Seven-Run Fifth Lifts K-State to Win

SAN DIEGO, Calif. Kansas State scored seven runs in the fifth inning on just two hits, while Lance Hoge recorded another solid six-inning outing as the Wildcats defeated Nevada, 10-2, Friday morning in the San Diego Tournament at Cunningham Stadium.

Kansas State moved to 4-1 on the year and won the first ever meeting between the two schools. Nevada, who split with Big 12 foe Missouri in the opening weekend, fell to 2-4.

K-State sophomore Jason King and freshman Jake Brown each recorded two hits and two RBI. David Masters also recorded two hits, drove in one run and scored twice.

Hoge, who won just one game last season, picked up his second win in as many starts this season. The left-hander gave up two runs on five hits and struck out five batters, while not issuing a walk.

Josh Crockett came on in relief and hit the first batter he faced before allowing a walk, but was able to retire the next six batters, including two on a pair of strikeouts.

Kansas State, which was hitless the first four innings, plated seven runs and batted around on just two hits in the fifth inning. The Wildcats loaded the bases with help from Nevada starting pitcher, Stephen Bautista (0-1), who faced the minimum in the first four frames.

Bautista issued two one-out walks to King and Jordan Cruz, which were sandwiched around a Nick Martini hit-by-pitch. Masters was next and dropped a single into right field to break up the no-hitter and plate the first run of the game.

Kansas State’s next three batters showed excellent plate discipline as a Brown walk, a Dane Yelovich hit-by-pitch and an Adam Muenster walk brought in three more runs to give the Cats a 4-0 lead.

Bautista gave way to Beau Witsoe, who struck out Cater Jurica for the second out, but allowed the fifth Nevada walk of the inning to Justin Bloxom for another run. King was next and laced a single into center field to bring in two more Wildcat runs.

Nevada climbed onto the scoreboard and threatened for a big inning in the fifth as three of the first four batters recorded hits, including Travis Simas, who roped a RBI double down the left-field line to give the Wolf Pack their first run and put runners on second and third with just one out. But Hoge was able to strikeout Kevin Rodland and force a fly out to get out of the frame with minimal damage.

The Wildcats were able to counter the Wolf Pack run with two of their own in the sixth. Masters laced a one-out triple into the right center field gap and then scored when Brown singled through the left side of the infield for his second RBI of the game.

Following a fly out, Muenster hit a double into shallow left-center field to move Brown to third base. However, Rodland, Nevada’s shortstop, mishandled the ball, which allowed Brown to score and push the Wildcat advantage to 9-1.

Nevada tacked on another single run in the sixth when Matt Bowman led off the inning with a home run over the center-field wall, but the Wildcats countered with a run in the top of the sixth on a back-to-back doubles by King and Martini.

Kansas State will face tournament host San Diego on Saturday at 12 p.m. (CT) at Cunningham Stadium.