Seniors Lead Cats to 10-3 Win

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Kansas State leaned on seniors Ryan Daniel and Adam Muenster as the Wildcats topped Duquesne, 10-3, Saturday in the first game of the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational at Chain of Lakes Park.

Daniel (2-0) was solid for his second-straight outing as the senior pitcher allowed just one run on five hits in six innings. He issued the Wildcats' first walk of the season, but struck out six batters, the second-most of his career.

"Obviously, Ryan Daniel was great for us," said head coach Brad Hill. "I think he did a great job of controlling the game. He did a great job of not letting the first-inning home run affect him too much. He showed great senior composure right there."

Kansas State (3-1) tallied a season-high 12 hits against the Dukes, including three from both Muenster and freshman Blair DeBord. Muenster also drove in a team-high two runs, while the top six batters in the K-State lineup recorded at least one RBI.

Another senior, catcher Daniel Dellasega, tallied one RBI and gunned down a runner on the basepaths.

"I think we came out great in the first inning with six guys in a row hitting line drives," said Hill about the offense. "It was things that they worked on all week long with Coach (Andy) Sawyers."

Pitcher Justin Lindsey, who redshirted the 2009 season, was solid in his first appearance in two years. The sophomore limited Duquesne (0-4) to just one hit over two innings of work, while striking out one batter.

Duquesne's Rick Devereaux paced the Dukes by going 4-for-4, including a solo home run in the first inning.

But the Dukes' lead didn't last long as K-State came back with four runs in the bottom of the frame. The Wildcats recorded three straight singles, including one through the right side by Nick Martini, to score one run. Dellasega then grounded out to the shortstop, which brought home Carter Jurica.

Kent Urban followed by hammering the first pitch he saw into the right-center field gap for a RBI double before he scored on a single to right field by DeBord to give the Cats a 4-1 lead.

That was all that Daniel needed as he sprayed just three hits over the next five innings and registered five of his strikeouts over that span. He worked out of a jam in the sixth when the Dukes put runners on first and third with two outs, but Daniel picked Devereaux off third base to end the inning.

Mike Kindel gave the Wildcats another run in the third inning when he blasted a solo home run over the right-field wall. The homer, which culminated an eight-pitch at-bat, was the first of Kindel's career and the first for Kansas State this season.

After four scoreless frames, the Cats scored another five runs in the eighth to put the game away. The first three batters reached on a double by DeBord, a walk and a bunt single before Jake Brown singled up the middle to plate the first run. Muenster singled to bring another two runners home, while Jurica followed with a sacrifice fly to cap the inning.

Kansas State continues play at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Sunday as the Wildcats take on Northeastern. First pitch from Chain of Lakes Park is set for 4 p.m. (CT).