Cats Rout Broncos, 27-8
Cats Rout Broncos, 27-8
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Kansas State pounded out 27 hits, including 11 for extra bases, en route to a 27-8 victory over Western Michigan Tuesday afternoon at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational at Chain of Lakes Park.
With the victory, Kansas State moved to 6-1 overall and 4-0 on its current eight-game Florida road trip. Western Michigan fell to 0-6. Kansas State's 27 runs tied for the sixth-most in school history and were the most the Wildcats had scored since producing a school-record-tying 30 against St. Francis in 2005.
The game was originally scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. (CT) first pitch at the stadium of Chain of Lakes Park. But early-morning rain showers shifted the two teams to field No. 4 of the complex and also brought in howling winds that blew out to right field at 21 to 33 miles per hour.
Of the Wildcats' 21 hits on the afternoon, four were doubles, three were triples and four balls flew over the fence for home runs as K-State took advantage of the wind. The Cats' hit total was the most since tallying 23 last year against North Dakota State, while their four home runs were the most since hitting five against Butler in 2009. K-State also recorded the most triples in a game since they had three against Howard in 2000.
Kansas State batted around three times in the contest, including during an eight-run first inning. Adam Muenster led off the game with a triple to right-center field and scored on Nick Martini's single. After a fielder's choice, Mike Kindel blasted a three-run homer over the right-field wall.
The Wildcats also received a RBI double from Matt Giller and a bases-clearing triple by Carter Jurica in the first inning before the Broncos recorded the third out.
Kansas State scored two runs in the second inning, four runs in the third and six runs in the fourth. Going back to Monday night's game when the Wildcats racked up nine runs in the 11th inning, the Cats scored 29 runs in a four-inning span.
Kindel led the Wildcat offense as the sophomore went 4-for-6 with three runs batted in. He also scored five runs on the day, the most since Nate Tenbrink also scored five times against Kansas Wesleyan in 2006.
Muenster had three hits, walked three times and was hit by a pitch, reaching base in every plate appearance for the second-straight day. After reaching base in all eight plate appearances on Monday against St. Bonaventure, Muenster has now reached base in 14-straight plate appearances.
The Wildcats also received two-hit games from Jurica, Martini, Giller, Kent Urban and Jake Brown. Jurica and Martini each drove in five runs, the most since Justin Bloxom and Jordan Cruz each tallied five RBI against Xavier in last year's NCAA Regional.
A pair of Wildcat freshmen -- Chase Graskewicz and Brad Clement -- recorded their first career home runs. Graskewicz's homer, a three-run shot in the sixth inning, came in a pinch-hit at-bat. He became the first Wildcat to hit a pinch-hit home run since Cruz against North Dakota State in 2007.
K-State starter Justin Lindsey got the win after pitching a solid six innings despite the wind. The sophomore right-hander allowed six runs on nine hits, but did not walk a batter and struck out five. After a RBI single by Grant Simotes in the first inning, Lindsey settled down, retiring 12 of the next 15 batters he faced.
Freshmen relievers Tyler Sturges and Tyler Giannonatti pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively, as both allowed one hit.
Once again, the Wildcat pitching staff demonstrated excellent control as Lindsey, Sturges, Gianonnatti and Keith Picht, who pitched the ninth inning, did not allow a walk in the game. It marked the fifth time in seven games this season the Cats have not walked an opposing batter.
Western Michigan starter Dan Kneibel (0-1), who only pitched the first inning, took the loss. Simotes and Kyle Galbraith led the Broncos with two hits apiece, while Jordan Easom had three RBI.Kansas State concludes play at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Wednesday with a 10 a.m. (CT) contest against Villanova at Chain of Lakes Park.