Wildcats Receive Solid Pitching in 5-2 Win

Blake Freeman picked up his second career win Wednesday evening

April 13, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State used a four-run third inning and solid pitching after spotting Wichita State two early runs to take down the Shockers, 5-2, Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Wildcats won their sixth-straight game over their in-state rival, the longest winning streak over Wichita State since claiming the first 10 contests of the series. The Cats improved to 19-13 on the year while the Shockers fell to 21-15.

Trailing 2-0 in the third, Kansas State began its comeback when Dan Klein singled. An error by WSU third baseman Tyler Coughenour on a sacarifice bunt attempt allowed Shane Conlon to reach safely, then both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch.  Nick Martini's grounder to short was booted by Tyler Grimes, allowing Klein to score and opening the floodgates for K-State.

Jared King followed with a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position.  Jason King grounded out to second to score Conlon and tie the game at 2-2.  Mike Kindel was next and hammered a 1-2 pitch to the opposite field that carried over the left-field wall for a two-run homer.

"The errors helped, and then we executed after that," head coach Brad Hill said. "Martini hits a good flat ball to the shortstop and they make another error. After that, it was just execution. Kindel got in a two-strike situation and didn't try to do too much. He put a decent swing on it and the ball just carried out of the ballpark."

Wildcat starter Blake Freeman (2-1) gave up two early runs as the first three Shocker batters recorded hits to open the game, including a RBI double by Kevin Hall and a run-scoring single from Chris O'Brien. But the left-hander settled down and retired 10 of the next 13 batters with one strikeout.

Freeman picked up his second career victory in a predetermined pitch-count start, allowing four hits in 3.2 innings as he threw a career-high 61 pitches.

"I thought Blake did a good job recovering," Hill said. "That's a freshman out there and I'm sure that's one of the biggest crowds he's pitched in front of. He threw strikes. They hit him early, but he threw strikes. He battled for us and the rest of the guys were outstanding."

Kayvon Bahramzadeh, Evan Marshall and James Allen were nearly untouchable out of the bullpen, combining to retire 15 of the final 17 Shocker batters. Bahramzadeh worked 2.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts, while Marshall surrendered just one hit and fanned five WSU batters in two innings of work.

Allen worked a scoreless ninth inning and picked up his 10th save of the year and the 24th of his career. The Big 12's leader in saves this season, Allen is now just two away from tying both the single-season and career records.

Wichita State starter T.J. McGreevy (0-1) took the loss as he allowed all four runs in the third inning. The right-hander was only charged with one earned run on three hits with a walk in 3.2 innings.

Kindel was the only batter in the contest to produce a multi-hit game as he also singled in the eighth, stole second base and scored the Cats' fifth run on a pair of wild pitches.

Martini was 1-for-4 with a RBI.  His seventh-inning single extended his NCAA record streak of consecutive games reaching base safely to 92.

The next action for Kansas State is this weekend as the Wildcats travel to Lincoln, Neb., to face Nebraska in a three-game Big 12 series that has been altered due to predicted inclement weather on Friday.  The opening game is now set for 3:05 p.m., Saturday with both Sunday's contest and the series finale on Monday scheduled for a 1:05 p.m., first pitch.  All three games can be heard on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN in the Manhattan area or online at both www.kstatesports.com and www.1350kman.com.

The Wildcats return to Tointon Family Stadium on Tuesday as they host Missouri State in a 6 p.m., tilt. To order tickets, call the K-State Athletics Ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS, log on to www.kstatesports.com/tickets or visit the office inside Bramlage Coliseum.