March 7, 2014
Box Score |
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The K-State pitching staff held up the Wildcats' three first-inning runs as the K-State baseball team beat Iowa 3-2 on Friday at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State starting pitcher Levi MaVorhis and a trio of relievers helped the Wildcats (5-7) limit the Hawkeyes (9-2) to a pair of runs during K-State's home opener and in front of a crowd of 3,090. MaVorhis scattered seven hits and surrendered both of the runs in his final full inning of work in the sixth. The right-hander also struck out five and walked one in his six-plus innings, improving his record to 2-1 this season.
"MaVorhis was really good," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "He was really sharp and got through the [sixth] inning when he gave up three hits--a good hit up the middle, a base hit and then a chopper over the first baseman's head. Before you know it, it is first and third and then it is a 3-2 game."
The Wildcat bullpen was put into action when right-hander Ethan Landon relieved MaVorhis in the seventh. After MaVorhis allowed a leadoff double and Landon's first batter faced, Blake Hickman, laid down a sacrifice bunt, Landon induced back-to-back groundballs to end the inning with the tying run standing at second.
In the eighth, Jordan Floyd inherited Landon's runner on second with two outs, but the freshman fanned Taylor Zeutenhorst after falling behind 2-0 in the count to end the frame unscathed.
Jake Matthys, making his first appearance since February 18, had a strikeout in a perfect ninth inning to record his first save of the season.
"I am proud of our guys today--the whole staff stepped up," said MaVorhis. "Ethan Landon came in and picked me up after I gave up the hit. Jordan Floyd came in and shut them down, and then Jake Matthys did his thing."
The Wildcats' offense came alive quickly in the first inning when Ross Kivett hit a leadoff double to left field. Carter Yagi, attempting to move Kivett to third, reached on a bunt single that put runners on the corners for Shane Conlon. The K-State first baseman came through with an RBI single to center field on the first pitch he saw from Iowa starting pitcher Calvin Mathews. Kyle Speer later drew a bases-loaded walk to score Yagi, preceding Alex Bee's hit by pitch with a full count that forced Conlon home and gave the Wildcats a 3-0 advantage.
Conlon finished as the only Wildcat with multiple hits after he led off the seventh inning with a single up the middle. He went 2-for-4, extending his on-base streak to 11 games.
Austin Fisher went 1-for-3 with a walk to help extend his team-high hitting streak to 11 games and on-base streak to 12 games.
Max Brown, who had a double in his two at-bats, came in as a replacement in right field and made two key defensive plays, including a diving catch for the first out in the ninth inning.
Mathews took the loss for Iowa after he allowed three runs on four hits and three walks in five innings pitched.
K-State and Iowa continue the three-game set on Saturday, March 8 at 3 pm. Left-hander Jared Moore will take the bump for the Wildcats while lefty Andrew Hedrick will start for Iowa.