K-State Homers Its Way to Sweep

MANHATTAN, Kan. No. 10 Kansas State blasted four home runs, including two from freshman Nick Martini, as the Wildcats cruised to an 11-3 victory over BYU Tuesday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.


Kansas State, which swept BYU for the second time in the last three seasons, improved to 37-11-1 with the win, while BYU dropped to 24-21.


Martini teamed with Daniel Dellasega and Jordan Cruz to record the Cats’ second-highest home run output of the season, just one shy of the Wildcats’ five-homer game against Butler on March 14.


Cruz registered three hits, leading a 15-hit attack by Kansas State, the 10th time this season the Wildcats recorded at least 15 hits.


Martini’s three RBI all of which came on his two homers were a team best and marked the seventh time the outfielder drove in three or more runs in his freshman campaign.


“His two homers really broke the game open,” Coach Brad Hill said. “To me, those were the two that really opened things up for us. He did a good job. He just took really nice swings and he continues to do a good job for us.”


Junior Ryan Daniel (4-1) earned his second-straight Tuesday win in predetermined pitch-count start. The right-hander allowed two runs in the first inning on a RBI groundout and a home run, but was able to work around doubles in the second and third frames to keep BYU at bay. Daniel finished the game allowing seven hits in four innings, but did not issue a walk and struck out five batters.


Kyle Hunter also struck out five in three innings of relief while allowing one run on three hits. Dustin Hobbs and Josh Crockett closed out the game throwing a pair of scoreless innings, with Hobbs collecting a pair of strikeouts.


“Our pitchers did a nice job tonight,” added Hill. “It all started on the mound against a team that can swing the bats. They (BYU) had a lot of hits but they didn’t score many runs. We made some good pitches. All of our guys did a really nice job tonight.”


BYU’s Jeremy Toole (5-5) suffered the loss, surrendering seven runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings.


K-State, which left the bases loaded in the first, didn’t waste its opportunities in the second inning as Drew Biery singled into left-center to lead off the frame. The senior moved to third on a double by Cruz, his third of the series. Dellasega was next and hit a RBI groundout to shortstop to put the Cats on the board.


Dane Yelovich followed and worked the count full before lining a single just out of the reach of Cougar second baseman Andrew Law to tie the game at 2-2. 


Martini broke the tie in the third with his first home run of the night, a leadoff shot on a 2-1 pitch over the right-field wall.


Kansas State blew open the game in the fourth, scoring five times to push the lead to 8-2. Cruz led off with his team-leading 10th home run of the season. Dellasega and Yelovich followed with consecutive singles and moved up on the basepaths on a sacrifice bunt by Adam Muenster. Jurica then singled into left field, bringing home two runs and knocking Toole out of the game.


Justin Shutt came on in relief and battled Martini to a full count before Martini turned on an inside pitch for his second homer of the game, extending the K-State lead to six.


In the fifth, Dellasega hammered the Cats’ fourth home run of the night, a two-run blast over the wall in left center-field.


The Cats also scored in the eighth inning on Jason King’s third triple of the season, which plated Justin Bloxom and capped the scoring.


Kansas State continues its homestand with a three-game Big 12 Conference series against Texas Tech, beginning Friday, May 8. First pitch Friday is set for 6:30 p.m., at Tointon Family Stadium.