Cats Top Nebraska in Record-Setting Fashion

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State received excellent pitching from Ryan Daniel and Evan Marshall before scoring six times in the sixth inning as the 20th-ranked Wildcats won the rubber match of a weekend series from Nebraska, 8-3, Sunday afternoon in front of 2,111 fans at Tointon Family Stadium.

Kansas State took the season series against Nebraska and moved to 23-6 overall and 6-3 in Big 12 play. The Huskers evened their season record at 16-16 and dropped to 4-8 in conference action. K-State won its second-straight series over Nebraska after sweeping the Huskers last season in Lincoln. The Wildcats have now won five of the last six meetings against NU, their best six-game stretch against the Huskers since also winning five-of-six over the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

Three school records were set on Sunday, beginning with a first-inning single by Nick Martini. The sophomore extended his hitting streak to 26 games, passing Chris Hess (1995-96) for the longest in school history. The streak is also the fifth-longest in Big 12 history.

Senior Adam Muenster also etched his name in the record book when a stolen base in the sixth inning gave him two for the game and 62 for his career, breaking the school record of 61 by Tim Decker (1993-95).

Also, the 2,111 fans in attendance pushed the three-game total to 8,540, the most for a series in stadium history.

Daniel pitched five strong innings keeping the Nebraska offense in check.  After giving up a leadoff single in the sixth, Daniel gave way to Marshall (3-1), a starter his first seven outings this season who made his second relief appearance of the series. The right-hander forced a pair of fielder's choices before a caught stealing ended the threat and opened the door for the K-State offense.

Martini began the Cats' sixth-inning explosion with a single to center off Nebraska starter Tom Lemke (4-3) and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.  The Huskers brought in reliever Jordan Roualdes, who was quickly greeted by a single from Kent Urban. Chase Graskewicz was called on to pinch-hit against reliever Casey Hauptman and caught Nebraska by surprise. On the first pitch, the freshman put down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt up the first-base line that scored Martini to give Kansas State a 2-1 lead. On the play, Nebraska first baseman Cade Thompson threw the ball past the catcher trying to throw out Martini, allowing Urban and Graskewicz to move into scoring position.

The Cats made the Huskers pay for the error by scoring runs on consecutive base hits by Matt Giller and Blair DeBord before Jake Brown produced another suicide squeeze to push the lead to 5-1. After Muenster walked and stole second, Carter Jurica singled through the left side of the infield to plate another two runs.

"Nick and Kent each had big hits in that inning," head coach Brad Hill said. "It was also big to have Carter finish off that inning with a base hit because six runs is a lot different than four."

Daniel, who didn't figure in the decision, allowed just one run on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout. The senior pitched around a two-out error in the second inning and benefited from a pair of double plays. Marshall also worked around a two-out error in the seventh before relievers Thomas Rooke and James Allen pitched the final two innings to end the game.

Jurica, who was hitless in the first two games of the series, led the Wildcats by going 3-for-5 with three RBI and a solo home run. The junior recorded his team-leading 10th multi-RBI contest, while he also scored a pair of runs. Martini added another multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with one RBI.

Nebraska was led at the plate by Kale Kiser and Chad Christensen as each recorded three hits.

For the third straight day, Nebraska took an early lead with a run in the first inning. Kiser singled with one out before Adam Bailey hit a ground ball to Urban. The Wildcat first baseman forced out Bailey at first but Urban's throw to second base attempting to double-up Kiser went into left field for an error, allowing Kiser to move to third. Christensen then singled through the right side of the infield to score Kiser.

K-State tied the game in the bottom half of the inning when Jurica doubled and scored on Martini's record-breaking single up the middle.

Down by six in the eighth, Nebraska scored two runs on a RBI double by Bailey and a run-scoring single by Cody Asche. Jurica capped the game's scoring with his solo homer in the eighth over the wall in left field.

Kansas State travels to Provo, Utah, for a two-game midweek series at BYU beginning Tuesday. First pitch from Miller Field is slated for 7:30 p.m. (CT).