K-State Blasts Past Arkansas State, 12-6

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MANHATTAN, Kan. -- K-State's six-run sixth inning blew open an early back-and-forth affair as the Wildcats clinched a series victory with a 12-6 win against Arkansas State on Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium.

Tallying double-digit hits for the fourth straight game, K-State (23-24) recorded six hits in the crooked sixth to help it total 15 on the day. Max Brown and Tyler Moore each had three hits, leading five Wildcats with multi-hit efforts. Brown went 3-for-5, which matched his career-high in hits, while also driving in two runs. Moore connected for his team-leading fourth home run of the season in the sixth as he went 3-for-5 with three runs scored.

Carter Yagi, who tied Max Brown and Clayton Dalrymple for the team lead in RBIs with two, registered his first multi-hit game since April 12 by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Alex Bee (2-for-3, 2 walks) and Jake Wodtke (2-for-4, RBI) rounded out the group of five multi-hit Wildcats.

"Today, we swung the bats well," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "Carter Yagi got a couple hits. We've been waiting for that, and he's been working awfully hard. Tyler Moore continues to swing the bat well. Just some different guys doing some different things. The team did that what they had to do."

Brandon Erickson was forced to come into the game in the top of the fourth out of the K-State bullpen, stranding an inherited runner at third base to keep the Wildcat deficit at one run, 3-2. The right-hander went on to throw 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs while striking out two, to earn his third win of the year.

In total, three K-State relievers - Erickson, Jordan Floyd and Corey Fischer -- allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings. Floyd surrendered a lone run in the final of his two innings pitched in the eighth, and Fischer tossed a perfect ninth.

"Brandon Erickson came in and did an outstanding job of stopping the (fourth) inning," said Hill. "I thought the big thing for the pitchers did today was you only saw ones up on the (scoreboard). We never let (Arkansas State) have a three- or four-spot. That gave us leverage on the day."

K-State was forced to come from behind three different times in the first six innings, including from a 2-0 deficit in the first, 3-1 in the fourth and 5-4 in the sixth. Yagi scored the first of two runs in the first on a balk by Arkansas State starting pitcher Tyler Zuber while Brown drove in the first of his two RBIs with a two-out single that tied the game at 2-2. In the fourth, another RBI single from Brown and a run-producing groundout by Dalrymple evened the score at 3-3. Meanwhile, in the sixth, K-State blew past the Red Wolves' 5-4 advantage by scoring half of its total runs. Dalrymple started the rally by hitting a game-tying RBI single before a bunt single by Wodtke loaded the bases with no outs for Danny Krause. The junior hit a sacrifice fly to give the Wildcats a 6-5 lead, but Yagi followed up by driving a ball into the right-center field gap for his third triple of the season and driving in two runs. Tyler Wolfe plated Yagi with another sacrifice fly, and Moore capped the frame with his second home run of the series, a shot over the left field wall.

After Wodtke hit an RBI single in the seventh to make it 11-5 K-State, the Wildcats answered Arkansas State's run in the top of the eighth with a run on one of the Red Wolves' three errors in the game. With runners on the corners, Taylor Anderson hit a grounder to Arkansas State third baseman Zach George, who made an errant throw in an attempt to put out Anderson at first which allowed Moore to score K-State's final run of the day.

The Wildcats reached double-digits in runs for the second straight game and ninth time this year. Of the nine times, seven have been registered at home, where the Wildcats are averaging 6.7 runs per contest.

Arkansas State Colton Kilber allowed five of the 12 runs by K-State in his 1 1/3 innings of relief work. The right-hander, who also gave up five hits and two walks, suffered the loss, his fourth of the year.

K-State starting pitcher Bryce Ward surrendered a two-run home run to Austin Baker in the first as the freshman, in his first career start, allowed three runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings before being lifted from the game due to injury.

K-State will wrap up its non-conference schedule on Tuesday at Wichita State. The 6:30 p.m. matchup will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams as the Wildcats came back to beat the Shockers, 5-4, in 10 innings on April 14 in Manhattan.


NOTES
The series win for K-State was its fifth of the year. In 2014, the Wildcats had four series wins in three-game sets, with none after their April 17-19 victory vs. Baylor. K-State has a series win over the last two weekends.

Tyler Wolfe had two walks to help him extend his on-base streak to a career-high 12 games. The junior has a .482 OBP over the stretch.

Over five games this week, Tyler Moore hit .529 (9-for-17) with five extra-base hits, including two home runs, and four RBIs. The junior catcher, who made his first career start at first base on Sunday, was also 3-for-5 in caught-stealing attempts.