K-State Cruises to Four-Game Sweep

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State tallied its 10th double-digit hit game in its last 11 contests, while five K-State pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts as the Wildcats completed a four-game series sweep over Butler with a 15-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.

 

With the win, K-State improved to 15-3 its best start since going 17-1 in 2006 as it recorded its second-straight four-game weekend sweep. Butler fell to 1-13 with the loss.

 

The Wildcats totaled 50 runs in the four games on 56 hits after scoring 13 runs on a series-high 16 hits on Sunday afternoon. The 16 hits are the second-most for the Wildcats this season, which they have had four occasions.

 

Carter Jurica paced the Wildcats with three singles, while Justin Bloxom, Drew Biery, Jordan Cruz and Rob Vaughn tallied two hits apiece. Bloxom, Cruz and Nick Martini each collected two RBI.

 

Five Wildcat pitchers combined to tame the Bulldogs as they allowed two runs on six hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts. In fact, Butler was held scoreless and had just three hits until a two-run eighth inning.

 

Junior pitcher A.J. Morris picked up the in a predetermined pitch-count start. He threw three no-hit innings with two strikeouts. It was Morris’ fifth win of the season after winning four games as both a redshirt freshman and a sophomore.

 

Freshman reliever Evan Marshall followed Morris as he struck out five of the eight Butler batters he faced. Josh Crockett and James Allen combined to throw three scoreless innings.

 

Just as they did in both games of the doubleheader on Saturday, the Wildcats scored in the first two innings. Martini forced a two-out walk in the first inning before Bloxom roped a double into deep left-center field to score one. K-State also grabbed another run in the second frame when Vaughn singled, moved to second on a walk and scored when Butler starting pitcher Jeff Sinkiewicz (0-2) attempted to pick off Vaughn at second, but threw the ball into center field.

 

The Wildcats scored five in the third and another three in the fifth as they batted around in both innings to put the game away. In the third, four of the first five Wildcats singled to bring in two runs before an error and a Dane Yelovich doubled scored three more to put the Cats up 7-0.

 

In the fifth, Cruz hit a one-out single, stole second base and scored on a Vaughn double. Following a walk, a hit-by-pitch and a fielder’s choice, the bases were loaded with Martini at the plate and the freshman came through with a two-run single to give K-State a 10-0 lead.

 

Butler came back with two in the eighth inning when Alex Montagano singled off K-State freshman Matt Applegate, which followed a leadoff walk. Colin Ziegel was next and doubled into center field, which scored one and put Montagano on third. Following a hit-by-pitch, Mike Hoscheit hit a sacrifice fly to score the second Bulldog run of the day.

 

K-State tallied another three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Dan Rumsey led off with a walk, stole second base and advanced to third when the throw down to second went into center field. Following a groundout, Matt Giller recorded his first career hit and RBI with a single up the middle to make the score 11-2.

 

Biery was next and hit into a fielder’s choice before Cruz blasted his second home run of the series over the left-field wall to plate the final runs of the game.

 

Ziegel led Butler with a 3-for-4 afternoon, while Montagano, Hoscheit and Kyle Schultz recorded the other three Butler hits.

 

Kansas State continues its current 11-game homestand with a two-game series against UTSA on Tuesday and Wednesday. First pitch of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.