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Wildcats Complete Four-Game Sweep of Hartford


GO WILDCATS Wade Hinkle walked three times and scored four runs
GO WILDCATS
Wade Hinkle walked three times and scored four runs
GO WILDCATS

March 11, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Fueled by 17 walks and three hit batters, Kansas State needed only six hits to score 13 runs as the Wildcats completed a four-game sweep of Hartford with a 13-2 win Sunday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.

The victory moved K-State to 9-6 on the season prior to its five-game road trip next week, which includes the beginning of Big 12 play. Hartford fell to 1-10 with the loss.

K-State’s 17 walks were the most since also forcing 17 against St. Bonaventure in 2010. Sunday also marked the first time since playing Nevada in 2009 that the Wildcats plated double-digits runs without reaching the 10-hit mark.

Kansas State saw a solid pitching performance from freshman right-hander Matt Wivinis (1-0), who picked up the win in his first career start. Wivinis allowed two runs on three hits with no walks and a career-best six strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work. Jared Moore, Johnny Fasola and Caleb Wallingford followed by tossing 3.2 shutout innings with Moore and Wallingford recording a pair of strikeouts.

K-State issued just one walk in the contest, a two-out free pass by Moore in the fifth to put runners on first and third, but the left-hander recorded a ground out to get out of the jam. The one walk allowed tied a season low.

“I thought our pitching was outstanding, starting with Matt Wivinis,” head coach Brad Hill said. “The first inning could have been a debacle because we could not catch the ball and had a couple errors. He worked with runners on second and third, and he pitched through it. He had great composure. He went over four innings for us, which was great to see out of him. The other guys coming in behind him did a great job too.”

None of the 14 Wildcats that came to the plate recorded a multi-hit day, but six players worked at least two walks. Senior Wade Hinkle led the way by tying his career high with three walks, a mark he reached earlier in the week at Nebraska. The senior came around to score a K-State season-high four times, while he went 1-for-2 with a RBI. The Albuquerque, N.M., has reached base safely in all 15 games this season.

Ross Kivett, Blair DeBord, Brett Kauten, RJ Santigate and Dan Klein each walked twice, while Kauten and Santigate each tallied three RBI. Two of Kauten’s RBI came on a two-run double as part of a three-run first inning. Santiagte worked bases-loaded walks in both the second and fifth, while he singled home a run in the seventh.

Klein and DeBord also recorded multi-RBI games with two apiece, their second and fifth of the season, respectively.

DeBord walked with the bases loaded to score the first run of the game, which was followed by Kauten’s two-run double. Jake Brown, who recorded eight hits in Saturday’s doubleheader, came back with a RBI double off the right-field wall to plate a run in the second before Santigate’s bases-loaded walk.

K-State’s four-run fifth inning began with a Mike Kindel sacrifice fly and Hinkle followed with a run-scoring single up the middle before a pair of bases-loaded walks.

The Wildcats scored three more in the eighth inning on singles by DeBord, Santigate and Klein.

The game featured a brief delay in the bottom of the fourth inning as rain began to fall. After working on the pitcher’s mound for five minutes, play resumed under rainy conditions until precipitation let up at around 1 p.m.

The game was called after eight innings to due a travel curfew.

Next action for Kansas State is this Tuesday and Wednesday when the Wildcats travel to Minneapolis, Minn., to take on the University of Minnesota. First pitch on Tuesday from the Metrodome is set for 6:35 p.m. The game will be carried in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.