Cats Record First-Ever Big 12-Opening Sweep
Cats Record First-Ever Big 12-Opening Sweep
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State earned its first conference-opening sweep since the inception of the Big 12 as the Wildcats took both games of a Sunday double-header from Oklahoma State by scores of 9-3 and 13-3 in front of 1,374 fans at Tointon Family Stadium.
With the pair of wins, K-State moved to 19-3 overall, its best start since the 2006 season when the Cats also won 19 of their first 22 games. Oklahoma State fell to 14-6 overall and 0-3 in Big 12 action.
The three-game sweep of Oklahoma State was the first for K-State in a conference-opening weekend since the Big 12 began play in 1997. It was also the Cats' first three-game sweep of Oklahoma State since 1974.
"It's not easy to sweep in the Big 12, even if you are at home," said head coach Brad Hill. "It's just a start, but it's a very good start. I like how we continued to press and I think we regained our composure in a couple situations."
In Sunday's first game, K-State trailed 3-2 through five innings but the Wildcats scored seven unanswered runs while reliever Thomas Rooke pitched four no-hit innings to guide the Cats to the 9-3 win.
Rooke (2-1), who entered the game in the sixth inning with K-State down a run, was phenomenal as he retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced. The junior left-hander walked none and posted a career-high seven strikeouts, topping his previous best of five.
Ryan Daniel, the Cats' game-one starter, picked up his fourth quality start of the season, allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and one strikeout. Daniel and Rooke combined for the Wildcats' eighth contest this season in which the pitching staff has not allowed a walk.
Kansas State was led at the plate in the first game by Adam Muenster, who was 2-for-4 with a RBI double and a run scored. Kent Urban recorded his second-straight multi-RBI contest by going 1-for-3 with two RBI. Daniel Dellasega also drove in two runs.
In the second game, K-State used an eight-run fourth inning to blow open the contest on its way to the 13-3 run-rule victory in seven innings.
Kyle Hunter (5-0) started the nightcap for K-State and worked around a couple of tough situations. The sophomore left-hander surrendered two earned runs on 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts to earn the win in his fourth-straight start.
The Wildcats were paced at the plate in the second contest by Urban, Carter Jurica and Nick Martini, who each recorded three hits. Jurica, Martini, Muenster and Dellasega each drove in multiple runs.
With hits in both games, Martini extended his hitting streak to 19 games, tying the mark for the fourth-longest in school history. It is also the longest hitting streak in the Big 12 this season and the longest by a Wildcat since Pat Maloney had a 20-game streak in 2001.
Trailing 3-2 in Sunday's opening game, K-State took the lead with a three-run outburst in the sixth inning. Oklahoma State starter Thomas Keeling (2-1) hit two consecutive batters to put runners on first and second with one out. Matt Giller bounced a two-out single up the middle to tie the game. Urban then laced a first-pitch fastball into the gap in right-center field to score Blair DeBord and Giller, giving the Cats a 5-3 advantage.
K-State extended its lead in the seventh when Jurica walked and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. Dellasega drove Jurica home with a bunt on the right side of the infield to make the score 6-3.
The Wildcats put the game away in the bottom of the eighth with three runs. Mike Kindel walked to lead off the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Urban was intentionally walked the Cats executed a double-steal to put runners on second and third. Pinch-hitter Tanner Witt drove a single through the left side on a 2-2 pitch to score Kindel and moved into second base when the throw came back into the infield. Urban scored when the ball bounced away for an error.
Muenster followed with a double down the left-field line to score Witt and ice the game.
In the second game, the Wildcats grabbed a 4-0 lead on a Martini RBI in the first followed two innings later by Muenster 's double to deep left-center field to plate Urban. Jurica followed with a two-run homer that bounced off the top of the wall in right-center field.
OSU chipped away at the deficit in the fourth inning by scoring a pair of runs. Doubles by Nico Rosthenhausler and Luis Uribe sandwiched around a fly out scored the Cowboys' first run. Dustin Harvard singled to put runners on the corners with two outs before Davis Duren hit a line drive to Martini in center that he lost in the sun, allowing a run to score. Harvard was gunned down at the plate trying to score from first on the play on a perfect relay from Martini to Jurica to catcher Dellasega.
The Cats finished off OSU by scoring eight times in their half of the inning, the first six runs coming home before an out was recorded. K-State used three walks, including a bases-loaded pass to Muenster, and a trio of RBI singles from Jurica, Martini and Dellasega to score four runs.
OSU reliever Ian McCarthy came on and allowed a run-scoring ground out before Kindel put down a bunt that McCarthy threw away, allowing two more runs to score. Two batters later, Urban singled up the middle to cap the inning.
Next action for Kansas State comes Tuesday when the Wildcats take on in-state rival Wichita State at Tointon Family Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised throughout the state on Cox Communication's Kansas 22, as well as in the Kansas City area on Metro Sports.