Historic Season Comes to a Close Monday

HOUSTON, Texas Kansas State’s historic 2009 baseball season came to a close on Monday as sixth-ranked Rice knocked off the 14th-ranked Wildcats, 13-4, in the decisive final game of the Houston Regional at Reckling Park.


The Wildcats closed out the record-breaking campaign at 43-18-1 overall, while Rice improved to 43-16 with the win and will now face LSU in a Super Regional matchup. Kansas State finished the season by setting the school’s record for wins, eight more than the previous school record of 35 in 1976.


Five different Rice batters recorded multi-hit games, including Michael Fuda and Jimmy Comerota, who had four hits apiece. Rick Hague and Diego Seastrunk each tallied three RBI.


Kansas State’s Justin Bloxom, who finished the season as the Cats top hitter at .361, went 1-for-4 with two RBI. Jason King also tallied two RBI in a 2-for-4 night, while freshman Nick Martini recorded two hits.


Matthew Reckling (2-2) earned the win after tossing four innings in relief, allowing just three hits and two unearned runs with a walk and three strikeouts. Jordan Rogers and Ryan Berry closed out the contest by surrendering just one hit over the final 2.1 innings.


Thomas Rooke, who made his first start in 57 career appearances for Kansas State, took the loss as he allowed four runs on four hits in three innings of work.


Rice was able to scratch across a pair of runs in the bottom of the first when Brock Holt doubled to lead off the inning before a Hague single to right field scored one run. Following a pair of walks and a fly out, Fuda hit a sacrifice fly to right plate another run.


The Wildcats were able to get one of those runs back in the top of the second when King smashed his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot that was his first since April 24 at Texas.


After Rooke pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the second, the Cats came back and tied the game with a run in the third. Adam Muenster looped a one-out single into right center before Rice starter Mark Haynes hit the next two batters he faced. Bloxom was next and hit a groundball to Rice first baseman Comerota, who threw the ball to second to begin the double play, but the Owls failed to cover first, allowing Muenster to score.


Rice broke the game open with six runs in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second with no outs, Comerota laid down a perfect bunt down the third-base line and beat the throw, but King threw the ball away, allowing one run to score. Following a strikeout, back-to-back singles drove in a pair of runs before Seastrunk hit a three-run homer over the wall in right to make the score 8-2.


Another two Owl runs scored in the fifth on a pair of RBI singles from Comerota and Jess Buenger.


The Cats plated two runs in the seventh inning on a Bloxom RBI double down the right-field line to score Muenster before King singled up the middle to make the score 10-4.


Following the game, four Wildcats were named to the all-regional team, including A.J. Morris, Bloxom, Jordan Cruz and Martini.