Rooke Leads K-State to Friday Win

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State jumped on Baylor with four first-inning runs then used the masterful relief pitching of Thomas Rooke and James Allen to shut down the Bears over the final five frames as the 20th-ranked Wildcats won, 5-2, Friday evening in front of 2,248 fans at Tointon Family Stadium.

Kansas State, victorious in its third-straight series-opening game against the Bears, improved to 24-8 overall and 7-3 in the Big 12. The 24-8 season mark ties the record for the best start in school history with the 1976 and 2009 teams. The Wildcats are also off to their best conference start since 1990 when they also picked up seven wins in their first 10 league games.

Baylor fell to 21-12 overall and 5-6 in conference action.

K-State raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning as the first seven batters reached against Baylor starter Shawn Tolleson.  The Wildcats recorded three doubles and two hit batters before Tolleson (1-5) was yanked from the game. The only out recorded while Tolleson was in the game came when Kent Urban was caught stealing.

The K-State pitching staff made those runs hold up.  Baylor, which came into the weekend ranked second in the Big 12 with a .328 batting average, was held to a season-low four hits. The Bears strung together three hits in the third inning off K-State starter Ryan Daniel to score a run before a leadoff single in the fourth marked the final BU base hit of the night.

Baylor's first two batters reached in the fifth inning, prompting a call to the bullpen for Rooke (3-1). The junior left-hander made an immediate impact as he forced a double play and a ground out to end the threat. Rooke went on to retire the next nine batters he faced -- five on strikeouts -- while pitching four perfect innings.

Allen slammed the door on Baylor as he worked a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout, picking up his fourth save of the year. Rooke and Allen combined to retire 14-straight batters to end the game.

Four Wildcats recorded multiple-hit games, including Urban, who was 3-for-4 with a first-inning double. Adam Muenster went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a run scored, while Nick Martini and Matt Giller each added two hits.

Muenster set the tone for K-State in the first when he doubled to begin the inning, and came home to score on a single by Martini. Carter Jurica, who reached when hit by a pitch, scored on a passed ball before Daniel Dellasega and Urban followed with run-scoring base hits to bring home two more runs.

Baylor's two runs in the third came by way of a run-scoring single by Landis Ware and a RBI ground out from Brooks Pinckard.

Mike Kindel provided K-State with an insurance run in the seventh when he singled home Urban from second base to give the Cats their fifth run. 

The Wildcats collected 12 hits on the evening, their 23rd double-digit hit contest of the season. K-State also stole four bases and had three batters hit by pitches, raising its season total for batters hit to 77, just five shy from tying the single-season school record.

Kansas State continues its conference series with Baylor on Saturday with a 2 p.m., first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium.