Wildcats Take Series from Texas Tech with 4-3 Win

Evan Marshall

April 22, 2011

Final Stats

MANHATTAN, Kan.Chase Graskewicz drove in a pair of runs and the Kansas State bullpen did not allow an earned run for a second-straight night as the Wildcats defeated Texas Tech, 4-3, Friday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.

With the win, K-State improved to 23-15 overall and 7-10 in Big 12 play as the Wildcats won their first series over the Red Raiders since 2008. Texas Tech fell to 24-17 on the year and 6-11 in league action.

Trailing 2-0 after the second, Kansas State put together a pair of two-run frames in the third and fourth innings. Graskewicz drove in the Wildcats’ first run on a single to left in the third before Nick Martini’s RBI ground out tied the game at two.

The first two Wildcats walked to lead off the fourth inning and, after a sacrifice bunt, Tanner Witt plated a run on a ground out to second. Graskewicz was next and attacked left field again as he slapped a two-out single to put the Cats up 4-2.

“Every win right now is crucial for this program,” head coach Brad Hill said. “It was a big win. The kids competed hard tonight. We keep fighting and competing. We just keep missing that one key hit to make it a little bit easier on us. We never quite got that, but pitching and defense picked us up again tonight.”

Kayvon Bahramzadeh, Evan Marshall and James Allen tossed 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Allen picked up his 12th save of the season and the 26th of his career to tie the Kansas State records in both departments. The right-hander also moved into a tie for eighth in Big 12 history in career saves.

Bahramzadeh entered the game in the sixth inning and surrendered an RBI single to Reid Redman to make the score 4-3, but the right-hander delivered an inning-ending ground ball double play with the bases loaded the keep the Wildcat advantage at one.

After a one-out error in the seventh, Graskewicz threw out a base stealer before Marshall got the Wildcats out of the frame with a ground ball. The right-hander pitched a perfect eighth before Allen entered worked around a one-out single in the ninth en route to the win.

“Our pitching really hung in there tough. We scored those four quick runs and had some other opportunities, but we didn’t cash in. Evan came in a really stuffed them before James came through in the last inning for us.”

Kyle Hunter (4-3) earned the win, his second in the last three weeks. He allowed two runs in the second inning on a squeeze bunt by Redman and a single off the bat of Jamodrick McGruder. But, the left-hander seemed to find his confidence after the Wildcats tied the game as he retired the side in order in both the fourth and fifth innings.

Hunter allowed three earned runs on six hits in the contest with three walks and four strikeouts through 5.1 innings of work. He threw 112 pitches, his seventh 100-pitch outing of the year.

“He competed hard, and he had to because he was behind everybody in the count early,” Hill said. “He minimized the one inning by keeping it to two, and then he found himself. He threw up two zeros after we had the two-run innings, and that was really key because he is trying keep momentum on our side.”

Texas Tech starter Trey Masek (2-3) took the loss as he surrendered all four Wildcat runs on five hits with four walks and no strikeouts. Robbie Kilcrease relieved Masek after a leadoff walk in the sixth and kept the Red Raiders in the game by throwing 3.0 shutout innings with three strikeouts.

Kansas State’s Ross Kivett doubled in the fifth inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. It is the longest streak by a Wildcat freshman since Brian Culp tallied a hit in 12-straight contests during the 1990 season.

David Paiz led the Red Raiders with three extra-base hits and two runs scored. Redman and Bo Altobelli also collected multi-hit games with a pair of hits each.

Kansas State won its seventh one-run game of the season and its second straight after Thursday’s 2-1 win. It marked the second time this season the Cats won consecutive one-run contests and the first since February.

The Wildcats will look to earn their first ever sweep over Texas Tech Saturday at 1 p.m., at Tointon Family Stadium in a game that will be televised by FSN. Fans that wish to purchase tickets for the series finale can visit www.k-statesports.com/tickets or call 1-800-221-CATS. The ticket windows at Tointon Family Stadium open one hour prior to first pitch.