Grey Captures K-State Fall World Series, 3-2

MANHATTAN, Kan. With the series tied at two games apiece heading into the fifth and final game of the 2008 K-State Fall World Series, the Grey squad came out swinging and downed the Purple, 10-6, to win three games to two.

In the winner-take-all deciding game, Grey recorded 21 hits and scored six of its 10 runs in the first two innings. Junior Daniel Dellasega and junior-college transfer David Masters each recorded RBI singles in the first before Grey led the second off with back-to-back singles. Jordan Cruz then blasted a three-run homer over the left-centerfield wall to make the score 5-1. Later in the inning, Masters laced another RBI single to score Justin Bloxom to cap the four-run frame.

After Grey scored another four runs in the fourth to make the score 10-1, Purple made it interesting with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and another run in the sixth. Dane Yelovich started off the fourth with a triple before Carter Jurica brought him home on a single to centerfield. Rob Vaughn then hit an RBI groundout to plate Jurica. After scoreless seventh and eighth innings, Purple needed six runs to tie the game in the final frame, but was only able to grab two and left another two runners on base when Grey’s A.J. Morris recorded a series-clinching strikeout.

Freshman Kayvon Bahramzadeh took the win as he allowed three runs on just five hits in 5.0 innings pitched. Todd Vogel took the loss to finish the series with a 1-1 record for Purple. However, the bright spot for the Purple pitching staff was a pair of underclassmen, freshman Chad Jasman and sophomore Thomas Rooke, who held the Grey team scoreless over the final five frames.

Game one was the only pitching duel of the series, which pitted a pair of freshmen starters in Kyle Hunter and James Allen. In the top of the first, Bloxom hit an RBI double into leftfield, which scored Cruz, and gave the Grey squad a 1-0 lead. However, Purple came back with runs in the first and the second innings as Yelovich scored on an error in the first and Cameron Welch hit an RBI single in the second to score Jason King. Following two scoreless innings, the Grey team scored a pair of runs in the fifth as freshman Jake Brown singled through the right side to plate Masters, and Drew Biery followed with a single to score Cruz for the eventual winning score of 4-2.

Hunter, who was drafted out of high school by the Tampa Bay Rays, took the win in a predetermined pitch count start of 4.2 innings, yielding just one earned run on three hits, while striking out four. Allen, who was handed the loss for the Purple team, also threw 4.2 innings, but allowed three runs on five hits. Bahramzadeh picked up the save after 2.0 innings of no-hit ball, striking out three batters.

Needing a win in game two to tie the series at one apiece, the Purple team came out on fire against five different Grey pitchers to take the second game by a score of 9-1. Purple scratched across one run in the second inning on an RBI groundout by freshman Jimmy Risi before Grey tied it up in the fourth on a Mike Kindel single. However, the wheels came off for the Grey pitching staff the next three innings as Purple plated two runs in the fifth and three runs in both the sixth and the seventh innings to turn the 1-1 contest into a blowout. King and Risi each scored in the fifth, while the sixth inning saw Adam Muenster, Jurica and Vaughn come across to push the lead to 6-1. The big hit for Purple in the seventh came off the bat of freshman Nick Martini, who laced a two-RBI single to plate both Muenster and Jurica.

Vogel was effective through 5.2 innings to pick up the win as he allowed just one run on six hits, while walking two and striking out two. Junior-college transfer Ryan Daniel held on to the lead for the Purple squad, allowing just three hits in 3.1 innings. Mark Joukoff was saddled with the loss for Grey as he gave up three runs on four hits in 4.2 innings.

Despite a three-day layoff, Purple kept the momentum going with another blow-out win of 11-3 in game three, thanks in part to Martini. Both teams scratched across a run in the first inning, but the Purple squad scored three in the third, including an RBI single to right center by Martini. Two innings later, Purple pushed across six runs, highlighted by Martini’s two-run homer off the scoreboard in right field. The freshman was at it again the next inning with an RBI double to left centerfield to put the game out of reach. Martini, a product of Crystal Lake, Ill., finished the night 3-for-5 with four RBI.

Sophomore Justin Lindsey, who threw 5.0 solid innings, allowed three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts to take the win for Purple. Grey’s Evan Marshall was handed the loss as he gave up seven runs on 12 hits in 4.1 innings.

The series evened up again in game four as Grey took a convincing 10-1 win. Grey held a 3-0 lead after six innings, but a four-run seventh and a three-run eighth was the difference in the game. In the seventh, the Grey team received back-to-back home runs from Bloxom and Dellasega to open the frame, while both Masters and Dan Rumsey scored on a Cruz double. In the eighth, four straight one-out hits by Bloxom, Dellasega, Masters and Matt Giller plated three runs for the final tally.

Morris received the win as he pitched a series-high 7.2 innings, allowing just one run on six hits with six strikeouts. Rooke, who came out of the pen in all 25 appearances in 2008, was saddled with the loss as the starter as he gave up three runs on four hits in 4.0 innings of work.

Masters and Rumsey led the Grey squad throughout the series as each went 10-for-21 (.476). Masters led all K-State hitters during the series with five doubles, while he also drove in four runs. Cruz, who went 5-for-17 (.294) led Grey with a team-best seven RBI in the series. King led all Purple hitters as he went 7-for-17 (.412) with three doubles. Martini was 6-for-18 (.333) and recorded a team-high seven RBI.

On the mound, Morris was 1-0 in three appearances, allowing just one earned run in 10.0 innings, good for a series-low 0.90 ERA. He and Marshall led Grey with seven strikeouts apiece, while Bahramzadeh was 1-0 with one save in four appearances. Despite an 0-1 record, Rooke led Purple with a 3.00 ERA in 9.0 innings pitched. Lindsey’s five strikeouts were tops among Purple pitchers.

With the conclusion of fall practice, the Kansas State baseball team now turns its attention to winter conditioning until its first day of spring practice on February 1. K-State opens the 2009 season with a three-game series at Houston beginning Friday, February 20.