April 3, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State left-hander Jared Moore worked 4.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen as the Wildcats held on for a 3-2 victory over Omaha Wednesday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State improved to 20-10 overall, picking up win No. 20 at the earliest point in a season since 2010. Kansas State also moved to 16-5 at home this year with 10 games at Tointon Family Stadium remaining. Omaha fell to 6-15 with the loss.
Moore entered the game following a one-out walk in the fourth inning and worked around a single and a hit-by-pitch, forcing the Mavericks to leave the bases loaded with an inning-ending pop out. The final out of the fourth began a streak of 11-straight retired batters until a one-out single in the eighth. Moore got out of that frame with a fielder’s choice and a fly ball.
A product of Boulder, Colo., Moore finished the night allowing just two hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He consistently pitched ahead in the count as he only threw 10 of his 48 pitches out of the strike zone.
“Jared Moore was big-time for us tonight,” head coach Brad Hill said. “He gave us a great outing. The whole key was that he got ahead in the count, and he was aggressive in the zone. He was able to expand the zone a little bit and got them to move the bats on pitches they didn’t want to move the bats on. That makes a big difference.”
The effort by Moore was much needed as UNO received a ninth-inning leadoff double from Alex Schultz off K-State reliever Gerardo Esquivel. Schultz scored when Cory Buckley reached on an infield single to shortstop Austin Fisher, who threw over the head of first baseman Shane Conlon. Two more singles loaded the bases as Esquivel faced pinch hitter Connor McCrite, who flew out to center field to end the game.
Esquivel picked up his first save of the year and the third of his career.
“We found a way to score one more run than them,” Hill said. “It wasn’t easy tonight, but the guys found a way to get it done.”
Tanner Witt, who went 5-for-5 with four RBI Tuesday evening against Nebraska, came back with a 2-for-3 effort, including the front end of consecutive RBI doubles in the fourth inning. Witt drove in Conlon from second base, while Blair DeBord followed with a double down the left-field line to make the score 2-1.
In the sixth inning, Witt reached on a one-out single to left field and advanced to second base when Buckley bobbled the ball. Following a line out for the second out of the inning, RJ Santigate produced his team-leading 11th two-out RBI of the season on a single to right field, giving the Cats a 3-1 lead.
Wildcat freshman Clayton Dalrymple registered his first-career multi-hit game by going 2-for-3.
Omaha starting pitcher Steven Schoonover (1-2) suffered the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts in six innings. The left-hander retired the first 10 Wildcat hitters he faced as a Conlon bunt single with one out in the fourth inning was the first batter to reach base.
Designated hitter Brett Bass led the Mavericks with two hits, while Alex Mortensen gave Omaha a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a sacrifice fly.
Kansas State returns to Big 12 action this weekend with a three-game series against Texas Tech, Friday through Sunday, at Tointon Family Stadium. Friday is Pack the Park Night as tickets and hot dogs are available for only $1, while supplies last. A postgame fireworks display, presented by the K-State Student Union Program Council, will also take place Friday night.
A pregame tailgate on the southwest lawn area of Tointon Family Stadium, which features live music and multiple food and beverage items, will begin 60 minutes prior to first pitch on both Friday and Saturday. Junior Wildcat Day will also be held on Saturday, while Sunday is a Family Day and Bring Your Dog to the Park Day.
Fans can order tickets online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or at the Tointon Family Stadium box office beginning 60 minutes prior to first pitch.
All three games against the Red Raiders can be seen nationally on Fox College Sports. The K-State Sports Network will broadcast Friday’s game, while listeners the Manhattan area can hear the final two games on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN. Free live audio of all three games is also available online at www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.