Cats Complete Sweep of Niagara

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State offense was on fire again, while senior Todd Vogel was effective in his first start of the season as the Wildcats completed a four-game sweep over Niagara with a 15-1 victory Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium. With the win, the Wildcats improved to 10-2, while Niagara dropped to 2-9.


Kansas State tallied 16 hits for the second-straight game, six of which were doubles. In the four games against the Purple Eagles, the Wildcat offense scored 48 runs on 57 hits, including 18 doubles, one triple and one home run. Furthermore, the Cats, who came into the series with 20 steals in their first eight games, tallied 22 over the weekend.


The Wildcats were led on Sunday by Carter Jurica, who went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI to cap a stellar weekend. The sophomore second baseman was 11-for-14 in the four-game series with four doubles and four RBI. The Katy, Texas, native tallied 15 total bases in his 14 plate appearances, good for a 1.071 slugging percentage.


K-State also received a multi-hit game from Drew Biery as the senior went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. Biery finished the weekend 8-for-15 with four doubles and five RBI against Niagara.


Vogel (1-0) became the fifth-straight K-State starting pitcher to earn the win as he did so in a predetermined pitch-count start. The Ankeny, Iowa, product allowed one run on five hits in 4.0 innings. The senior did not allow a walk and struck out three batters in 59 pitches.


Freshman relievers Kyle Hunter, Dustin Hobbs and Matt Applegate shut out Niagara in the final five innings as the trio allowed just four hits without walking a batter and recorded four strikeouts.


Kansas State did trail early, however, as Niagara started the game’s scoring with one run in the top of the first. Trevor Rutkowski hit a two-out double before Timothy Cozier singled up the middle to plate the first Purple Eagle run of the game.


Kansas State came right back to score three in the bottom of the first on just one hit. Jurica hit a one-out single before consecutive walks to Nick Martini and Justin Bloxom loaded the bases. Jason King was next and was hit by a 1-0 pitch to bring in the first Wildcat run before Biery hit a fielder’s choice to score Martini. But on the fielder’s choice, the throw to first base was high, which allowed Bloxom to score.


K-State also tallied a multi-run innings in the fourth and sixth. Mike Kindel, Jurica and Martini each collected doubles in the fourth inning to bring home two runs and extend the lead to 7-1.


In the sixth, the Cats started the inning with three-straight hits. Jurica began the inning with a double and scored on a Martini single to right. Bloxom and King followed with singles to bring in two more runs before Biery doubled. Jordan Cruz followed Biery with a double of his own to score another two runs, while Cruz came home on an error.


The Wildcats will travel to Surprise, Ariz., for a two-game series against Arizona State, beginning Tuesday at Surprise Stadium, the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for approximately 45 minutes following the completion of the Rangers’ exhibition game against San Francisco, which begins at 3:05 p.m. (CT).