Top 10 Moments of the 2000s: No. 9
Top 10 Moments of the 2000s: No. 9
Cats Top KU Before Record Crowd
Note: This is the second edition of a 10-part series chronicling the top 10 Kansas State Baseball moments of the 2000s, counting down to the Wildcats' 2010 season opener on February 19 against Delaware. The events were voted on by an eight-person panel consisting of: Head Coach Brad Hill; former Head Coach and Director of Development Mike Clark; Associate Athletics Director Casey Scott; Director of Baseball Operations Justin Tadtman; Sports Information Director Kenny Lannou; Baseball SID Ryan Lackey; and the Voices of K-State Baseball, Brian Smoller and Matt Walters.
MANHATTAN, Kan. - In a season that saw many records go down on the field, Kansas State was able to break a record off the field in 2009 when it played Kansas on May 15, 2009.
On Senior Day and with a top-four spot in the Big 12 standings on the line, the 39-13-1 Wildcats drew a Tointon Family Stadium record crowd of 4,280 fans on a perfect 75-degree evening in the Little Apple.
That record crowd boosted K-State's total home attendance to 43,151 for an average of 1,391, the first time in school history Kansas State had an average attendance over 1,000.
"It was a great crowd," said head coach Brad Hill following the game. "It was outstanding and it was a great atmosphere."
As for the game, it was A.J. Morris who stole the headlines, as he did for most of the season, as the Wildcats went on to a 4-1 victory. Morris, who pitched his fourth complete game of the season, allowed KU's only run in the third inning on Buck Afenir's sacrifice fly but was dominant the rest of the way. The right-hander sat down the Jayhawks in order in five of the final six innings, with KU only threatening in the eighth when Morris worked out of a jam with runners at first and third.
The right-hander struck out eight batters, the sixth time on the season he fanned five or more in a game. He also picked up his 12th win of the season to extend his K-State season school record and move into a tie for 10th place for single-season wins in Big 12 Conference history.
"Obviously it all starts on the mound," said Hill. "A.J. kept his emotions in check in a couple of situations. He was just outstanding."
Justin Bloxom recorded two RBI on a single to jump-start a four-run sixth inning, while Adam Muenster and Drew Biery paced the Wildcats with two hits apiece.
After managing just two hits in the first five innings, the Kansas State offense exploded in the sixth. Muenster led off the frame with a single to right-center field before Carter Jurica was hit by a pitch. Nick Martini followed with a bunt single to third base, loading the bases.
Bloxom was next and looped the first pitch he saw for a single into right-center field to score a pair of runs and give K-State the lead. Jason King then scorched a ball that deflected off Shaeffer Hall's glove, allowing Martini to score as Hall threw to first. But Hall's throw pulled Preston Land off the bag, allowing King to reach on an error.
The Cats took advantage of the extra out as Jordan Cruz skied a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right field to cap the inning before Morris cruised the rest of the way to seal the victory.
It was that night that everything was perfect - great weather, a record crowd that was into the game from the first pitch to the final out, and a victory over the Wildcats' in-state rival.
Top 10 K-State Baseball Moments of the 2000's
No. 10: Into the 20th We Go... (2/9)
No. 9: Cats Top KU Before Record Crowd (2/10)
No. 8: February 11
No. 7: February 12
No. 6: February 13
No. 5: February 14
No. 4: February 15
No. 3: February 16
No. 2: February 17
No. 1: February 18