Solid Pitching Leads K-State to Victory

DeLAND, Fla. - Kansas State rode the right arms of Evan Marshall and James Allen to a 5-2 victory over Notre Dame Saturday in the Bright House Invitational at Melching Field.

Kansas State improved to 8-2 with the victory, while Notre Dame, which lost a game earlier in the day to Harvard, fell to 4-4.

Marshall (2-0) was solid in his second-straight Florida start, working seven-plus innings while allowing just two earned runs on nine hits. The Sunnyvale, Calif., native struck out four and did not walk a batter for his third-consecutive start.

With Kansas State leading 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Marshall gave up a leadoff triple off the center field wall to Ryan Connolly, ending the day for the Wildcat starter.

Allen entered the game and struck out the first batter he faced before hitting the next man with a pitch. With one out and runners on the corners, the sophomore closer struck out Casey Martin and forced Mick Doyle to pop up on a full-count pitch to keep the Irish off the board.

Nick Martini used the momentum and gave K-State more cushion as he blasted a leadoff home run over the right-field wall before Allen worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to end the game.

"Evan was outstanding today," said head coach Brad Hill. "He showed great composure after giving up a couple big hits. James came into a pressure situation in the eighth and got us out of it. Then Martini's home run in the ninth was a really crucial run for us."

Allen, who struck out three batters, picked up his third save of the season. He improved his career total to eight, which ties him for sixth in school history.

The Wildcats were led at the plate by freshman Blair DeBord, who was 3-for-3. It was his sixth multi-hit game of the season, including his third three-hit contest. The Manhattan product leads the team with a .563 (18-for-32) batting average, while he is also tops with a .641 on-base percentage.

Martini and Carter Jurica registered two hits apiece and combined for three RBI. Jurica extended his hitting streak to 10 games to open the season, while he recorded his team-leading seventh multi-hit game. Matt Giller was 1-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs.

Notre Dame starter Steve Sabatino (1-1) took the loss after allowing three runs in the fifth inning. Brad Clement led off the frame with an infield single and moved to second on a two-strike sacrifice bunt by Tanner Witt. After a fly out, Jurica hit a ground-rule double over the right-field wall to plate the first run.

Martini followed with a single through the middle before Sabatino hit three-straight Wildcat hitters to push another run across and make the score 3-1.

Notre Dame got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth on a Connolly RBI double down the left-field line to make the score 3-2.

But K-State regained its much-needed two-run advantage on a Giller sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh before the Irish attempted their comeback.

Notre Dame was led offensively by Connolly's two hits, while he and Matt Scioscia drove in the only two Irish runs.

Kansas State concludes play at the Bright House Invitational and its eight-game road trip with a 10:30 a.m. (CT) first pitch against Harvard on Sunday at Melching Field.