April 7, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. - A trio of Kansas State pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout and sophomore outfielder Jared King tied his career-high with four hits as the Wildcats defeated Sacred Heart, 7-0, Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.
Kansas State, which swept the three-game series, improved to 17-14 and earned its first shutout since a 9-0 decision on April 26 last season at CSU Bakersfield. Sacred Heart fell to 10-19 with the loss.
Starting pitcher Kayvon Bahramzadeh (4-1) tossed six innings for the second-straight week, leading the Wildcats to a shutout for the first time in his career. The right-hander worked around three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts building upon his 11-strikeout performance a week ago at No. 24 Oklahoma.
The Wildcat bullpen followed Bahramzadeh with three perfect innings as left-hander Robert Youngdahl struck out one batter in the seventh before right-hander Jake Doller fanned two in the final two innings. Doller extended his scoreless inning streak to 6.1 over his last three outings with one hit, one walk and five strikeouts.
"We got great pitching today, that was the key," head coach Brad Hill said. "It wasn't a great offensive day, except for Jared. Other than that, we were scratching and clawing to find a way to score a few runs.
"The key for Kayvon was competing because he wasn't very sharp, to be honest with you," Hill continued. "He was up in the zone and got away with some things. When he had to make good pitches, he did. I know it sounds funny with the shutout, but he left some balls up in the zone today. Their big hitters got a lot of balls up in the air, but they didn't leave the ballpark."
King drove in a pair of runs and reached base in all five at-bats. The only time he didn't record a hit was on a fielding error in the fifth inning, but the center fielder still picked up a RBI on the play as part of a four-run frame. The Dublin, Ohio, product reached the four-hit mark for the fourth time in his career and the second time this season, also accomplishing the feat at San Diego State on February 25.
Sophomore Ross Kivett recorded a pair of hits, while Tanner Witt drove in two runs on a fifth-inning triple, his team-leading third of the season. Witt has now reached base safely in 24-straight games, the longest streak by a Wildcat this season.
Blair DeBord, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning, tied his season best with three RBI, including two on a single in the seventh inning.
After stealing eight bases on Friday to equal a season high, the Wildcats recorded seven on Saturday to total 19 in the three-game series. Kansas State has 74 stolen bases this season, which sits just outside the top 10 in school history.
King began K-State's scoring in the third inning with a RBI single to center field. After Witt's two-run triple in the fifth, King brought home Witt on a RBI grounder that was misplayed making the score 4-0. A walk, sacrifice bunt and hit-batsman loaded the bases before DeBord entered the game as a pinch-hitter and walked to complete the four-run frame.
Sacred Heart starting pitcher Kody Kerski (1-4) suffered the loss by allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits with two walks and a strikeout in four innings.
Kansas State returns to action on Wednesday as the Wildcats travel to Springfield, Mo., to take on Missouri State in a 6 p.m., contest at Hammons Field. The game can be seen world-wide on K-StateHD.TV and can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN as well as online at www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.