K-State Scores 8 Unanswered in 10-2 Win at Omaha

PAPILLION, Neb. -- A career-high three RBIs by Tyler Wolfe, including the go-ahead RBI in the top of the seventh, along with three hits each from Max Brown and Steve Serratore led K-State to a 10-2 win at Omaha on Wednesday at Werner Park.

The K-State offense had 12 hits, including eight after the sixth inning, to help it score double-digit runs in a true road game for the first time this season. The victory also helped the Wildcats (14-17) snap their three-game losing streak.

"We needed (this win) really bad," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "You could feel the tension and see the stress. Tonight was big. You hope you can carry momentum into the weekend, but you always feel good getting the win."

Brown's three hits matched his career-high while Serratore's trio of safeties established a career-best. For Wolfe, it was his second multi-RBI game of the season and first since March 10 vs. Creighton.

With the Wildcat offense out-hitting Omaha, 12-7, the K-State pitching staff worked around a two-run fifth that tied the game at 2-2 to hold the Mavericks (15-14) scoreless over the final four innings. Lucas Benenati led the group of Wildcat relievers by throwing two shutout innings and allowing one hit while striking out three.

"Benenati was outstanding," said Hill. "He really dominated on the mound and did a great job for us."

K-State starting pitcher Mark Biesma blanked Omaha through his first 4 2/3 innings, stranding three runners, but in the fifth, the right-hander allowed back-to-back hitters to reach with two outs via a walk and double. Biesma was lifted from the game in favor of Brandon Erickson with runners on second and third, but the junior right-hander issued back-to-back walks and a hit by pitch to even the score at 2-2.

Biesma finished the game charged with two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two. The outing was his longest of the season, besting his 3.0-inning effort in his last start on March 11 vs. Creighton.

"I thought Biesma was really, really good," said Hill. "He gave us a good start, and we needed him to get deeper into the game, beyond that three-inning mark."

Despite watching its early two-run lead disappear, K-State answered in the seventh with Wolfe's RBI bloop single into shallow center field that scored Carter Yagi and made it 3-2 K-State. Yagi set up the situation by drawing a two-out walk and stealing second base, one of two steals by the Wildcats in the game.

In the eighth, K-State broke out for its second-highest scoring inning of the season when it scored six runs after sending nine hitters to the plate. Three straight singles to open the inning ignited the crooked frame, with a bases-loaded walk by Keith Browning, a two-run single by Clayton Dalrymple and an RBI single by Yagi driving in the first four runs. Wolfe, with Dalrymple on third and Yagi on second, cleared the bases with a two-run squeeze bunt that made it 9-2.

The Wildcats capped their scoring in the eighth when Brown led off the frame with the second of his two doubles and Serratore drove him in with a single into left field.

K-State scored its first two runs with the benefit of the leadoff batter reaching in the fourth and fifth innings. Shane Conlon, who led off the fourth with a bunt single, scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Bee. In the fifth, Dalrymple reached with the first of his two hits and scored on Omaha's lone error of the game when Wolfe hit a line drive that bounced out of the first baseman Alex Mortensen's glove.

In addition to the 12 hits, K-State drew five walks, led by two by Yagi to match his season-high. The first two Wildcat batters reached with a walk in the second and third innings.

K-State pitchers, meanwhile, had 10 strikeouts, matching its season-high first set on February 28 at Cal. Erickson matched Benenati with a team-high three punchouts while Mitch Plassmeyer struck out two in a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth.

K-State returns back to action at home when it hosts TCU from April 10-12 at Tointon Family Stadium. Game one of the three-game set is on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

The 10 runs by K-State were its most in a true road game since scoring 10 in a win at Wichita State on May 6, 2014.

Wednesday marked the 12th time this season K-State had double-digit hits in a game.

The Wildcats are 8-1 all-time against Omaha.