Cats Cap 3-1 Weekend with Extra-Inning Win

SAN DIEGO, Calif. Kansas State gave up a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, but the Wildcats came back with a run in the 10th and held San Diego State in the bottom half as the Wildcats picked up a 5-4 victory Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

With the win, the Wildcats improved to 5-2 on the season after finishing the four-day weekend with a 3-1 record. San Diego State fell to 4-4.

For the second-straight Sunday, Kansas State was up by one run heading into the final inning and relinquished the lead, but this time the Wildcats held came back with a run in the top of the 10th and held SDSU in the bottom half to pick up their first extra-inning win of the season.

With the Wildcats up 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Thomas Rooke came on to attempt to close it out for K-State, but Cory Vaughn led the frame off with a single through the left side and was sacrificed over to second base. Following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Brandon Decker hit a single into left field and Nick Martini’s throw home was not in time as Vaughn scored from second to tie the game.

However, Kansas State followed suite as Jordan Cruz led off the extra frame with a single through the right side of the infield before being bunted over to second by Dane Yelovich. Adam Muenster was next and hit a single up the middle to plate Cruz and give K-State a 5-4 lead.

Matt Applegate came out of the K-State bullpen to attempt to shut down the Aztecs, just one day after recording the loss to San Diego. The freshman right-hander gave up a leadoff single to Pat Colwell, who stole second base after a fly out by Brandon Meredith. With the tying run in scoring position, Applegate forced consecutive fly-ball outs to earn his first career save.

Rooke picked up his first win of the season after allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout in one inning of work.

San Diego State reliever Matt Skipper was saddled with the loss for the Aztecs as he allowed the lone run on two hits in three innings.

Just like it has all season, K-State received an outstanding performance by its starting pitcher. Freshman Kayvon Bahramzadeh, who was making his first start in just his second appearance, was brilliant as he retired 15 of the first 17 batters he faced, including the first nine of the game. The freshman right-hander did not allow a hit until Colwell dropped a two-out single into center field in the fourth inning.

Bahramzadeh, a native of Tucson, Ariz., who came out of the game in the sixth inning, threw five quality innings as he allowed just one run on three hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

James Allen, who entered the game in the seventh inning, bounced back from a disappointing outing on Thursday as he threw 1.2 innings of no-hit ball.

Martini and Cruz led the way for the Wildcats as each went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Yelovich also recorded two hits in five at-bats.

Cruz, who came into the game just 2-for-21 on the young season, blasted a third-inning home run over the right center-field wall for a solo shot and to put the Cats up 1-0.

The Wildcat offense, which left two runners on base in the fifth inning, responded to Bahramzadeh’s efforts on the mound and scored two runs in the sixth inning. San Diego State starter Tyler Lavigne started off the inning by walking Carter Jurica, before Justin Bloxom singled into center field to put runners on first and second with no outs.

Jason King was next and grounded out to first base to move both runners into scoring position and knock Lavigne out of the game. Chase Thomas came on in relief to face Martini, who came through with a two-RBI single to center field to give the Cats a 3-0 advantage.

The Aztecs responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Matt Parker led off the inning with a walk before Decker singled into left field to put runners on first and second with no outs. Mitch Blackburn was next and attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Bahramzadeh bobbled the ball to load the bases.

Evan Marshall came out of the pen in relief and Colwell hit a fielder’s choice to Jurica to bring in the first Aztec run on the first out of the inning. Marshall then came back to force Meredith to ground into a double play to end the frame and keep the score at 3-1.

The Wildcats got the run back in the top of the seventh when Daniel Dellasega led the inning off with a triple just inside the right field line before Cruz recorded his second RBI of the afternoon on a groundout to put the Cats up 4-1.

However, as quickly as K-State got its lead back to three, San Diego State scored two in the bottom of the inning to get within a single run. The Aztecs received back-to-back one-out singles from Ryan O’Sullivan and Vaughn to plate one run. Following a hit-by-pitch by Marshall that put runners on first and second, Parker doubled down the left-field line to score Vaughn and bring the Aztecs within one.

Marshall was taken out of the game in favor of Allen, who hit the first man he faced, but put the double play in order as he forced a 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning and strand the tying run at third base.

Four San Diego State players recorded two hits, including Decker and Vaughn, who went 2-for-4 with one RBI.
 
Kansas State will travel back to Manhattan for its home opener on Tuesday against Creighton. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium.