Stellar Pitching Propels K-State

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State shut out Milwaukee in game one and used a walk-off single from Carter Jurica in the second game as the Wildcats swept the Panthers in a snowy doubleheader Friday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Wildcats scored four runs over the first two innings of game one, while Ryan Daniel pitched seven shutout innings as the Wildcats topped the Panthers, 4-0.

Game two saw a pitcher's duel between K-State's Evan Marshall and Milwaukee's Chad Pierce, who each allowed one run in more than seven innings. Kansas State only managed two hits through seven frames on Pierce, but the Cats registered four clutch hits - including a pair of infield singles - over the eighth and ninth innings to take the second game, 2-1.

With the twin bill sweep, K-State improved to 15-3 on the season, while Milwaukee fell to 4-10.

Milwaukee scored the first run of the second game in the fifth when Doug Dekoning hit a one-out single with a runner on first. Nick Cocking fielded the ball and faked the throw to third base to get Dan Buchholz, catching Dekoning in a run down between first and second. Buchholz broke for home on the play and made it before the Wildcats even attempted a throw, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

In the eighth, Milwaukee looked as though it would extend its advantage as it received consecutive base hits to put runners on first and third with one out. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Thomas Rooke (1-1) came in and struck out Jim Lundstrom and Paul Hoenecke to leave the bases loaded.

The Wildcats took the momentum with them to the plate in the bottom half of the inning. Jurica walked with one out and stole second, but Buchholz threw the ball into center field, allowing the Wildcat shortstop to advance to third.

After a fly out for the second out of the eighth, Daniel Dellasega hit a ground ball deep into the hole on the left side of the infield. But the Wildcat catcher was able to beat the throw out by a half step, allowing Jurica to score the tying run.

Rooke quickly sat the Panthers down in order in the ninth before Mike Kindel collected a one-out base hit in the bottom of the inning. Jake Brown was next and hit a chopper to Milwaukee first baseman Ben Long, who hesitated on a throw to second base before trying to get Brown at first. Brown was safe on the play, putting two Wildcats on base with just one out.

The hustle play by Brown proved to be big as Adam Muenster flew out to center field for the second out before Jurica's game-winning hit.

"Daniel Dellasega and Jake Brown hustling those balls out were really big," said head coach Brad Hill. "Thomas Rooke showed great composure coming in there with the bases loaded and getting two big strikeouts."

Marshall went 7.1 strong innings, surrendering five hits and the unfortunate fifth-inning run. The right-hander also allowed his first walk of the season in the third inning, breaking a streak of 29.0 innings and 141 batters faced without giving up a walk. Marshall, who also had an intentional walk in the contest, made up for the free passes as he struck out a career-high eight batters.

"Evan Marshall was outstanding for us," Hill said about his starter. "We gave up an unfortunate run there and you would hate to see us lose a game like that."

Rooke pitched the final 1.2 innings without allowing a hit and recording three big strikeouts to pick up the win after taking the loss on Tuesday against Creighton.

In game one, Kansas State scored all of its runs in the first two innings. The Cats plated a trio of first-inning runs as Muenster led the frame off with a double off the right-field wall before Jurica hit a bloop single to left field. Nick Martini was next and laid down a sacrifice bunt, but beat out the throw to load the bases.

Dellasega came through with a single into left-center field to score Muenster and Jurica. Kindel then hit a fielder's choice to bring home Martini for the third run of the inning.

Matt Giller walked to begin the second frame and moved to second base on a sacrifice by Brown. Following a Muenster single, Giller scored when Jurica skied a sacrifice fly to right, giving the Cats their 4-0 advantage.

Daniel (5-0) was outstanding in the contest as he took his fifth win in five tries this season. The senior right-hander tossed a career-high seven shutout innings, allowing eight hits with just two walks and a season-high seven strikeouts.

It was the third quality outing of the year for Daniel, who worked around a pair of leadoff doubles in the first and seventh innings.

"Again, Ryan Daniel had outstanding stuff," Hill said. "He competes really well and does a good job mixing his pitches. He is going to give up a few hits, but he isn't going to get rattled. He has great composure and will come back and make a good pitch. That's been his forte and it's good for our young guys to see him do that."

Robert Hawkins and James Allen completed the shutout as each threw one scoreless inning. Hawkins struck out two of the four batters he faced, while Allen struck out one.

Muenster led Kansas State at the plate in game one, going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Jurica, Dellasega and Blair DeBord added two this apiece.

Martini was 1-for-3 in each contest to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, matching Jurica for the longest by a Wildcat this season.

The four-game series between Kansas State and Milwaukee continues on Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium.