Wildcats Ease Past Bears, 6-0

MANHATTAN, Kan. Justin Bloxom went 3-for-3 with five RBI, while A.J. Morris and Chase Bayuk combined for a five-hit shutout as Kansas State took the first game of a two-game series over Central Arkansas, 6-0, Tuesday night at Tointon Family Stadium. With the victory, Kansas State improved to 14-12, while Central Arkansas fell to 12-16.

 

Bloxom had a career-high five RBI on the night, four on one swing of the bat as he recorded K-State’s second grand slam of the season in the third inning. He also had a double in the first inning to bring home a run, walked in the fifth and singled in the seventh.

 

Morris (3-1) recorded the win in his longest out of the year, throwing six innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits, striking out four batters, and walking none. He threw 98 pitches in his six innings, tying for the longest outing of his career as he also went six against Illinois State last season.

 

Bayuk picked up the first save of his career as he allowed just one hit in three innings pitched. The senior walked two and, like Morris, struck out four Bears.

 

Kansas State got on the board with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Adam Muesnter bunted safely with one out and then stole second base on a delayed steal. Following a strikeout, Bloxom pulled a 1-2 pitch down the right field line for a two-out double, which scored Muenster from second to give the Cats a 1-0 lead.

 

The Cats grabbed another four runs in the third on Bloxom’s grand slam. Carter Jurica led the inning off with a single up the middle and went from first to third on back-to-back bunt-singles by Jordan Cruz and Muenster to load the bases. Following a strikeout, Bloxom hammered a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for the grand slam and to give the Cats a 5-0 lead.

 

The score remained 5-0 for the next two innings before Central Arkansas threatened in the sixth. The Bears led the inning off with back-to-back singles from Kevin Rawls and Dillion Smith to put runners on first and second with no outs. However, Morris was able to get Rawls in a run down in between second and third to record the first out of the inning. Morris then followed with a strike out and forced a groundout to end Central Arkansas’ only scoring chance of the night.

 

K-State pushed across another run in the eighth as Rob Vaughn doubled, moved to third on a Jurica single and then scored when Jurica was caught in a run down in between first and second.

 

Kansas State concludes its midweek series against Central Arkansas at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium.