April 11, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Despite recording just two hits, Missouri State scored three unearned runs -- including two in the first inning -- while Kansas State's offense stranded 13 baserunners as MSU shutout K-State, 3-0, Wednesday at Hammons Field.
With the win, Missouri State moved to 25-10, while K-State dropped to 17-15.
The Wildcats put pressure on Missouri State pitching all night as they out-hit the Bears, 8-2. However, the Cats left eight runners in scoring position and struck out 13 times, tying a season-high.
Missouri State scored all the runs it needed in the first inning when K-State dropped a two-out pop up on the infield resulting in the first run. Keenan Maddox then ripped a double off K-State starter Jared Moore (2-3) into the left-center field gap, giving the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Moore settled down to retire the next seven batters before Tanner Witt, who began the game as the designated hitter, pitched a scoreless fourth and fifth innings. Caleb Wallingford and Johnny Fasola finished out the game without allowing an earned run. The Bears scored their third run of the game on a two-out error in the eighth inning.
Moore surrendered just one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Missouri State’s Jake Powers (2-0) picked up the win by tossing six shutout innings, working around five hits and a walk. The right-hander’s off-speed pitches kept the Wildcats off-balance as he struck out a career-high tying nine batters.
Zach Merciez followed Powers with a scoreless seventh, while Grant Gordon and Tyler Burgess closed out the game for Missouri State. Burgess allowed a hit and a walk, but he struck out three batters en route to his seventh save of the season.
K-State had multiple scoring opportunities throughout the game. The Wildcats loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth with three-straight base hits, but a strikeout and two fly-ball outs ended the frame. In the fifth, K-State put runners on second and third with one out before a strikeout and ground out ended the threat.
In the eighth inning, Wildcat freshmen Austin Fisher and Kyle Speer reached base with a double and a walk, respectively, but were stranded.
The bright spot for the Wildcat offense was the performance of Jared King, who went 3-for-4 after a four-hit performance against Sacred Heart on Saturday. Witt went 1-for-3 with a walk to extend his career-long streak of reaching base safely to 25-straight games. The streak is the longest by a Wildcat this season and the second-longest in the Big 12 this season.
K-State returns home to face fifth-ranked Baylor in a three-game set, Friday through Sunday, at Tointon Family Stadium. Friday-night’s game, which begins at 6:30 p.m., serves as Military Appreciation Night as military personnel can receive a general admission bench ticket for just $3. Also, a pregame tailgate begins at 5 p.m., directly behind the stadium off College Avenue. Tickets are available through the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or inside the ticket office at Bramlage Coliseum.
Friday’s game can be seen world-wide on K-StateHD.TV and nationally on Fox College Sports. The game can also be heard across the five-station K-State Sports Network as well as online at www.k-statesports.com.