Purple Explodes Late for 8-3 Fall Series Victory

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Purple team, led by Dane Yelovich’s three hits and Jordan Cruz’ three RBI, scored seven runs in the sixth inning and downed the Black 8-3 Friday in the final game of the K-State Fall World Series at Tointon Stadium.

               

Despite the loss, the Black team claimed the series title based on its victories in the first three games of the five-game intrasquad scrimmage.

               

Friday’s finale was a pitcher’s duel for five innings as the Black’s Brad Hutt and the Purple’s Justin Murray controlled the action, although neither figured in the decision.  The right-handers, each making their second series starts, were outstanding.  Hutt, a senior, allowed one run on three hits and struck out three in four innings.  Murray, a junior, gave up four hits and one run in five innings.  In his two starts, Murray permitted just two runs in nine innings and struck out eight. 

               

The Purple trailed 2-1 in the sixth when it used five hits, two walks, a balk and two Black errors to produce the big inning.  Nate Tenbrink led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Carter Jurica, who was safe at first when Justin Bloxom dropped the throw for an error.  A balk by pitcher Lance Hoge moved up the runners, and Matt Lowry delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Tenbrink and tie the game at 2-2.

               

The bottom then fell out for the Black squad.  A.J. Morris relieved Hoge and walked Cameron Welch before giving up four consecutive singles that produced five runs.  Cruz and Byron Wiley each drove in two runs with hits in the inning.

               

All-American Daniel Edwards came on for the Purple in the seventh and surrendered an unearned run before ending the game on a groundout.          

               

Cruz got the Purple started in the first inning with a one-out solo homer to right field off of Hutt.  It was Cruz’ first home run of the series.

               

The Black squad bounced right back to tie the score in the top of the second as Bloxom led off with a double down the right-field line, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a single by Jason King.

               

The Black wasted a one-out scoring opportunity in the fourth when Bloxom walked and King singled.  But Bloxom was thrown out trying to steal third and Murray struck out Adam Muenster to end the inning. In the fifth, the Black had another chance but Murray worked out of a jam when he induced Brett Scott to ground into a fielder’s choice with two runners on base.

               

Chase Bayuk relieved Murray in the sixth and worked himself into trouble allowing a hit and walking three.  The Black went ahead 2-1 when Bayuk threw a wild pitch to score Drew Biery, who had doubled.  But J.J. Muse lined out to left field with the bases loaded to end the inning.

               

Bayuk was credited with the victory.  Hoge got the loss.

               

Yelovich went 3-for-4 in the game and ended the fall series with 10 hits in 19 at-bats.  Cruz and Jurica each had two hits for the Purple.  The Black was led by King with two hits.

               

The Wildcats wrapped up their fall practice in preparation for the 2008 season which opens February 22 at California.