April 24, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. - In a wild see-saw offensive battle, Kansas State bolted to an early seven-run lead, fell behind by a run then exploded late to defeat Nebraska 13-10 Wednesday at Hawks Field and earn a season sweep over the Huskers.
K-State, which improved to 29-13, led 8-1 after its first two at-bats but Nebraska scored eight unanswered runs to erase the defict and take a 9-8 lead. The Wildcats responded by scoring the next five runs, avenging a three-game sweep by the Huskers last season while posting the second season sweep over Nebraska in four years. NU dropped below .500 at 19-20 with the loss.
The Wildcats jumped out of the gate over the first two innings, scoring three runs in the first and five in the second, including a two-RBI double from Jared King.
Down but not out, Nebraska stayed in the contest with a run in the first inning and three more in the second. The Huskers surged ahead 9-8 with four runs in the fifth inning, a frame highlighted by a two-run triple by Kash Kalkowski followed by a RBI single by Blake Headley to take the lead.
Kansas State, which went scoreless for three frames, came right back in the top of the sixth with three runs, including a go-ahead RBI single by RJ Santigate that gave the Cats the lead for good. K-State added two insurance runs in the seventh to grab a 13-9 lead.
"Give a lot of credit to our kids tonight," head coach Brad Hill said. "It's not easy to see a seven-run lead evaporate and then come back. Our guys showed resiliency in coming back, particularly from an offensive standpoint. The guys really stepped up tonight."
Santigate and King led the Wildcat attack as each went 3-for-5 with three RBI. King extended his hitting streak to a career-long 15 games, going 24-for-53 with 19 RBI during that stretch. Santigate recorded his most hits in a game since March 22 against Bethune-Cookman, while his three RBI was one shy of his season-high.
Jon Davis also contributed three RBI while Tanner Witt, Shane Conlon and Austin Fisher each recorded two-hit games. Witt tallied his team-leading 20th multi-hit game of the year, while Davis and King each pushed their multi-RBI game total to a team-leading eight.
Hayden Nixon (2-0) was credited with the win after recording the final two outs of the four-run Husker fifth. Joe Flattery, who worked just his second career game out of the bullpen, followed Nixon and slammed the door on Nebraska by tossing two scoreless innings with one hit and three strikeouts.
"That was a big confidence boost for him," Hill said. "For us to be successful the next four weeks, we're going to need Joe Flattery and Nate Williams. Those guys are going to need to get better and improve. We saw some progress tonight."
Nebraska relief pitcher Tyler King (1-4) suffered the loss after allowing two runs without recording an out in the sixth inning. He entered the game with one out and a runner on first base, but the left-hander hit Fisher with a pitch and allowed run-scoring hits to Davis and Santigate.
Kansas State returns home for a three-game conference series against TCU, Friday through Sunday, at Tointon Family Stadium. Friday's game, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is Military Appreciation Night, while a pregame tailgate will be held 60 minutes prior to first pitch on both Friday and Saturday. Saturday's game begins at 4 p.m., following the Purple/White Spring Game, and Sunday's series finale is scheduled for an 11 a.m., first pitch.
Friday's game can be seen exclusively on K-StateHD.TV and heard on the K-State Sports Network. Saturday's contest will be shown state-wide on Cox Communications' Kansas 22 and in the Kansas City area on MetroSports. The final two games can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN, while free live audio of the entire series is available online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.