Walk-Off Single Gives Nebraska Series Win

Nick Martini tallied his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the third

April 18, 2011

Final Stats

LINCOLN, Neb. – Kash Kalkowski’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth sent Nebraska to a 5-4 victory over Kansas State in the rubber match of the series Monday afternoon at Hawks Field.

Nebraska improved to 24-14 on the year and 5-7 in conference action with the win, while the Wildcats fell to 20-15 and 5-10 in Big 12 play. It was the fourth one-run game between the two squads this season, including last month’s non-conference tilt. Monday’s contest was the final regular-season conference game between the two schools as Nebraska moves to the Big 10 Conference next season.

Kansas State trailed 4-2 in the eighth inning when Jake Brown reached on a one-out infield single and later came around to score when Nick Martini dropped a base hit inside the left-field line to pull the Cats to within a run.

K-State was down to its last strike in the ninth when Wade Hinkle sliced a double into the left-field corner. Ryan Moore entered the game as a pinch runner for Hinkle and scored when Tanner Witt chopped a single up the middle that was fielded in shallow center field by second baseman Bryan Peters. Peters fumbled the ball before throwing home, and the ball bounced to catcher Patric Tolentino as Moore slid in safely to tie the game at 4-4.

Reliever Evan Marshall (3-4), who entered in the sixth inning and threw 2.2 scoreless frames entering the bottom of the ninth, allowed an infield single to pinch-hitter Michael Pritchard and then walked a batter. Closer James Allen came on to face Peters, who laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases.

Cody Asche, the Big 12's home run leader who hit a two-run homer in the third, fouled out. Kalkowski then followed by hitting a 0-2 pitch through the left side of the infield for the game-winner.

Nebraska closer Casey Hauptman (6-2), earned the win after blowing the save as he allowed two runs on five hits in three innings of work. Kurt Farmer led the Huskers offensively with three hits, while Peters and Kalkowski also had multi-hit games with two apiece.

Kansas State was paced offensively by Hinkle, who tied his career high with three hits. Martini, who saw his consecutive on-base streak end at 93 games on Sunday, was 2-for-4 with three RBI, including two on his first home run of the season in the third inning.

The teams traded shots in the first three innings as Nick Miller hit a RBI single in the second to put the Huskers on the board before Martini’s blast gave Kansas State a 2-1 lead. Asche’s homer the next half inning gave the lead back to Nebraska at 3-2.

Kansas State had a scoring chance in the fourth with runners on first and third and only one out, but NU starting pitcher Tyler Niederklein picked off Mike Kindel at third base then forced a ground out to end the threat. After that, Niederklein went on to retire seven straight batters before handing the game over to Hauptman in the seventh.

In the sixth, Kalkowski and Farmer reached on consecutive singles before Chad Christensen put down a sacrifice bunt. K-State reliever Shane Conlon fielded the ball and threw wildly to first, allowing Kalkowski to score. With one out, Marshall entered the game and recorded a foul out then snagged a line drive off the bat of Kale Kiser to get out of the frame.

K-State begins a four-game homestand at Tointon Family Stadium at 6 p.m., Tuesday against Missouri State. General admission bench tickets are just $1, while hot dogs are also $1 while supplies last. The Wildcats then host Texas Tech in a three-game conference series beginning at 6:30 p.m., Thursday.

To purchase tickets, fans can contact the K-State Athletics Ticket office by phone at 1-800-221-CATS, online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets or visit the office inside Bramlage Coliseum. The ticket windows at Tointon Family Stadium open one hour prior to first pitch.