Biery's Walk-Off Blast Completes Comeback

MANHATTAN, Kan. Down 3-1 through seven innings, Kansas State scored a pair of runs in the eighth before Drew Biery led off the ninth inning with a walk-off home run over the right-field wall as the Wildcats recorded a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Northwestern Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.

 

Kansas State, which improved to 19-5 on the season, picked up its first victory this year when trailing after seven innings and notched its fifth one-run win of the season, including three in its last three midweek games. Northwestern fell to 4-15 with the loss.

 

K-State trailed 3-1 after both teams broke a scoreless deadlock with runs in the fifth inning. But the Wildcats struggled at the plate for the better part of the game as they managed only three hits through seven innings on their way to the lowest hit total of the season.

 

Following a scoreless sixth and seventh innings, the light switch turned on for the Cats. Northwestern reliever David Jensen (0-3), who entered the game in the sixth and retired six of the first seven batters he faced, ran into trouble in the eighth when he issued a one-out walk to Adam Muenster. Carter Jurica was next and, on a full count, hit a towering two-run homer over the left-field wall into a stiff wind to tie the game at 3-3.

 

Kansas State reliever Thomas Rooke (3-0) entered the contest in the top of the ninth and struck out the first two batters he faced. Kenneth Avila then singled to put the go-ahead run on first, but Rooke picked off the Northwestern center fielder to end the inning.

 

The game would only last another two pitches, however, as Biery hit the game-winner to the opposite field on a 0-1 count.

 

Biery’s walk-off homer was the first since Justin Bloxom's blast in the 11th inning against No. 13 UC Irvine on April 23 of last season. Jurica paced the Wildcats at the plate with three of K-State’s six hits.

 

Kansas State received an outstanding pitching performance from freshman reliever Evan Marshall, who threw 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with one walk and one strikeout. The right-hander put a stop to Northwestern’s three-run fifth as he got a ground ball to end the inning before retiring the side in order in both the sixth and the seventh.

 

K-State starter Ryan Daniel pitched effectively but was on the hook after Northwestern scored three unearned runs in the fifth resulting from a pair of Wildcat errors. Hamilton Wise started the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Tommy Finn was next and hit a ground ball back to Daniel, who chased Wise into a rundown, but Biery dropped the ball for an error while attempting to make a tag and both runners were safe.

 

Jake Goebbert took advantage of the situation with a RBI single to plate Northwestern's first run. Following a batter’s interference for the second out, Chris Lashmet hit a groundball to K-State third baseman Jason King, but his throw was low and got past Bloxom at first, allowing two more runs to score.

 

K-State came back with a run in the bottom half of the inning when King singled and moved to third on a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Following a line out, Dane Yelovich hit into a fielder’s choice, which scored King and cut Northwestern's lead to 3-1.

 

Kansas State will conclude its midweek series and season-long 11-game homestand against Northwestern on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.