Hoge, Bloxom Spark Cats in Win

HOUSTON, Texas Senior left-handed pitcher Lance Hoge retired the first nine batters he faced, while Justin Bloxom fueled K-State’s offensive attack for the second-straight game as the Wildcats defeated Houston, 9-2, Saturday afternoon at Cougar Field.

K-State received a quality outing from all three of its pitchers and used an aggressive offensive attack for the second-straight game to earn its second win in as many days.

Hoge gave Kansas State five strong innings as he allowed one run on just three hits with one walk and two strikeouts. The senior faced the minimum in four of his five innings en route to his first win since a complete-game shutout against Oklahoma State on March 30 last season.

Kayvon Bahramzadeh followed Hoge and retired the first six batters he faced, including three-straight strikeouts. The freshman ended with four strikeouts in his three innings pitched, while surrendering just one hit. Hoge, Bahramzadeh and freshman Matt Applegate combined to strike out seven Houston batters as opposed to just two walks.

The Wildcat offense was efficient again as they scored their nine runs on 10 hits and took advantage of seven Houston walks and three hit-by-pitches. They also recorded eight steals after seven on Friday.

Another three Wildcats recorded multi-hit games, all three of which recorded multiple RBI. Bloxom went 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBI after four hits in the season opener. Dane Yelovich and Jason King each recorded two hits, while King hit his second home run of the young season.
 
Bloxom got the Cats going early as he drove in the game’s first run on in the first inning on a triple to right center field to bring home Yelovich and give the Cats an early 1-0 lead.

Following a scoreless second, the Wildcats scratched across another run in the third inning. Yelovich led off with a bunt single, stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout before Carter Jurica brought him home on a ground out to third base.

After another 1-2-3 inning by Hoge, the Wildcats went on to score five runs on five hits and batted around in a big fourth inning to extend its lead. Kansas State started off the inning as Drew Biery was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a Nick Martini single. Biery then scored when David Masters singled up the middle, before Jake Brown moved Martini and Masters up one base on a sacrifice bunt.

Yelovich was next and laced a double into right center field to clear the bases and make the score 5-0.

Yelovich moved over to third on a Jordan Cruz groundout and Jurica followed with a walk. Bloxom was next and hit a single up the middle to plate Yelovich and move Jurica to third. Following a pitching change, King singled to center field to score Jurica and give the Cats a comfortable 7-0 advantage.

Hoge, who retired the first nine batters he faced, gave up a leadoff single in the fourth inning to Blake Kelso. However, Houston had troubles keeping runners on as Kelso was out at second on a fielder’s choice by Zak Presley, who later was gunned down at second by Masters on an attempted steal. Hoge got out of the inning with a fly ball to keep the K-State lead at seven.

Houston came back in the fifth inning to score its first run of the game as Hoge gave up a one-out, line-drive home run over the right field wall to Caleb Ramsey.

The Cats added single runs in the seventh and ninth as Daniel Dellasega hit a sacrifice fly to score Martini, while King hit a lead-off solo-home run in the ninth.

Kansas State will look for an opening-weekend sweep against Houston with a 12 p.m. first pitch at Cougar Field on Sunday.