Cats Finish Road Trip with 6-1 Victory

DeLAND, Fla. - Clinging to a 2-1 lead in the seventh, Kansas State scored four runs on five hits in support of a strong pitching performance by Kyle Hunter as the Wildcats defeated Harvard, 6-1, Sunday in the Bright House Invitational at Melching Field.

The victory allowed the Wildcats to improve to 9-2 overall, including a perfect 3-0 mark in the event hosted by Stetson University. The Cats finished their eight-game Florida road trip with a 7-1 record. Harvard suffered its first loss of the season as the Crimson fell to 2-1.

Hunter, who gave up a first-inning solo-home run by Jeff Reynolds, shut out the Crimson for the next six innings with the help of great defensive work by the Wildcats.

With K-State holding a 2-1 lead in the fifth, Harvard put runners at the corners with one out but Hunter coaxed a double play ball to get out of the inning.  In the sixth, the Crimson had a runner on second with one out but two-straight groundballs got the sophomore left-hander out of the jam.

Hunter worked seven innings to pick up his second win, allowing just one run on three hits with two walks and one strikeout. Thomas Rooke pitched two no-hit innings with four strikeouts to end the game.

The Wildcat offense came to life in the seventh as the Cats blew open a tight contest.  Adam Muenster began the inning with a one-out single off Harvard reliever Andrew Ferreira before stealing second base. Carter Jurica then blasted a 2-1 pitch over the right-field wall for a two-run homer.

Nick Martini followed with a single to right and stole the Wildcats' second base of the inning before Daniel Dellasega doubled down the left-field line to plate another run and knock Ferreira out of the game.  Matt Giller drove home the fourth run of the frame on an infield single.

Jurica and Muenster each went 4-for-5 at the plate with a stolen base. Jurica, who had four RBI, recorded his sixth double of the season and hit his first home run since March 29 of last season against Baylor.  Jurica extended his hitting streak to 11 games, the longest by a Wildcat since Jordan Cruz hit safely in 11-straight games from April 18 to May 3, 2008.

Despite taking the loss, Harvard pitcher Eric Eadington (0-1) was effective in his first start in essentially three seasons. The left-hander, who only started two games in 2008 and missed all of last season due to an arm injury, allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and one strikeout.

Kansas State took the lead in the third inning when Tanner Witt walked and stole second base. The freshman advanced to third on the first of three infield singles by Muenster. After a wild pitch moved Muenster to second, Jurica delivered a two-RBI single up the middle to make the score 2-1.

The Wildcats open up their 2010 home schedule with a four-game series against Kent State at 3 p.m., Friday, March 12. For ticket information, including season-ticket options, call the Kansas State Athletic Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum at (785) 532-7606 or visit www.k-statesports.com.