Bats, Walks Lead the Way in 10-6 Win

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Scoring double-digit runs for the fourth time in the last six games, the K-State baseball team beat Missouri State, 10-6, on Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium to clinch the three-game series entering Sunday's finale.

The Wildcats (10-8) put up a pair of crooked numbers on Missouri State (9-6) early in the game, scoring five runs in the third and four in the fourth, to establish a then-eight run lead, 9-1. K-State's top four hitters in the lineup - Carter Yagi, Clayton Dalrymple, Shane Conlon and Danny Krause - each had two hits and combined to score eight runs on the day, including five hits and seven runs over the third and fourth frames.

In addition to 12 hits, K-State drew a season-high nine walks, five of which were issued by Missouri State starting pitcher Andy Cheray. Conlon was joined by Steve Serratore and Tyler Wolfe as the trio of Wildcats with two walks each. Every K-State hitter reached base safely at least once as well.

"That's what you have to do," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "Sometimes you can be over-aggressive and try to do too much, but today, we had pretty good plate discipline and took advantage of the walks."

While K-State's first four hitters in the lineup combined for eight hits, seven different Wildcats had at least one RBI. Max Brown, batting seventh in the lineup, had a game-high three RBIs, with two of the career high-tying runs driven in coming on a triple to cap the four-run fourth.

After loading the bases in the second inning but coming away empty, the K-State offense broke out for five runs in the third, ignited by a leadoff walk drawn by the No. 9 hitter, Jake Wodtke. Following a single by Yagi and a one-out intentional walk to Conlon to load the bases, Cheray hit Krause with a pitch and walked Serratore to plate the first two runs of the frame. Missouri State reliever Sam Perez spelled Cheray after the base on balls to Serratore, but the Bear right-hander surrendered an RBI single to Tyler Moore, a sacrifice fly by Brown and a successful double steal by Moore and Serratore that allowed the K-State third baseman to score and make it 5-0.

"Up and down the lineup, we have a good complement of everybody," said Hill. "Sometimes that bottom of the order can really complement the top, and we saw it today, when Wodtke set the table for Yagi and Dalrymple."

Wodtke struck for his only hit of the day in the sixth when three walks surrendered by Missouri State's Nick Brown loaded the bases for the K-State second baseman. Wodtke singled through the right side to score Krause, who led off the inning with a free pass, while Moore was thrown out at the plate as he also attempted to score.

K-State starting pitcher Colton Kalmus did not factor into the decision as he threw 4 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on four hits and three walks. The redshirt sophomore retired nine in a row between the first and third innings before surrendering three hits and two walks in Missouri State's three-run fifth.

"Much better," said Hill about Kalmus' outing compared to his recent appearances. "He got a little sloppy with the big lead and started piping fastballs (in the fifth), and (Missouri State) is not going to go away. His stuff was really good, though. He had good command of his fastball, and his first three innings were outstanding. We left the bases loaded (in the bottom of the second), and he came out (in the top of the third) and really established himself by giving us a shutdown inning."

Three K-State relievers combined to hold Missouri State hitless and scoreless over 3 2/3 innings, led by Jackson Douglas. The freshman earned the win after escaping a two men-on situation in the fifth unscathed and working around a Wildcat fielding error in the sixth. Lucas Benenati and Mitch Plassmeyer combined to throw 14 pitches to complete perfect seventh and eighth innings, respectively.

Missouri State cut the K-State lead from six to four runs by scoring twice in the top of the ninth off Levi MaVorhis.

The series finale between the Wildcats and Missouri State is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. Right-hander Corey Fischer will make the start for K-State. The Bears have yet to announce their starter.

Shane Conlon continued his impressive stretch by going 2-for-3 with two walks (one intentional) on Saturday. Over the last five games, the redshirt senior is hitting .667 (12-for-18) with a .739 OBP, five RBIs and five extra-base hits. Conlon is also the owner of an 18-game on-base streak.

Clayton Dalrymple used his single in the fourth inning to extend his active hitting streak to a career-high eight games. The junior is batting .406 (13-for-32) over the stretch.

In seven home games this season, K-State is averaging 8.3 runs per contest while hitting .331. Opponents, meanwhile, are averaging 3.7 runs and batting .232.