Cougar Rally Ends K-State's Run in Regional

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Derek Jones' two-out, three-run homer capped a six-run Washington State sixth inning as the Cougars came back to eliminate Kansas State from the 2010 NCAA Tournament with a 9-6 win Sunday afternoon at Baum Stadium.

Kansas State finished the season with a 37-22 record, concluding the year with the second-most wins in school history. Washington State improved to 36-21 and will take on top-seeded Arkansas Sunday evening in the regional final.

The Wildcats led 6-1 following a four-run third inning, which featured a Nick Martini three-run home run over the right-center field wall. But the Cougars came storming back as they plated two in the fifth against K-State starter Justin Lindsey (4-4) on a single by Jones.

Lindsey ran into more trouble in the sixth as he walked the first man he faced before a pair of hit-by-pitches loaded the bases with no outs. Shea Vucinich came up and hit a 0-1 pitch into center to plate one.

K-State then went to the bullpen to bring in Thomas Rooke. The left-hander induced a ground ball to retire a runner at home for the first out, but Garry Kuykendall hammered a double to score two runs before he was thrown out in between second and third.

After a walk, Jones came through for the second time in as many innings with his three-run homer to complete the comeback.

K-State had a chance in the eighth to cut into the lead as an error, a single and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. Washington State called on Seth Harvey to face Carter Jurica, who chopped a ground ball up the middle. Cougar second baseman Cody Bartlett fielded the ball and retired Jurica on a close play at first to end the inning.

Harvey worked around a leadoff walk and a two-out infield single to shut down the Wildcats in the ninth and pick up his third save of the season.

Jones led the Cougars with two hits and five RBI, while Kuykendall added three hits and drove in two runs.

Kansas State jumped out to an early 6-1 lead by way of the long ball. Jurica blasted his 13th homer of the season in the first inning, a solo shot over the wall in straight-away center field. Kent Urban then added a run on a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-0.

After Washington State plated a run on a solo homer in the second, K-State came back with four runs in the third inning, the first three coming on Martini's homer. Later in the inning, Chase Graskewicz singled home a run to push the K-State lead to five.

Richie Ochoa (2-2) recorded the final out of the third and went on to retire the next six batters. He threw 4.1 scoreless innings to pick up the win in relief, allowing just two hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Martini led Kansas State offensively as he went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. He finished the season with a .416 batting average, which is tied for the fifth highest in school history. The sophomore has a career batting average of .376, which is second in the school's record book.

Martini also concluded the season with 96 hits, one shy of the Kansas State single-season record.

Jurica, Daniel Dellasega and Graskewicz added two hits apiece for the Wildcats.

Sophomore Evan Marshall was effective out of the bullpen as he pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with three strikeouts to keep the Cats in the game.