March 9, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State right-hander Matt Wivinis tossed his first career complete game, limiting 21st-ranked Cal Poly to just four runs on seven hits, as the Wildcats won the series finale, 10-4, Saturday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.
With the win, K-State salvaged the final game of the three-game set and improved to 9-5. It was the second win over a ranked team in the first four weeks of the season after the Wildcats knocked off No. 8 Kentucky on February 21. The Mustangs suffered just their second loss of the year, dropping to 13-2.
Wivinis, whose previous career-long outing was six innings, gave up three runs in the first two frames as the Wildcats were down 3-1 after the second. However, the Downers Grove, Ill., product recorded a pair of ground outs to get out of the second inning and begin a streak of 12-straight retired batters, while he faced the minimum from the end of the second until a one-out double in the seventh inning.
Wivinis only needed 91 pitches in his complete game and struck out five Mustangs, his second-highest mark of the year. The sophomore allowed just one free pass, which was a hit-by-pitch to lead off the contest.
"Matt has so much potential," head coach Brad Hill said. "In the past, that would have been a situation that he wouldn't have gotten out of the second inning, and we would have had to go to the bullpen. It's a great credit to him, and we need him to do that. For our team to be successful, he needs to pitch in that capacity. You could see the confidence level rise as the game kept going, and you could see he wanted to get the complete game."
The complete game by Wivinis was the first by a Wildcat since Joe Flattery went the distance at Texas Tech on May 18 last year.
After scoring just two runs in Friday's nightcap, the Wildcats responded with 10 runs on 13 hits Saturday as they registered double-digit runs and hits in the same contest for the fifth time in eight home games. The Wildcats, who managed only three steals in four attempts over the Friday twin bill, went 4-for-6 on the base paths in the series finale.
Additionally, the Wildcats stranded only three base runners in the contest after 11 and 10 in the first and second games of Friday's doubleheader, respectively.
Junior third baseman RJ Santigate led five Wildcats that recorded multi-hit games by going 3-for-4 with two RBI. The Las Vegas, Nev., product completed a four-run K-State fifth inning with a RBI single, and he also singled home one of two seventh-inning runs.
Sophomore Shane Conlon went 2-for-3 with two RBI to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the second-longest mark to begin a season in Hill's 10 years at K-State. The first baseman is now one game shy of tying Carter Jurica's 15-game streak to open the 2010 season.
"We had competitive at-bats," Hill said. "I thought our running game was good. We starting stealing bases and their pitchers starting making mistakes. When they made mistakes, we hit them. That's what the running game can do. We ran into some outs late, but I thought early in the game, it really created offense because we got some mistakes out of their pitchers."
Trailing by two in the fifth inning, the Wildcats scored four runs to take a 5-3 lead. Mitch Meyer, who drove in two runs in the contest, began the scoring with a RBI single. Following a fielder's choice, K-State strung together three-straight two-out RBI hits as singles by Tanner Witt and Santigate were sandwiched around a double to right field by Conlon.
In the seventh, K-State scored a run on a throwing error and Santigate's second hit, an infield single. A three-run eighth inning featured RBI singles by Blair DeBord and Ross Kivett, as well as a Meyer sacrifice fly.
Cal Poly starting pitcher Bryan Granger (3-1) suffered his first loss in four starts this year, allowing five runs on six hits in 4.2 innings with two walks in four innings. The Mustangs were paced offensively by Jimmy Allen and Elliot Stewart as both went 2-for-4.
Kansas State will host Northern Colorado for a two-game midweek series, Tuesday and Wednesday, at Tointon Family Stadium. Tuesday's contest begins at 6:30 p.m., while the finale is scheduled for 3 p.m., on Wednesday. Fans can order tickets online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or in person at either the K-State Athletics Ticket office inside Bramlage Coliseum or at the Tointon Family Stadium box office prior to the game.
Tuesday is a 2-for-1 Tuesday as fans can purchase two adult general admission bench tickets for the price of one, while the first 100 fans will also receive a free t-shirt. Wednesday is K-State Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day as $1 general admission bench tickets are available for K-State faculty and staff with a valid ID.
Both games can be seen world-wide on K-StateHD.TV and can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN. Free live audio is also available online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.