Brown Leads K-State to Doubleheader Sweep
Brown Leads K-State to Doubleheader Sweep
March 10, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State shortstop Jake Brown recorded a career day by going 8-for-10 with seven RBI over two games, including a school-record tying six hits in game one, as the Wildcats swept a doubleheader from Hartford Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State turned a 3-1 contest into an eight-run victory in the first game by scoring seven runs over the seventh and eighth innings for a 10-2 win. The Wildcats then scored five times in the fourth inning of the second game and held off a late Hawk charge as K-State won, 8-3.
With the doubleheader sweep, the Wildcats are now 8-6 on the season and will look for a four-game sweep over the Hawks on Sunday. Hartford fell to 1-9 win the loss.
"It's a tough day - 18 innings is a long day of baseball," head coach Brad Hill said. "It takes the kids staying locked in and focused, and it takes good pitching too. Nate Williams came in the second game and had a big stop when they had pressure on us in the seventh inning.
Brown, a product of Russell, Kan., went 6-for-6 with five RBI in the first game of the day. His six hits tied a school record only accomplished by two other players, the last being Bentson Oleen against Bethany on May 7, 1999.
"It was a really amazing day," Hill said of Brown. "He took some good swings all day long and had a good approach with what he was doing. He was able to do it against both righties and lefties. It was a big day for him, and I'm really happy for him."
The senior also notched a career-high with his five RBI, bettering his career best of four against Western Michigan in 2010. After singling in the first inning, Brown came back with a two-RBI double in the second. He followed with pair of singles in his next two at-bats before doubling home two more runs in the seventh. Needing one more hit to tie the school record, Brown hustled out an infield single in the eighth inning, which scored another run.
Brown came back with a 2-for-4 effort in the second game, recording a pair of RBI singles. His eight-hit day was the biggest single-day outburst in Hill's nine seasons as K-State's head coach as no player has had more than five hits in one day.
"From the get-go, I thought I was seeing the ball really well," Brown said. "I felt comfortable in the box. It was just a really good feeling all day today."
Brown also raised his batting average 103 points on Saturday, entering the day hitting .262 and finishing the afternoon at .365.
Overall, the Wildcats pounded out 21 hits over the two games and had four other multi-hit games outside of Brown. Jared King and Mike Kindel each continued their career-long hitting streaks, hitting safely in 10 and nine games, respectively. Both players, along with Wade Hinkle, recorded a pair of hits in the second game, with King and Kindel driving in runs.
After going 0-for-4 with a walk in game one to see his career long seven-game hit streak come to an end, Hinkle responded in the second game as he was 2-for-2 with three walks and a solo home run in the seventh inning. The senior has reached base in all 14 games, while he now has 12 walks this year after 11 in 43 games played in 2011.
Outfielder Tanner Witt, who forced four walks over the two games, recorded six stolen bases on the afternoon, including four in the second game to tie a school record held by eight other players. The last player to steal four bases in a game was Brown against Long Island last season.
K-State saw both of its starting pitchers last at least six innings as Joe Flattery (3-1) and Kayvon Bahramzadeh (3-0) each picked up their third-straight victories. Flattery surrendered only one earned run in the first game, striking out a career-best seven batters without issuing a walk.
Bahramzadeh gave up three runs on seven hits with two walks and five fanned batters in six-plus innings of work in game two.
Jake Doller picked up his first career save in game one as he entered in the seventh with a runner on third and one out in a 3-1 game. The right-hander struck out Rob Meerman and, after a walk, received a ground ball out to end the threat.
Freshman right-hander Nate Williams also collected the first save of his young career in game two by pitching 2.2 scoreless innings with a two strikeouts. He came on from the bullpen with a run home in the seventh and runners on the corners with one out in a 6-3 contest. The right-hander proceeded to strike out James Alfonso and recorded a ground out to end the last scoring chance for Hartford on the day.
Hartford's Alex Gouin (0-2) took the loss in the first came by giving up three runs on five hits with seven walks. Sean Newcomb (0-2) started game two and surrendered all five fourth-inning runs to suffer the loss.
The Hawks were paced offensively by Brian Hunter and Brian Estevez, who each tallied five hits over the two games. Both players went 2-for-4 in game one and 3-for-4 in game two, while Hunter drove in a run in both ballgames.
The Wildcats and Hawks conclude their four-game weekend series on Sunday with an 11 a.m., contest, a time that was moved up two hours to accommodate Hartford's travel plans. Sunday is also the a Family Day as fans can purchase a Wildcat 4 Pack for $30 that includes four general admission bench tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks and four bags of chips. Also, all kids in attendance can run the bases after the game.
To order tickets, contact the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS, or at the Tointon Family Stadium box office.