Five Two-Out RBI Lead K-State in 8-2 Win

Photo Gallery  | K-StateHD.TV Game Highlights

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The K-State baseball team used five two-out RBIs, including two apiece from Carter Yagi and Steve Serratore, to back up a strong pitching effort and beat West Virginia, 8-2, to take the series opener at Tointon Family Stadium on Thursday.

Serratore's two-run single in the third and Yagi's two-run triple in the fourth staked K-State (13-14, 2-5 Big 12) to a 4-0 lead while starting pitcher Colton Kalmus held West Virginia (16-11, 2-5 Big 12) to two hits and no runs in his first four innings pitched. K-State relievers Jackson Douglas and Corey Fischer, who both helped limit West Virginia to one run in the fifth following a leadoff walk and subsequent double allowed by Kalmus, combined to throw 3.0 shutout innings.

"It was a good team win in a lot of different aspects," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "We pitched it really well, and we had a big stop in the fifth inning to keep (West Virginia) to one run. There were two-out hits with RBIs that helped us finish off some innings that we have not been able to finish as of late. We had a lot of guys contribute to the win tonight."

The Wildcats, who entered the game averaging 8.1 runs per home game this season, pulled away from the Mountaineers in the seventh inning with three runs. After Alex Bee drove in the frame's first run with a fielder's choice, Danny Krause reached on a West Virginia throwing error to precede a double-steal attempt that yielded a run scored by pinch-runner Sam Chadick. Krause induced a throw to second on the play, but West Virginia catcher Ray Guerrini's throwing error allowed Chadick to take third and then score on the error. Tyler Wolfe capped the scoring with a single up the middle that drove in Krause from third.

Wolfe finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. The junior is batting a team-best .450 (9-for-20) with three multi-hit games in Big 12 play so far this season.

West Virginia used a leadoff single in the eighth to eventually score a run and make it 7-2, but pinch-hitter Taylor Anderson answered back for the Wildcats with a two-out RBI single that drove in Serratore, who reached with one of his two walks in the game to lead off the eighth.

Serratore and Bee each had a season-high two walks to help give the Wildcats seven free passes in the game, their most in a Big 12 contest since registering 10 on May 18, 2014 vs. Texas.

While K-State finished with nine hits to West Virginia's six, Clayton Dalrymple matched Wolfe for the team-high in safeties by going 2-for-4, which was his career-high seventh multi-hit effort of the year. The junior was also hit by a pitch to reach base safely three times.

Fischer earned the win by retiring all seven batters he faced. It was Fischer's third relief appearance of the season after he made six straight starts to open the campaign. The right-hander has a 1.69 ERA (1er, 5.1ip) with a .211 batting average against out the bullpen.

Douglas, meanwhile, struck out one and induced a groundout among the two batters he faced. The freshman has not allowed a run of his own in three Big 12 appearances.

"I didn't want (West Virginia) to get any momentum, so we made the move and (Corey Fischer and Jackson Douglas) came in and did their job," said Hill. "I am proud of Jackson; he is a freshman but is continuing to progress. Corey has really adapted to this relieving role as well, which has been very unselfish on his part."

West Virginia starting pitcher Conner Dotson suffered the loss to drop to 0-3 on the season. The freshman right-hander allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in six innings pitched.

Game two of the three-game series is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3. K-State right-hander Brandon Courville will get the start for the second time this season and face West Virginia left-hander Ross Vance.

K-State is 7-2 at home this season. In those nine games, the Wildcats are averaging 8.1 runs and 11 hits per game.

The Wildcats, who trail in the all-time series against the Mountaineers 3-4, have won three straight games against West Virginia at Tointon Family Stadium.

K-State did not commit an error on Thursday, marking the 11th time this season that it has been errorless in a game. The Wildcats have registered just six of their total 29 errors this year at home. Opponents, meanwhile, have 20 errors in nine games at Tointon Family Stadium, including the four by West Virginia on Thursday.