.

“That was the game,” said Hill about the bottom of the first inning. “If they hit a double there and it’s 4-0, I’m not really sure how we respond, unfortunately. Mentally, we really needed [Moore] to get through that inning. He battled and competed his tail off, and all of sudden, what you kind of see in baseball is he breathes and relaxes and in the next four innings, he competed really well for us.”

K-State seized its first lead since Tuesday against San Francisco when Dalrymple drove in the tying run with a bases-loaded walk and Stover crossed home on a wild pitch that made it 2-1 Wildcats in the second inning. Dalrymple, who started for the first time since the season’s first game on February 14, finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and a walk.

K-State added a run in the third on DeVinny’s first RBI base hit of the day, a single to right-center that plated Conlon. DeVinny had two hits on Friday, giving him back-to-back multi-hit efforts after going 2-for-4 on Thursday against Portland.

Saint Mary’s scored a run in the fourth to pull within 3-2 when Darian Ramage hit a long single off the left field wall to score Connor Hornsby. It was the closest the Gaels would get to the Wildcats, though, before the big fifth inning.

The Gaels added single runs in the seventh and ninth innings off K-State relievers Ethan Landon and Jake Fromson, respectively. Landon spelled Moore starting in the sixth and tossed a career-high two innings.

K-State right-hander Jake Whaley threw a scoreless eighth inning, with the only base runner he allowed reaching base via an error by third baseman Lance Miles.

Saint Mary’s starting pitcher Thomas Cortese suffered the loss after issuing six walks and allowing three runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings.

The Wildcats continue action in the Gael Invitational on Saturday, February 22 against UC Davis. The Aggies dropped their opening game to Saint Mary’s on Thursday before trumping Portland on Friday. First pitch between K-State and UC Davis is set for 10 am PT/12 pm CT.