Flattery, Wivinis Pitch Wildcats to 6-1 Win

Matt Wivinis struck out a career-best seven batters

April 6, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State’s Joe Flattery and Matt Wivinis stifled Sacred Heart hitters all evening as they combined for 13 strikeouts in the Wildcats’ 6-1 victory over the Pioneers Friday evening at Tointon Family Stadium. With the win, K-State improved to 16-14 on the year and won its first weekend series since sweeping Hartford four weeks ago, while the Pioneers fell to 10-18 with the loss.

Flattery (4-2) faced just one over the minimum in his first three innings and struck out six in his first five frames. He successfully worked out of a first-and-third situation in the fourth inning with a strikeout and also fanned the final two batters in the fifth. His six strikeouts were one shy of his career high of seven against Hartford on March 10.

When Flattery fell into trouble in the sixth inning, Wivinis came into the game with the bases loaded and one out. The right-hander immediately gave up a RBI single to Dave Boisture as each Pioneer runner moved up 90 feet. Matt Charmello followed with a pop up behind second base that was caught by shortstop Jake Brown, who then dove for the second-base bag to complete the inning-ending double play.

From that point on, Wivinis was locked in as he retired the side in order in both the seventh and eighth innings before working around two hits in the ninth for his first career save. Wivinis, a product of Downers Grove, Ill., set a new career high with seven strikeouts, while his 3.2 innings of relief were a career high.

“The pitching was good,” head coach Brad Hill said. “Joe threw really well for five innings, and we’ll take it, but there’s got to be more in the tank. He’s been a five-inning guy for four weeks now. He’s been in command of what he’s doing, but he should be able to go out there in the sixth and seventh.

“Wivinis was outstanding,” Hill continued. “He attacked and got after it. He made the one mistake early with the RBI base hit, but he came back right back with really good pitches the rest of the way. I’m really happy for him.”

K-State was led offensively by Ross Kivett’s three RBI, while Tanner Witt recorded his 12th multi-hit game of the season with a pair of singles. The outfielder has now reached base safely in a career-best 23-straight games.

The Wildcats also stole eight bases against the Sacred Heart battery, which tied a season high originally set against Hartford on March 10.

It took until the fifth inning for the Wildcat offense to get going, but K-State was able to plate two in the fifth, three in the sixth and one more in the eighth. In the fifth, Kivett hit a slow roller to third, but Mike Kindel beat Kenny Byram’s throw home for the first run. Kivett moved to second on the play and stole third base before Witt drove him home on a single up the middle.

The very next inning, Brown singled home a run on an infield base hit before Kivett slapped a base hit through the left side of the infield to make the score 5-1.

Matt Giller produced the final Wildcat run with a two-out single to center field in the seventh inning.

Sacred Heart was paced at the plate by Dan Perez, who went 2-for-3. Pioneer starting pitcher Troy Scribner (2-4) suffered the loss as he allowed five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.

The Wildcats and Pioneers conclude their three-game set on Saturday with a 1 p.m., first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium. A pregame tailgate begins at 11:30 a.m., directly behind the stadium off College Avenue, while the contest also serves as Wamego Community Day as fans from Wamego can show a valid ID and receive a $3 general admission bench ticket.

The game will be show world-wide on K-StateHD.TV, while fans in the Manhattan area can hear the game on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.