April 19, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State scored six times in the third inning and freshman Ross Kivett tallied a career-high four hits as the Wildcats topped Missouri State, 10-4, Tuesday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.
In the first meeting between the two teams since 2006, K-State improved to 21-15 on the year while the Bears fell to 21-14.
Kansas State, which had the bases loaded in each of the first two innings but only produced one run, exploded in the third as the Wildcats batted around the order. The inning began with an infield single by Mike Kindel and a walk to Jared King before Tanner Witt drove in a run on a base hit up the middle.
Two consecutive walks, the second to Jake Brown, brought in another run before Kivett singled through the right side of the infield to give the Cats a 4-2 lead and knock Missouri State starter Pierce Johnson (3-4) out of the contest.
Nick Martini greeted reliever Nick Powers with a two-run double off the right-field wall. Jason King completed the inning with a sacrifice fly to bring in Kivett and make the score 7-2.
“I thought it was good to get a lot of guys to feel good about themselves,” associate head coach John Szefc said. “We had some ups and downs last weekend, and in the last few games we haven’t been able to get the base hit that opens things up a little bit. Tonight, we got some big knocks when we needed them. You always try to create the big inning, which gives you a huge chance to win the game, especially if you pitch the way we pitched tonight.”
Kivett extended his hitting streak to nine games and tied his career-high with three RBI. After grounding out in his first at-bat, Kivett recorded four consecutive singles, including a two-run hit up the middle in the fourth inning to push the Wildcat advantage to 9-2. The Broadview Heights, Ohio, product tied the team's season-high for hits in a game with Martini, who has accomplished the feat on three occasions.
Martini and King, the No. 2 and 3 hitters in the lineup, each went 2-for-4 with two RBI as the top third of the batting order combined to go 8-for-13 and drive in seven of the team’s 10 runs. Witt also recorded his 11th multi-hit game of the year with two base hits.
Justin Lindsey (4-1) earned the win, throwing 80 pitches through 4.1 innings in a predetermined pitch-count start. The right-hander surrendered two runs in the second inning on a looping single by Brett Marshall and left the game with a 9-2 lead in the fifth. Wildcat relievers Blake Freeman and Levi Schlick combined for 4.2 scoreless innings with five hits and three walks, while Freeman struck out two batters.
Missouri State’s Kevin Medrano led the Bear offense with three hits, while Marshall went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Kansas State returns to action on Thursday for a three-game Big 12 series against Texas Tech. First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., at Tointon Family Stadium. The series continues on Friday with another 6:30 p.m., contest, with Saturday’s series finale set for 1 p.m.
To order tickets, fans can call the K-State Athletics Ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS, log on to www.k-statesports.com/tickets or visit the office inside Bramlage Coliseum. The ticket windows at Tointon Family Stadium open one hour prior to first pitch.