Cats Sweep Saturday Doubleheader
Cats Sweep Saturday Doubleheader
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State came from behind and took game one in extra innings, while Kyle Hunter displayed a dominating pitching performance in game two as the Wildcats swept Saturday's doubleheader from Kent State at Tointon Family Stadium.
In game one, Kansas State trailed 8-6 but scored two runs in the eighth to send the game into extra innings. In the 10th, the Golden Flashes scored one run, but a RBI single by Ryan Moore and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch by Matt Giller gave the Cats a 10-9 victory.
Game two saw the Wildcats score two times in the third, fourth and fifth frames, while Hunter pitched eight shutout innings as Kansas State cruised to a 7-1 win to take the twin bill.
With the doubleheader sweep, Kansas State improved to 12-2 on the year and 3-0 in the series, while Kent State fell to 5-8.
"We had a really gutty effort in the first game," said head coach Brad Hill. "Our kids had their backs against the wall and we had a couple of unlikely heroes. Ryan Moore got that big hit to tie it up, while Robert Hawkins struck out two batters in a pressure situation in the eighth.
"The second game was all Kyle Hunter," Hill continued. "If they don't score runs, then you have a great chance of winning. So the eight innings of shutout baseball was outstanding. All the credit goes to him and Chase Graskewicz behind the plate as a freshman. He called his first game tonight and he did a great job."
The game-two victory was Hunter's third of the season as he only allowed three hits with three walks and four strikeouts in a career-high 103-pitch effort.
Carter Jurica went 5-for-9 with a double, a home run and four RBI over the two games. The Katy, Texas, product extended his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest by a Wildcat since Adam Muenster recorded an 18-gamer in 2008.
Nick Martini recorded a pair of hits and one RBI in each game as the sophomore extending his hitting streak to 11-straight contests.
Blair DeBord was 3-for-5 with his first career home run in game one, while he also drove in a career-high three RBI in the contest.
In the first contest, the Wildcats looked to be in prime position to take the game in the bottom of the ninth when they had runners on first and second with one out. But back-to-back fly outs sent the game into extras.
In the top of the 10th, James Allen (2-0) sandwiched two walks around a ground out. Anthony Gallas took advantage of the situation with a RBI double to give the Golden Flashes a 9-8 lead.
Muenster began the bottom half of the inning by drawing a walk from Kent State closer Brett Weibley (1-1), but a pop up and a strikeout looked to doom K-State's chances. After Daniel Dellasega was hit by a pitch, Moore, who was a pinch runner the inning prior, came to the plate. The freshman had just one hit entering the contest, but laced a 2-1 pitch through the right side of the infield to score Muenster and tie the game.
Weibley then intentionally walked Mike Kindel to load the bases before Giller's hit-by-pitch drove in the winning run.
Gallas led the Golden Flashes at the plate in the first game as the left fielder was 4-for-5 with two RBI. Ben Klafczynski also drove in three runs.
Kansas State looked as though they would take the first game easy as the Wildcats took a commanding 6-1 lead, but Kent State scored seven unanswered runs, scoring three times in the fifth and four times in the sixth to take its 8-6 advantage.
The Wildcats scored their two runs in the eighth when Giller and Kent Urban walked before a sacrifice bunt put both runners in scoring position. Weibley, who entered before the sacrifice bunt, proceeded to walk Muenster and Jurica to bring home one run before a Martini sacrifice fly tied the game.
Kansas State used the momentum of the walk-off win in game one as Jurica blasted a third inning two-run homer to give the Cats the lead in the day's second contest.
In the fourth, Kansas State scored another two runs without hitting a ball out of the infield as Kindel walked to begin the frame before back-to-back errors committed Kent State starting pitcher Robert Sabo (0-3) on sacrifice bunts loaded the bases.
Jake Brown came through with the second run of the inning and the fourth of the game when he laid down a perfect suicide squeeze to score Urban.
After a scoreless fifth, the Wildcats plated another two runs in the sixth on a Muenster RBI single that scored Brown before Muenster came home on a wild pitch.
The Cats tacked on another run in the eighth on a Martini RBI single, while the Golden Flashes broke up the shutout when Jimmy Rider hit a solo homer in the ninth off Kayvon Bahramzadeh.Kansas State looks for the series sweep of Kent State on Sunday as the two teams conclude their four game series with an 11:30 a.m. first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium.