Cats Sweep Chippewas After 5-1 Win

MANHATTAN, Kan. Ben Hornbeck struck out seven in 6.2 innings and Kansas State pitchers combined for 12 total strikeouts Sunday as the Wildcats completed a three-game series sweep of Central Michigan with a 5-1 win at Tointon Stadium. With the win, Kansas State improved to 17-4 overall, and moved to 8-0 at home this season, while Central Michigan fell to 7-10.


Hornbeck improved to 2-0 on the mound this season after 6.2 solid innings on Sunday. The sophomore had his longest outing of the season Sunday and scattered five hits while allowing just one run and three walks to go with his seven strikeouts. After walking two batters in the first, Hornbeck settled in and retired 13 of the next 15 batters he faced, including a stretch of nine in a row, before allowing one run on two hits in the sixth inning.


With the Cats ahead 4-1 in the seventh, A.J. Morris came in and got a strikeout on four pitches to leave two Chippewa runners on base. Daniel Edwards then came in and struck out four in 2.0 innings to earn his sixth save of the season, moving the junior into a tie for seventh place in the K-State single-season record books.


A three-run third for the Wildcats proved to be enough scoring on Sunday, a day in which the Cat offense produced just four hits. Rob Vaughn singled to open the third and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Derek Bunker. After an Adam Muenster strikeout, Drew Biery drove in Vaughn with an infield single for a 1-0 Wildcat lead. Nate Tenbrink then reached on an error, which allowed Biery and Tenbrink to advance to second and third. Justin Bloxom then singled to shortstop and Biery and Tenbrink scored the second and third runs of the inning as the throw went wide of first.


An RBI ground out by Biery in the fifth and a Bloxom sacrifice fly in the eighth plated the Cats fourth and fifth runs of the game. Central Michigan had drawn to within 4-1 in the sixth with a two-out RBI single from Ben Humphrey but the Cats got the run back in the eighth on Bloxom’s fly out.


Central Michigan starter Jeff Richard (0-2) suffered the loss after giving up four runs on three hits with two walks. Two hit batsmen and four strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. The Chippewas used a total of five pitchers Sunday, allowing five total walks with five strikeouts.


Bloxom finished the three-game series with six RBI, while Vaughn was 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two walks in two games played, while Biery drove in two and scored twice on Sunday.


The Wildcat pitching staff allowed just four earned runs on the weekend and struck out 22 batters in the three-game sweep.


Kansas State returns to action next Friday as it opens Big 12 play at No. 10 Texas. First pitch for game one on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. at Disch-Falk Field.