K-State Rallies for 5-4 Win at KU

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas State scored four times in the sixth inning to overcome a two-run deficit, then relied on the bullpen arms of Thomas Rooke, Evan Marshall and James Allen to preserve the lead as the 24th-ranked Wildcats edged rival Kansas, 5-4, Friday evening at Hoglund Ballpark.

Kansas State, which handed Kansas starter T.J. Walz his first home loss since 2008, improved to 33-15 overall and 12-9 in Big 12 play. KU dropped to 29-20-1 and 10-11-1 in conference action.

Kansas scored single runs in the first and second innings while Walz (8-4) was cruising through the Wildcat order, at one point retiring 10-straight batters until issuing a leadoff walk to Carter Jurica in the sixth. That brought up Nick Martini, the Big 12's top hitter, who blasted a 1-2 pitch into the right-center field gap to get K-State on the board.

That hit got the Wildcats going as Daniel Dellasega and Kent Urban followed with back-to-back doubles to tie the game at 2-2 and suddenly Walz was in trouble. With one out, Mike Kindel registered the biggest hit of the game when he laced a two-RBI single into center field to give the Cats a 4-2 lead.

"Martini got the big swing and it loosened us up a little bit," head coach Brad Hill said."We got balls that were up and took good swings on them. He (Walz) is very good, but we just made good swings on some of his mistakes."

Jurica blasted his ninth home run of the season in the top of the seventh, a towering shot just inside the left-field foul pole to give K-State a 5-2 lead.

But Kansas wouldn't go down quietly on its home field as consecutive RBI singles by Tony Thompson and Jimmy Waters off Marshall in the seventh inning brought the Jayhawks to within a run.

Marshall worked around a one-out walk in the eighth before Allen came on in the ninth.  He needed just seven pitches to record his seventh save of the season, sending K-State to its sixth one-run victory of the 2010 campaign.

"It was a good win tonight because this is a tough place to win," Hill said. "We had some chances to score more runs earlier and just couldn't do it. We hung tough and made plays when we had to. It was a good win for us."

Rooke (4-1) picked up his third win in conference play, allowing two runs and two hits in 2.1 innings with five strikeouts. Both runs the left-hander allowed were scored after he exited the contest.

Allen's seventh save moved him into a tie for fifth in K-State's single-season records and he moved into a tie for third in career saves with 12. 

Walz, a junior, was saddled with his first home loss since his freshman year against Missouri, while it was his first setback since April 16 at Nebraska. The right-hander allowed all five Wildcat runs on nine hits in six innings.

Martini and Jake Brown recorded two hits apiece, while Kindel drove in two runs, his first multi-RBI contest since March 26.

Dellasega's 19th double tied him for sixth-most in school history, while Jurica's RBI gave him 61 on the season to tie for eighth.

The series shifts to Manhattan for contests on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's game, slated for a 6:30 p.m., first pitch, is Senior Night at Tointon Family Stadium as Dellasega, Adam Muenster and Ryan Daniel will be honored prior to the game.

The three-game set concludes at 2 p.m., on Sunday. Both games will be televised throughout the state of Kansas on Cox Communication's Kansas 22, as well as the Kansas City area on MetroSports.