May 13, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State scored six times in the first inning and received a dominant pitching performance from Kyle Hunter as the Wildcats earned a 9-1 victory over New Orleans Friday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.
Kansas State improved to 29-20 on the year and picked up its 20th home win, marking the fifth time in the last seven years the Cats have won at least 20 home games. The Privateers fell to 3-45.
The Wildcats sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning, stringing together five hits but were also helped out by four UNO errors. Ross Kivett, Kent Urban, Jason King and Mike Kindel each singled and scored, while Kindel, Nick Martini, Wade Hinkle, and Jake Brown all drove in runs to put the Cats up 6-0.
That was all the runs Hunter (5-4) needed as he threw eight shutout innings, allowing three hits with no walks and five strikeouts. After a two-out single in the first, the left-hander faced just one batter over the minimum until another two-out single in the eighth inning. His eight innings of work were a season-best.
“We hit balls flat, which was good because we worked heavily on that yesterday,” head coach Brad Hill said. “We wanted to create an inning that way. The errors obviously had a factor in that too, but we also had to hit the ball flat to make those things happen. Kyle Hunter was outstanding tonight. That’s what we need and what we’re going to need next Friday. I thought that was his best game in a while.”
K-State collected 10 hits in the contest, but only Kindel registered a multi-hit night as he also hammered his sixth home run over the right-field wall in the third inning.
New Orleans starter Tyler Sanders (1-10) allowed eight runs – only three of which were earned – on seven hits in three innings. Reliever Cory Hoffman surrendered just three hits, including a RBI single by Tanner Witt, with no walks and five strikeouts.
Kansas State continues its three-game series against New Orleans with a 6:30 p.m., first pitch Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium. To order tickets, log on to www.k-statesports.com/tickets or call the K-State Athletics Ticket office at 1-800-221-CATS. The ticket windows at Tointon Family Stadium open one hour prior to first pitch.