Wildcats Top Pacific, 9-3, to Earn Series Win

Senior right-hander Kayvon Bahramzadeh picked up his second-straight quality start

March 4, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State jumped on Pacific early with seven runs over the first two innings, and the Wildcats received another quality start from senior Kayvon Bahramzadeh as the Wildcats defeated Pacific, 9-3, Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.

K-State evened its record at 5-5 with the win and came back to take the series after falling to the Tigers in Friday's home opener. Pacific fell to 2-10 on the season.

For the second-straight game, the Wildcats registered the double-digit mark in hits with 11 and totaled their fourth and fifth multi-run innings in the last two days by scoring five runs in the first and two in the second. K-State scored at least one run over the first four innings, its longest streak to open a game since scoring in the first five frames against Grambling State in the 2010 NCAA Fayetteville Regional.

The Wildcats were paced offensively by Wade Hinkle, who tied his career high with three hits while driving in a pair of runs. The senior first baseman recorded RBI singles in both the first and second innings, and he followed with a double in the fourth before walking and being hit by a pitch in his final two at-bats.

Hinkle, a product of Albuquerque, N.M., raised his season average 38 points during the three-game series. He has now reached base in all 10 games this season and is currently riding a five-game hitting streak.

Another senior, Mike Kindel, drove in two runs for a second-straight game on a triple in the first and a ground out in the fourth. His first-inning triple was the fifth of his career.

"It's day-to-day in baseball, so I hope we use this as momentum," head coach Brad Hill said. "How we carried ourselves was a lot different the last two days because we were really tight and pressed the first game. When you stop worrying about making mistakes, it's amazing how few mistakes you start making."

Bahramzadeh struck out a career-high eight batters in his six innings and faced the minimum the first time through the order for his second-straight start. A leadoff double in the fifth came around to score against the right-hander, but Bahramzadeh stopped the Tigers with his seventh and eighth strikeouts of the day before a ground out ended the inning.

"Kayvon had really good command today," Hill said of his senior starter. "He was able to throw the breaking ball for a strike, which sets the whole thing up. He competes and had great composure when Pacific had a leadoff double and only gets one in the inning. He didn't let it compound and give up three or four."

Bahramzadeh (2-0) bettered his previous career high of seven strikeouts originally set against Butler on March 14, 2009, and Chicago State on April 27, 2010. His six innings pitched also marked the first time since his freshman season of 2009 that he went at least six innings in consecutive starts.

Pacific starter Kyle Crawford (0-1) took the loss as the left-hander could not make it out of the first inning. The sophomore was changed with all five first-inning runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Riley Drongesen led the Tigers at the plate with two hits, including a RBI single in the fifth.

Jared King, who went 2-for-4 on the afternoon, got things going early for K-State in the first with a RBI single. After an error scored a run, Hinkle's RBI single and Kindel's run-scoring triple, Dan Klein completed the inning with a sacrifice fly.

Pacific reliever Michael Hager, who came on to record a strikeout to end the first, produced two quick outs in the second. However, K-State mounted a two-out rally on three-straight base hits, including a RBI double by Blair DeBord and Hinkle's second run-scoring single, to make the score 7-0.

Tanner Witt, who registered a pair of hits, singled home Jake Brown in the third, while Kindel's RBI ground out in the fourth made the score 9-0.

Pacific tried to mount a rally in the eighth inning against right-hander Johnny Fasola when it led off with two singles and a walk. Following a fielder's choice, Fasola walked in a run and hit a batter to produce a second run before K-State went to the bullpen to bring in freshman right-hander Nate Williams.

On Williams' first pitch, Taylor Murphy hit a line drive right at second baseman Dusty Mass, who threw to first for a double play to get out of the inning. Williams proceeded to sit the Tigers down in order in the ninth to end the contest.

Kansas State will travel to Lincoln, Neb., on Tuesday to take on Nebraska in the first of three games this season. First pitch at Hawks Field in scheduled for 2:05 p.m., and will be aired in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.