K-State Topped by Fourth-Ranked Sun Devils

SURPRISE, Ariz. Kansas State, which trailed 3-1 for a majority of the game, failed to drive home six runners in scoring position over a four-inning stretch before Arizona State exploded for nine runs in its final two at-bats as the fourth-ranked Sun Devils defeated K-State, 12-1, Wednesday night at Surprise Stadium. With the win, Arizona State improved to 12-2, while K-State fell to 11-3.


Kansas State could only manage seven hits in the game, its second-lowest hit total of the season. It was also the first time this season that no one in the Wildcat lineup recorded a multi-hit game.


Rob Vaughn drove in the lone K-State run on a single in the second inning, which scored Drew Biery from second. Vaughn, Biery and Carter Jurica each went 1-for-3.


K-State starter Lance Hoge (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season as the senior starter allowed three runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings. Freshman reliever Evan Marshall was effective despite allowing two runs on one hit in 1.2 innings of work.


Kansas State was down 3-1 heading into the top of the seventh when the Wildcats attempted to chip away at the Sun Devil lead. K-State had four base runners on in the inning but did not score a run as Arizona State reliever Josh Spence (3-0) avoided trouble. Adam Muenster recorded a one-out walk and moved to second on a passed ball before Dane Yelovich hit a single into right field to move Muenster to third.


Jurica was next and hit a bouncer to ASU first baseman Mike Leake, who gunned down Muenster at the plate for the second out of the inning. Daniel Dellasega then hit a pinch-hit infield single to short, but Yelovich tried to score from second on the play and Leake threw out yet another runner to end the inning and keep the two-run advantage.


Arizona State used that momentum to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to put the game away. Marshall, who came in to retire five straight batters, allowed a walk and single to lead off the inning. Matt Applegate came on in relief and recorded a strikeout for the first out of the frame, but Leake laced a triple into deep right-center field to plate both runs and give ASU a four-run advantage.


In ASU’s seven-run eighth inning, Kole Calhoun led off with a home run over the right center-field wall before two walks were sandwiched around two singles to score one run. Following an error which brought home another run, Torrez hit a two-RBI double into center field to score two more. Raoul Torrez and Jason Kipnis also picked up RBI singles to cap the scoring.


The top three batters in ASU’s lineup combined for six RBI, four of which came off the bat of Carlos Ramirez. Riccio Torrez paced the Devils with a three-hit night.


ASU jumped on top of the Wildcats with three runs in the bottom of the first. Calhoun led the frame off with a single before Kipnis reached on a bunt single. Following a balk by Hoge that put runners on second and third, Ramirez hit a ball over the left center-field wall to give the Devils an early 3-0 lead.


Kansas State had a golden opportunity to score in the top of the fourth inning. Jason King was hit by a 3-2 pitch to lead off the frame before Biery hit a bouncer to Riccio Torrez, who had moved from second to shortstop the inning prior. However, Torrez’s throw to second base begin an attempted double play was wide, which allowed King to go to third and knock ASU starter Matt Newman out of the game.


Spence came into the game with no outs, but struck out Jordan Cruz before Vaughn hit a sacrifice bunt and Muenster lined out to short to keep the 3-1 ASU lead.


The Wildcats will return to Manhattan to kick off an 11-game homestand their longest of the year beginning with a four-game series against Butler. The series begins Friday with a 3 p.m. first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium.