Morris? Complete Game Powers Cats Past BU

WACO, Texas For the first time since 1966, Kansas State was victorious in Waco, Texas, as the Wildcats topped eighth-ranked Baylor, 7-1, Friday night at Baylor Ballpark. With the win, Kansas State improved to 21-5 on the year and 2-2 in Big 12 play. Baylor fell to 15-6 overall and 3-4 in conference play.

 

K-State chalked up its first win at Baylor in 19 tries since the inception of the Big 12 thanks in large part to the best outing of junior right-hander A.J. Morris’ career. Morris tossed his first career complete game, allowing just one unearned run on six hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts. It was the second outing in a row in which Morris tallied double-digit strikeouts, while it was the third time in his last four appearances he topped the 100-pitch mark as the threw 122 against the Bears.

 

Morris improved to 7-0 on the year and is two wins away from tying the single-season school record for victories. Morris lowered his ERA to a league-best 0.39 as he has allowed just two earned runs in 46.1 innings pitched.

 

The right-hander benefited from several great defensive plays as the Cats got out of the fourth inning with a double play, while left-fielder Nick Martini made a pair of running catches in the seventh and right-fielder Jordan Cruz dove and came up with a ball in the eighth.

 

The top three hitters in K-State’s lineup Adam Muenster, Carter Jurica, and Martini each went 3-for-5 with one RBI. Cruz and Dane Yelovich were both 2-for-4, while Yelovich paced the Cats with two runs driven in.

 

The Wildcats entered the game with just four triples in their first 25 games, but hit a pair of three-baggers on Friday night, one by Justin Bloxom in the fifth and the other by Jurica in the seventh. The two triples by K-State were the most since the Wildcats also had two at Missouri on May 2 of last season.

 

Kansas State jumped ahead in the second inning as the Cats sent nine men to the plate against Baylor starter Kendal Volz (2-2). Following a fly out, shortstop Drew Biery reached on an error by his counterpart, Joey Hainsfurther. Cruz followed with a single and both runners moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt.

 

Yelovich hit a one-out infield single to Hainsfurther, which scored Biery to put the Cats on top 1-0. Muenster followed with a line-drive single up the middle to plate Cruz and, after a groundout, Martini drove in the third run of the inning on an infield single.

 

K-State scored single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, the Cats had runners on first and third with two outs when Martini was caught in a rundown between first and second but stayed alive long enough to allow Muenster to score. In the fifth, Bloxom led off with his triple and scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Biery to plate to make the score 5-0.

 

Baylor scored its unearned run in the bottom half of the inning when Ben Booker recorded a leadoff walk and stole second base. He scored on a two-out error by Bloxom. 

 

Kansas State scored in similar fashion in the eighth when Biery walked, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Yelovich single.

 

Muenster led off the ninth with a double down the right field line, stole third base and scored on a Jurica single up the middle.

 

Baylor was led at the plate by Aaron Miller, who was 2-for-4.

 

Kansas State and Baylor continue the three-game conference series with a 6:30 p.m., first pitch Saturday at Baylor Ballpark.