Vogel Guides K-State to Sunday Win

MANHATTAN, Kan. Senior right-hander Todd Vogel threw a career-high eight innings while the Kansas State offense got back in sync as the 10th-ranked Wildcats salvaged the final game of the series against Texas Tech with a 9-5 victory Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.


With the victory, K-State improved to 38-13-1 overall and 13-9-1 in Big 12 play, tying the 2002 squad for the most conference wins in school history. Texas Tech dropped to 23-28, including an 11-13 mark in conference action.


Vogel, whose previous longest outing was 6.1 innings at Missouri last season, pitched into the ninth inning before giving way to the bullpen. He allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and two strikeouts in a career-high 108 pitches.


“It was all about Todd Vogel today,” said Coach Brad Hill. “He really stepped up. He had outstanding stuff against the best-hitting team in the Big 12. They (Texas Tech) put it on us for a couple days and he just comes out and does what he does. He just had great composure. That’s what a senior does for you.”


Vogel was nearly untouchable as the Ankeny, Iowa, product surrendered one run on four hits through eight innings. After allowing an infield hit in the second, Vogel sat down 10 of the next 11 batters he faced as the only Red Raider to reach base in the string was the result of an error. Following that miscue, Vogel retired eight straight to allow his offense to do some damage.


Another senior, Drew Biery, matched Vogel’s efforts as he went 3-for-4 with three doubles, just nine days after Carter Jurica became the first Wildcat in over a year to tally three doubles in a game. Biery also drove in two runs while scoring a pair of his own.


Adam Muenster, Nick Martini and Dane Yelovich each collected two hits, while Yelovich hit his first career home run, a two-run shot in the eighth inning.


Texas Tech starter Louis Head (1-3) suffered the loss after surrendering two runs on four hits in four innings of work.


Kansas State took its first lead of the three-game series in the bottom of the first inning when Justin Bloxom doubled off the right-field wall with two outs, scoring Muenster from third to give the Cats a 1-0 lead.


The Wildcats added another run in the second as Biery hit a leadoff double into right-center field and moved to third on a groundout. Rob Vaughn put down a perfect squeeze bunt to plate Biery and make the score 2-0.


K-State tacked on three runs in the fifth inning off reliever Cory Large. Muenster led off with a single to left field before consecutive bunt singles loaded the bases. Bloxom and Jason King hit back-to-back sacrifice flies to right field to build the lead to 4-0.  Biery's second double of the day gave Kansas State a 5-0 margin.


Texas Tech scored its first run in the seventh on a one-out solo homer from Chris Richburg, but the Cats responded with two more runs in the bottom half of the inning.  A pair of two-out extra base hits from King and Biery plated one run before Jordan Cruz singled to push the Wildcat advantage to 7-1.  Yelovich’s blast over the left-field wall in the eighth gave K-State what appeared to be a comfortable 9-1 lead.


But Texas Tech put a scare into the 1,263 fans in attendance with a ninth-inning rally that produced four runs.  Willie Rueda and Michael Reed began the charge with back-to-back doubles, scoring one run and knocking Vogel out of the game.


Thomas Rooke came on in relief and immediately gave up a RBI single and a three-run homer to Richburg to cut the lead to 9-5.  After Rooke allowed a double, freshman right-hander Evan Marshall was brought in to pitch.


Marshall struck out the first batter he faced for the first out, then allowed an infield single and a hit a batter which was sandwiched around a fly out to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate with two outs. But Marshall forced Rueda to line out to center field for the final out of the game.


Rueda, Richburg and Scott LeJeune each went 2-for-4 for the Red Raiders, while Richburg’s four RBI were a game-high.


Next action for Kansas State is a three-game split series against Kansas, beginning Friday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m., at Tointon Family Stadium. The series then shifts to Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence, Kan., for the final two games on Saturday and Sunday.