March 28, 2013
WACO, Texas – Kansas State freshmen relief pitchers Levi MaVorhis and Jake Matthys combined for four scoreless innings and six strikeouts to help the Wildcats defeat Baylor, 3-2, Thursday evening at Baylor Ballpark.
The victory in the weekend series opener was just the fourth ever by K-State in Waco as the Cats improved to 18-8 overall and 3-1 in Big 12 play. On Friday, Kansas State will be looking for its first-ever series win at Baylor and series victories in each of its first two Big 12 weekends for the first time. Baylor fell to 11-15 overall and 1-2 in conference action.
With the game tied 2-2 in the sixth inning, Baylor's Cal Towey laced a leadoff triple down the right-field line off K-State starting pitcher Joe Flattery. The left-hander then hit Steve DalPorto with a pitch, ending Flattery’s evening.
MaVorhis (3-0) came out of K-State bullpen and struck out Jake Miller and Nate Goodwin before inducing an inning-ending ground out to keep the game tied.
Riding the momentum from MaVorhis' clutch relief work, the Wildcat offense pieced together the go-ahead run in the seventh. Blair DeBord reached on a single and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Ross Kivett then surprised the Baylor defense with a bunt that Baylor reliever Crayton Bare threw past DalPorto at first base, allowing DeBord to score.
MaVorhis worked around a two-out single in the seventh inning before Matthys came on to post scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth innings.
“It was about our pitching tonight. Our pitching was outstanding,” head coach Brad Hill said. “Levi and Jake were great. Levi coming in with runners on the corners and no outs was obviously the swinging point in the game.”
MaVorhis picked up his second win in as many games after earning the win Tuesday night against Nebraska. Matthys registered his second save of the year by striking out two batters in the eighth inning with the tying run at second base, then worked a perfect ninth inning.
Baylor starting pitcher Dillon Newman (3-2) registered the loss by allowing three runs, including the unearned run in the seventh, and working around nine hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
DeBord paced the Wildcats offensively by going 3-for-3 with a RBI. He tied his career high in hits and registered his ninth multi-hit game of the year, including his sixth in the last eight games. Kivett, RJ Santigate and Jon Davis each tallied two-hit games.
Baylor took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when it loaded the bases with just one out. Grayson Porter drove in the run on a sacrifice fly, but Flattery limited the damage as, after a walk loaded the bases again, he induced an inning-ending fly out.
“Joe had some first-inning jitters, but they only got one out of it,” Hill said. “That was big.”
K-State came right back with a pair of runs in the second to take the lead. Santigate led off with a double and scored when Davis hammered a triple to deep center field. DeBord recorded his first hit of the night with a RBI single down the left-field line to plate Davis.
Baylor tied the game in the fourth inning when Goodwin hit a one-out double to left-center field to plate Miller from first base. Towey and Miller led the Bears with 2-for-3 performances.
Kansas State and Baylor continue their three-game Big 12 series Friday evening with a 6:35 p.m., contest at Baylor Ballpark. The game can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN as well as online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.