May 11, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kayvon Bahramzadeh pitched 5.2 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts to lead Kansas State to a 2-0 shutout of Kansas Friday evening at rainy Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State improved to 23-27 overall and 4-15 in Big 12 play, while KU fell to 19-30 on the year and 4-14 in league action. It was the first shutout by the Wildcats against a conference opponent since blanking Oklahoma, 2-0, last season, while it was the first shutout of Kansas since a 5-0 decision in Lawrence in 2008.
Bahramzadeh (6-3) was outstanding in the final home start of his career as he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, which was broken up on a two-out single. However, the right-hander was able to work out of the jam with his eighth strikeout of the night.
The Tucson, Ariz., product started the sixth with a pair of ground outs as rain began to fall. After the right-hander walked James Stanfield, he threw two pitches to Alex DeLeon when the umpires pulled the players off the field. The game was halted for over an hour and a half, which spelled the end of Bahramzadeh’s night.
Bahramzadeh allowed just one hit and two walks and picked up his first Big 12 win since a relief outing against Missouri last year. It also marked his fifth-straight Big 12 start with at least five strikeouts, which boosted his season total to a career-best 72.
“That was a great start by him,” head coach Brad Hill said. “We needed that and had to have that. He gave it to us, which gave us a chance. We have game one under our belt, but we still have a lot of work left to do this weekend. It sure feels nice to have the first one under our belt and it all starts with the guy on the mound giving us a great start.”
Matt Applegate and Gerardo Esquivel pitched the final 3.1 innings for the Wildcats. Applegate allowed a hit with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings, while Esquivel earned his second save of the year. It didn’t come easy, however, as the first two Jayhawks reached base in the ninth on a double and a soft single to left field. With runners on the corners, Esquivel struck out two batters before pinch hitter Chris Manship lined out to end the game.
“It got a little interesting in the ninth because we’ve had some heartbreakers like that throughout the year,” Hill said. “Gerardo hung tough for us and made the pitches he needed to. (Catcher) Blair (DeBord) called a couple of pitches in which he showed bravery doing that, and Gerardo made the pitch he needed to. Blair made good calls and Gerardo executed the pitch.”
RJ Santigate and Jake Brown each had two hits to lead Kansas State, which saw seven of its nine starters record a hit. Brown got K-State on the board in the second inning with a single to left field to score Santigate. Wade Hinkle led off the Wildcat sixth with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a fly out to left, Mike Kindel came off the bench to slap a pinch-hit single up the middle to plate the second K-State run of the night.
KU starter Frank Duncan (5-7) suffered the loss despite allowing just one run on six hits in five innings of work.
K-State and KU continue their three-game Big 12 series on Saturday with a 6:30 p.m., first pitch at Tointon Family Stadium. Saturday is Senior Night at K-State honors its seven seniors playing in their final home series. A pregame tailgate precedes the contest, beginning at 5 p.m., directly behind the stadium off College Avenue. Additionally, fans can purchase a $3 general admission bench ticket when they present their Big 12 Track & Field Championship ticket, while the game also serves as Valley Center Community Night.
Fans can purchase tickets through the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets or at the Tointon Family Stadium box office prior to the game. Saturday’s game will be shown world-wide on K-StateHD.TV and will be aired in the Manhattan area SportsRadio 1350 KMAN as well as www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.