Ninth-Inning Passed Ball Completes K-State Comeback

Blair DeBord went 3-for-3 against Wichita State Tuesday night

April 9, 2013

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State’s bats finally came to life in the eighth inning as the Wildcats scored five times to tie the game, then K-State plated the winning run on a passed ball in the bottom of the ninth to complete a 7-6 comeback over Wichita State Tuesday evening at soggy Tointon Family Stadium.

With the win, Kansas State improved to 24-10 and picked up its first victory over the Shockers in four tries. The Wildcats, who have won 12 of their last 14 games, earned their second walk-off victory in the last five days after defeating Texas Tech last Friday on a RBI single in the ninth. Wichita State fell to 18-16 with the loss.

K-State trailed 6-1 after seven innings with only three hits to its credit before exploding in the eighth to knot the score. In the ninth, Shane Conlon reached on a one-out infield single off Aaron LaBrie (2-1) and moved to third base when Jared King singled to right field.

Facing right-hander Brandon Peterson with two outs, Blair DeBord fell behind in the count 0-2. The junior catcher then worked the count full before Peterson threw the sixth pitch of the at-bat for ball four and off the glove of catcher Tyler Baker to the backstop allowing Conlon to slide home safely with the game-winning run.

“We weren’t ready to play, and that’s on me,” head coach Brad Hill said of the Cats' performance in the early innings. “The guys picked me up late and picked themselves up late. It was very ugly for seven innings. But give these guys some credit because they found a way. They got locked in at the plate for a couple innings and did a tremendous job of coming back.”

DeBord went 3-for-3 with two RBI, while King was 3-for-5 and drove in one run as each registered their third three-hit game of the season.

The contest looked to be well in the hands of Wichita State as the Shockers used a four-run seventh to push their lead to 6-1. But four of the first five K-State hitters reached base in the eighth inning, including RBI singles by King and DeBord. After RJ Santigate drove in a run with a ground out to cut the lead to 6-4, Jon Davis and Austin Fisher recorded consecutive two-out RBI hits to tie the game at 6-6 and give the Wildcats momentum for the first time in the game.

Relief pitcher Jake Matthys (5-0), who worked around a one-out double in the eighth inning, tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his second win in the last three outings by tossing two scoreless frames with two strikeouts.

“The pitching staff held it down,” Hill said. “We made errors behind Levi (MaVorhis), unfortunately, to hurt him, but Jake came in and didn’t let them score.”

The Shockers scored four runs in the seventh inning to break open a 2-1 game, taking advantage of an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt and a misplayed ball in the outfield that resulted in a bases-clearing triple by Cody Bobbit. Johnny Coy followed with a sacrifice fly to cap the frame and give the Shockers a five-run lead.

Wichita State was led offensively by Mikel Mucha, who went 3-for-4. Joe Haddox also recorded a multi-hit game with two hits.

With the cancelation of Wednesday’s game at Omaha, K-State returns to action, Friday through Sunday, with a three-game series at Iowa. The weekend set opens with a 6 p.m., tilt Friday and a 1 p.m., game Saturday at Duane Banks Stadium in Iowa City. The series finale will be played at approximately 3:45 p.m., Sunday at Principal Park in Des Moines following the Iowa Cubs’ game against Albuquerque. All three games will be aired in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN, while free live audio is also available online both and