K-State Takes Series with Doubleheader Sweep

LINCOLN, Neb. Kansas State was able to accomplish a feat in just one day that it hadn’t been able to do in 35 years, which was win a series against Nebraska in Lincoln, as the Wildcats swept Nebraska in a Friday double-header by scores of 15-1 and 9-3, at Hawks Field.

 

The double-header sweep gave K-State its first Big 12 series win of the season and moved the Wildcats to 23-8 overall, while they evened their conference record at 4-4. Nebraska fell to 16-13-1 and 4-7 in conference play.

 

Kansas State won its first series in Lincoln since 1974 when the Cats swept NU by scores of 3-2, 7-5 and 6-4. The Wildcats have now won three straight games in Lincoln, its longest streak since winning four straight with the 1974 sweep and a win in the first game in 1975.

 

On Friday, the Wildcats combined for 24 runs on 27 hits in the two games, including five doubles and two triples. The K-State pitching staff was equally stellar in the day-night twin-bill, limiting the Huskers to just four runs on 16 hits and stranding 18 baserunners.

 

Kansas State’s 14-run victory in the afternoon game was the largest margin of victory for the Wildcats against the Huskers since an 18-4 decision in 1942 in Lincoln. Kansas State hit two triples in the first contest, the second-straight Friday the Cats hit two triples in a game.

 

Nick Martini paced the Cats at the plate by going 5-for-9 with one double and five RBI in the double-header. Three of Martini’s five hits came with two strikes, while the freshman recorded his third three-hit game of the season in the nightcap with a career-best three RBI. Both Carter Jurica and Justin Bloxom were 4-for-10 in the two games as Jurica produced four RBI and Bloxom drove in three runs.

 

Senior left-hander Lance Hoge (4-2) picked up the win in the first game after allowing one run on five hits with four walks and a pair of strikeouts. Freshman reliever James Allen picked up his fourth save of the season by pitching three scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out three.

 

Nebraska starter Jordan Roualdes (4-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing eight runs on 10 hits in four innings of work.

 

Junior starting pitcher A.J. Morris won his eighth game in as many starts in the night game despite allowing a season-high three earned runs, all coming in the second inning on two RBI hits and a wild pitch.

 

However, Morris was outstanding after that as the Huskers managed just two hits the rest of the way. He retired the side in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings before recording the first two outs of the eighth. Thomas Rooke came on and recorded a strikeout to end the eighth then retired the side in order in the ninth to preserve the win.

 

Nebraska reliever Eric Rose took the loss in game two when he entered the game in the fifth and allowed the first three batters he faced to score.

 

In the opening game, K-State jumped out in front by plating five runs and batting around in the first inning off Roualdes. The first four batters singled, including Martini, who drove in Adam Muenster and Jurica on a single into left-center field. Bloxom followed Martini with a single up the middle and both runners moved into scoring position on a Drew Biery sacrifice bunt.

 

Jason King followed with an RBI groundout, scoring Martini. Roualdes proceeded to walk the next two batters and, on a 2-2 pitch, Dane Yelovich dropped a single into right field to put K-State up 5-0.

 

Hoge retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first, but gave up a single and hit a batter before Tyler Farst drove in Nebraska's lone run on a single to center. Hoge allowed just three hits in the next six innings before handing the game over to Allen.

 

Following a pair of scoreless innings, K-State scored five runs over the next two innings to put the game away. Muenster led off the fourth inning with a walk, stole second base, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a Bloxom single up the middle.

 

In the fifth, King hit a single on the first pitch into left field and scored on a Jordan Cruz triple, his first of the season. Daniel Dellasega drove in Cruz on a single into right, before Yelovich was hit by a pitch and Muenster sacrificed the runners over to second and third. Jurica put a dagger into the Huskers when he singled up the middle to score both runners and give K-State a 10-1 advantage.

 

K-State scored another five runs in the ninth on Bloxom's two-run single, a two-run error off the bat of King and a balk for the final 15-1 tally.

 

With K-State down 3-0 in the second game, the Wildcats began their comeback with three runs in the fourth as Nebraska starter Sean Yost loaded the bases with a leadoff walk and then hit two batters with two outs. Dellasega, who entered the game in the second, was next and hit a 3-2 pitch into center field to plate two runs. During the next at-bat, Yost uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Cruz to score and tie the game at 3-3.

 

Rose entered the game in the fifth inning and immediately surrendered consecutive doubles to Muenster and Jurica, giving Kansas State its first lead of the game. Martini was next and singled up the middle to score Jurica and quickly knock Rose out of the contest. Michael Mariot replaced Rose and walked Bloxom. King was next and doubled in Martini to give K-State a 6-3 lead.

 

The Wildcats lit up the scoreboard again in the eighth to put the game away on a single by Jurica to score Cruz before Martini delivered a two-run single to put the Cats up 9-3.

 

Kansas State will look for its first series sweep at Nebraska since 1974 as the two teams are scheduled to conclude the series with a 2:05 p.m., first pitch on Saturday. The game time could be altered due to weather conditions, so please check www.k-statesports.com for updates.