Dellasega, Rooke Push K-State Past Butler

MANHATTAN, Kan. Daniel Dellasega hit his first-career home run, while reliever Thomas Rooke threw 3.2 innings of no-hit ball as Kansas State topped Butler, 8-4, Friday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium. With the victory, K-State improved 12-3, while Butler fell to 1-10.


Kansas State trailed 4-3 after Butler broke a tie with a run in the top of the sixth, but the Wildcats scored five runs over the next three frames including two in the sixth and seventh innings to put the game away.


Drew Biery led off the sixth with a walk before Dellasega stepped into the first pitch he saw and drove it over the left center-field wall to put the Cats up for good. K-State also scored a pair of runs in the seventh when Adam Muenster walked, stole second base and scored on a Justin Bloxom single before Jason King drove home Bloxom on a RBI double to make the score 7-4.


The Wildcats reached double-digits in hits for the 11th time this season with14, 10 of which came from the No. 4 through No. 8 batters in the lineup. K-State also tied its season high in stolen bases with nine, just one away from the single-game record of 10 against Creighton in 1979.


Dellasega, a redshirt junior, finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with a career-best three RBI, which bettered a two-RBI outing that he had accomplished on three previous occasions. Dane Yelovich paced the team in hits with three, all infield singles.


Dellasega's homer got Kansas State starting pitcher Ryan Daniel off the hook after he was touched for three runs in the third and one in the sixth. The junior-college transfer allowed eight hits in 5.1 innings, but walked just one batter and struck out a career-best eight Bulldogs.


Rooke picked up his second win in his best outing of the year. The sophomore, who is on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list, walked one and tied his career-high with five strikeouts. It was the longest outing of Rooke’s career without allowing a hit, bettering a pair of two no-hit innings against UC Irvine in 2008 and Houston earlier this season.


Butler starting pitcher Matt Sokolowski (0-2) was saddled with the loss as he allowed five of the eight K-State runs on 10 hits in 5.2 innings. The Bulldogs were led offensively by Colin Ziegel, who finished 2-for-4.


Butler jumped out on top of the Wildcats with three runs in the third inning. Luke Duncan and Griffin Richeson reached on one-out singles before Jason Jamerson hit a double down the left-field line to bring home one run and put runners on second and third. With Rick Betsch at the plate, Daniel unleashed a wild pitch, which scored Richeson to make the score 2-0.


The Bulldogs weren’t done, however, as Bobby Mosser followed a Betsch walk and lifted a ball into shallow right field, which was caught by Wildcat second baseman Carter Jurica. But, with Jurica’s falling away from the infield, Jamerson was able to score on the play and give Butler an early 3-0 lead.


Kansas State answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth. Bloxom reached on a bunt single and moved to second on a King single to left field. With Biery at the plate, K-State put on a successful double steal, and Bloxom came home to score when catcher Michael Letzter’s throw to third was low and ended up in left field. 


Biery followed the error by blasting a ball into deep right-center field for a double to score King and get the Cats within one at 3-2. Dellasega then laced a single into left field to bring home Biery and tie the game at three apiece.


The Bulldogs came back with a run in the sixth to go on top 4-3 when Kyle Schultz singled and then scored on back-to-back singles the latter by Grant Fillipitch before K-State took the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning.


The Wildcats also scored a run in the bottom of the eighth when Rob Vaughn singled, went to third on a walk and a bunt single by Yelovich, and then scored on a wild pitch.


Kansas State and Butler continue their four-game series with a double-header on Saturday. Game one of the twin-bill begins with a 12 p.m., first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium.