Kansas State Wins 11-Inning Thriller

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Kansas State broke a 5-5 tie with nine runs in the 11th inning to secure a 14-7 victory over St. Bonaventure Monday in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational at Chain of Lakes Park.

With the victory, Kansas State moved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 on its current eight-game Florida road trip. St. Bonaventure fell to 0-3.

K-State sent 15 batters to the plate in its 11th inning outburst, piecing together five hits with seven walks while taking advantage of a balk, two wild pitches and an error. Junior Kent Urban, who was 0-for-4 and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the 10th, delivered the key blow as he laced a two-out, two-RBI single to left field.

The inning was set up by great pitching from James Allen (1-0), who retired seven of the 10 batters he faced during his stint from the eighth inning through the 10th. The sophomore closer allowed just two hits in 2.2 innings with three strikeouts.

"More than anything else, our kids showed great composure, especially James Allen and Daniel Dellasega because that game could have gotten away from us in a hurry," said head coach Brad Hill. "I was very proud of that last inning. Our guys did a great job right there of putting the game away and finishing it off.

"Our freshmen were big in that last inning," Hill continued. "Brad Clement got a huge leadoff walk. Tanner Witt gave us a big at-bat. He just fought, fouled balls off, then hit one off the pitcher's leg and we get a break when he throws it away. There were a lot of big hits there at the end and the kids got it done."

St. Bonaventure had a chance to win the game in the 10th inning. First baseman Ryan Mosher hit a one-out double to right field and catcher Michael Grieco followed with a single to right. But outfielder Mike Kindel fired a strike to Dellasega, who applied the tag on Mosher at the plate. Allen then forced a fly out to end the Bonnie threat and the K-State offense took advantage.

Clement began the 11th inning rally by walking and moved to second on a balk. With one out, he advanced to third on an infield single by Witt. After an intentional walk, Carter Jurica drove in the go-ahead run on a single to center. After another walk to load the bases, Ryan Moore grounded out to score a run before Urban came through with his big hit.

Before Allen entered the game with one out in the eighth inning, Thomas Rooke and Jake Doller kept the game in check. The duo combined to allow two runs on two hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 3.1 innings. On the night, K-State's pitching staff tallied 15 strikeouts, the most since the Cats also struck out 15 batters at South Dakota State in 2006.

Kansas State pounded out a season-high 17 hits as 11 Wildcats recorded at least one base hit. The Cats also drew 17 walks -- including five from Adam Muenster -- both of which were highs in Hill's seven-year tenure as coach at Kansas State.

The top four batters in K-State's lineup -- Muenster, Jurica, Nick Martini and Blair DeBord -- combined to go 10-for-20 with two doubles, eight walks, seven RBI and a pair of stolen bases. Muenster and Martini recorded three hits apiece, while Jurica and DeBord tallied two hits.

St. Bonaventure reliever Brad Steinbach (0-1), who began the game in center field, took the loss as he allowed the first five runs in the 11th. He only allowed two hits in the inning, but walked four batters.

The Bonnies were led at the plate by Jesse Bosnick, who went 4-for-6 with a RBI and two runs scored. Billy Urban and Mosher each had three hits.

The Wildcats scored a pair of runs in the first inning when Martini singled through the left side to drive in Muenster then DeBord followed with a RBI groundout to give K-State an early 2-0 lead.

St. Bonaventure tied the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth as the Bonnies pieced together four-straight two-out singles, including RBI hits from Grieco and Derek Speaker.

The two teams traded runs in the fifth in when Dellasega hit a sacrifice fly to briefly put the Cats back on top, but Ryan Skellie hit a RBI double in the bottom half on the inning to knot the game at 3-3.

After K-State scored a run in the sixth on a RBI double by Martini, St. Bonaventure grabbed its first lead of the game at 5-4 with a pair of runs in the seventh on a Bosnick RBI ground out and a RBI double by Nick Brennen.

K-State tied the game at 5-5-in the eighth inning when DeBord pounded a single into center field.

The Wildcats continue play on Tuesday at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational as they take on Western Michigan.  First pitch is set for 9:30 a.m. (CT) at Chain of Lakes Park.