K-State Falls to Shockers in 15 Innings, 9-7

Gerardo Esquivel worked four shutout innings

April 24, 2012

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Don Lambert’s two-run double in the top of the 15th broke a 7-7 tie and sent Wichita State to a 9-7 victory over Kansas State Tuesday night at Tointon Family Stadium.

K-State, 19-22 on the season, fell to 1-3 this season in extra-inning games. It was the longest extra-inning game for the Wildcats since a 20-inning affair against Texas in 2004. In that same season, K-State and Wichita State played a 16-inning game, resulting in a 12-7 WSU victory.

With the win, the Shockers improved to 25-19 on the season and won their third-straight Tuesday night extra-inning game against a Big 12 team. It was the first win by the Shockers in Manhattan since 2008.

The first five Wichita State batters in the 15th inning reached base against K-State reliever Jake Doller (1-1). WSU sandwiched two walks around a single to load the bases before Lambert’s double. The Shockers reloaded the bases on another walk with no one out, but Doller struck out two before inducing a fly out to end the frame.

A.J. Ladwig (3-1), who came out of the bullpen in the 11th inning, finished off the game by retiring the Wildcats in order in their half of the 15th.

“I thought we competed tonight, much better than what we did on Sunday,” head coach Brad Hill said. “Guys invested a lot of passion and energy in trying to win, which was much better. We just couldn’t get the last base hit to win it. Ladwig did a great job. He’s a good freshman pitcher. We matched them pretty much, though, until the end. We just couldn’t manufacture any offense.”

Wichita State was led at the plate by Dayne Parker, who went 4-for-6. Lambert – who also hit a two-run homer in the second inning in the ninth-pitch of his at-bat – had four RBI, while Shocker catcher Ryan Hege drove in three.

K-State managed only five hits on the night, but two were home runs to keep the Wildcats in the contest. Trailing 6-1, Jared King hit a two-run opposite-field homer to cut the deficit to 6-3. It was King’s fourth home run of the season, and his first since March 17 at Texas A&M.

In the sixth, the Wildcats had their first two men reach base before a throwing error made the score 6-4. Following a pair of outs and a walk, Dan Klein belted a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Cats a 7-6 advantage.

The long ball proved big again as WSU's Hege belted a two-out solo shot in the top of the eighth off Wildcat reliever Nate Williams to tie the game at 7-7. It was Wichita State's first hit since a one-out double in the fourth as Matt Wivinis, Johnny Fasola and Williams combined to retire 13-straight batters.

Wivinis threw four scoreless innings, allowing two hits with one strikeout, while Fasola tossed a scoreless seventh. Matt Applegate, who was used in relief for the first time since the 2010 Big 12 Championship, worked two no-hit innings, while Gerardo Esquivel tossed four innings, allowing two hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

“Our bullpen was very good. Wivinis gave up the first hit (to score two runs), unfortunately. But after that, you can go right down the line. Nate made the one mistake, unfortunately. Applegate was good out of the pen and Gerardo was outstanding.”

The Wildcats also went through a long hitless drought. Ross Kivett's one-out single in the seventh was K-State's final hit of the evening. Ladwig had much to do with that, throwing five no-hit innings with a walk and two strikeouts.

Kansas State had its best shot in extra innings against the freshman right-hander in the 11th when Kyle Speer walked, was sacrificed to second and moved to third on a fly out.  But Ladwig forced another fly out to end the inning.

Klein, who missed a walk-off home run in the ninth inning by a matter of feet, led the team with his three RBI. King drove in a pair of runs with his homer, while Mike Kindel drove home a run in the second on a ground out.

Kansas State travels to Lawrence, Kan., on Wednesday for a non-conference tilt against KU, beginning at 6 p.m., at Hoglund Ballpark. The game will be televised on Kansas 22 and MetroSports, while listeners in the Manhattan area can hear the game on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.