Feb. 28, 2014
ABILENE, Texas – A K-State offense, which tallied 14 hits, backed up a career-day for Wildcat starting pitcher Levi MaVorhis as the K-State baseball team beat Grand Canyon 9-4 on Friday in the first game of the Bourland-Ardoin Classic at Crutcher Scott Field.
MaVorhis, making his third start of the season, posted career-highs in strikeouts (8) and innings pitched (7 1/3) in his first win of the year. The right-hander scattered seven hits, including a second-inning home run in an environment that had wind gusts near 35 mph, and allowed four runs (three earned).
“Great job of competing, great job of not letting the wind howling out of there affect him,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill about MaVorhis. “He gave up one home run early. For a lot of people that can turn into three or four home runs easily because then you get concerned about making the same mistake; Levi did not. He showed great composure.”
The Wildcats (2-7) piled on a season-high 14 hits, led by multi-hit efforts from Shane Conlon, Ross Kivett, Kyle Speer and Carter Yagi. Conlon led the way with three hits, his first three-hit game of the season. The two-hit games for Kivett, Speer and Yagi were the first time this season the three hitters had each recorded a multi-hit game.
“Offensively, better, much better,” said Hill. “As coach [Mike Clement] said in the [postgame] meeting, we didn’t go zeros. At least there were some ones. We continued to at least score one run an inning, which kept the pressure on [Grand Canyon].”
K-State wasted little time in scoring runs as the ‘Cats plated three runs in the top of the first. Kivett drew a leadoff walk before Yagi advanced Kivett to third with a single up the middle. During Conlon’s at-bat, Kivett scored on a wild pitch delivered by Grand Canyon starting pitcher Jorge Perez, his first of three in the game, to make it 1-0 K-State. Austin Fisher scored Yagi with a single while RJ Santigate hit an RBI double to plate Fisher and make it 3-0.
After Grand Canyon pulled within one, 3-2, in the second inning, K-State scored a single run in the third and fourth innings. Mitch Meyer’s RBI single drove in Conlon, who led off the third with a double, and Yagi hustled for a two-out double in the fourth that scored Speer and made it 5-2.
After two errors and two base hits in the fifth that helped score two Grand Canyon runs, MaVorhis settled in and induced a pop out by Matt Haggerty and struck out Brandon Smith to strand the game-tying run at third and keep it 5-4 in favor of K-State.
The Wildcats added insurance runs in the sixth through eighth innings. Speer hit a ground ball triple to the right-center field gap in the sixth and was later driven home by Lance Miles’ single. In the seventh, Santigate registered his second RBI of the game with a sac fly to score Conlon. Kivett and Conlon capped the game’s scoring with RBI base hits in the eighth.
Conlon’s double in the eighth was the fourth two-base hit by the Wildcats in the game. K-State finished with a season-high five extra-base hits.
K-State reliever Ethan Landon struck out one in 1 2/3 innings. The right-hander inherited a runner in the eighth, but he ended the inning with a double play by the first batter he faced.
Kivett, who also scored two runs and drew a walk, made the start in center field. It was Kivett’s first career start at K-State in center. Miles earned his first career start at second base.
K-State will square off again against Grand Canyon on Saturday, March 1 at 11 am. Senior Jared Moore will take the bump for the Wildcats and oppose fellow left-hander Andrew Naderer of the Antelopes.