May 13, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State’s bullpen duo of Nate Williams and Jared Moore combined for 6.2 shutout innings and the Wildcat offense pounded 10 hits as K-State earned a Big 12 series win over Kansas with a 9-3 victory Sunday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State improved to 24-28 overall and 5-16 in Big 12 play, while KU fell to 20-31 on the year and 5-15 in conference action. The win marked the first conference series victory for K-State this season, while the Wildcats have now won five of the last six conference series against their in-state rival and 17 of the last 22 games overall.
Williams (1-3) came out of the bullpen in the second inning with the bases loaded and Wildcats clinging to a 3-2 lead. The freshman right-hander fanned Kevin Kuntz for the second out of the inning before walking James Stanfield to tie the game.
Williams buckled down, striking out Alex DeLeon to get out of the frame and faced the minimum over the fourth and fifth innings. The Valley Center, Kan., product allowed just one hit in his 2.2 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
Williams walked the first two batters of the fifth inning, which spelled the end of his night. Working with a 5-3 lead, Moore came on to force DeLeon to line out before fanning two batters to get out of the jam. The left-hander also worked around a double and a walk with one out in the sixth, a two-out single in the seventh and a one-out walk in the eighth to keep KU off the scoreboard.
Moore threw four scoreless innings – his longest career outing against a conference opponent – as he surrendered just two hits and two walks with a career-best seven strikeouts.
“We had to have it tonight,” head coach Brad Hill said. “Nate and Jared were really good. Jared just had good rhythm, and Blair (DeBord) was outstanding calling the game.”
A night after being shutout, K-State scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to back-to-back home runs by Jared King and Wade Hinkle. King’s two-run shot went to the opposite field just inside the left-field foul pole. After battling to a 2-2 count, Hinkle fouled off two pitches before hammering a pitch over the right-field wall to give Kansas State a 3-0 lead.
The homers marked the first back-to-back home runs since King followed a Mike Kindel homer with one against CSU Bakersfield last year. It was also the third-straight time a King brother was involved with consecutive homers as Jason King and Justin Bloxom went back-to-back against Texas in 2009.
Hinkle, who added a RBI double in a four-run eighth, went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Jon Davis also went 3-for-4 with RBI singles in both the third and eighth innings.
Following Davis’ RBI single in the third, Jake Brown drove home a run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth. K-State broke open a two-run game in the eighth as Ross Kivett singled home a run prior to Hinkle’s run-scoring double, while Davis finished off the inning with his two-out infield RBI single.
KU starting pitcher Thomas Taylor (4-6) suffered the loss by allowing four runs on four hits in 2.1 innings of work. Dakota Smith led the Jayhawks offensively with three hits.
Kansas State returns to action on Thursday as the Wildcats travel to Lubbock, Texas, for a three-game series against Texas Tech. First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., at Rip Griffin Park. All three games will be aired in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.