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Kivett's 10th-Inning Single Seals Series-Opening Win


GO WILDCATS Jared King hit a pair of two-RBI doubles
GO WILDCATS
Jared King hit a pair of two-RBI doubles
GO WILDCATS

May 20, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Freshman second baseman Ross Kivett singled on a full-count pitch with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to give Kansas State an 11-10 walk-off win over Kansas in the series opener Friday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.

K-State improved to 32-21 and 10-14 in Big 12 play in its quest to claim a spot in next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. The Wildcats need one victory in the final two games of the series to earn the tourney's final berth. Kansas fell to 26-28 overall and 9-16 in conference action.

Kivett’s single capped a furious comeback after the Wildcats trailed 8-4 in the seventh inning. The wild four-hour, 14-minute game in front of 2,063 fans featured six multi-run innings.

The winning rally started innocently enough when pitcher Alex Cox (4-4) retired Wade Hinkle on a ground out.  But the right-hander then hit Tanner Witt and Dan KIein with pitches to put the winning run in scoring position. After Jake Brown fanned for the second out, Kivett worked the count full before slapping a one-hopper just to the left of diving second baseman Kaiana Eldredge to score Witt for the game-winner.

“It was tough. Both teams are fighting for their lives,” head coach Brad Hill said. “There is a lot on the line for both of us, and that’s the way both teams played. There was a lot of pressure out there on a lot of people, and there were a lot of positive things that happened. It was a great ballgame to watch for the fans. It was a great effort by both teams. We were just fortunate to come out on top.”

The Wildcats recorded 15 hits – a season high in Big 12 play – with six doubles to tie a season best. led K-State by going 3-for-6 with two doubles and a career-high tying four RBI. added three RBI on two hits, including his 10th home run in the third. Kivett, , and Hinkel had two hits each.Nick MartiniKent UrbanJason KingJared King

James Allen (3-1) got the win in relief. The right-hander surrendered a run in the ninth that allowed KU to take a 10-9 lead, but he left the bases loaded in the frame and worked around a one-out single in the 10th.

K-State, which had leads of 2-0 and 4-3 early in the game, found itself in trouble down 8-4 after KU scored a run in the seventh. But the Cats battled back in their half of the inning by plating three runs on consecutive RBI doubles by Jason and Jared King to cut the deficit to 8-7.

KU got one of the runs back in the eighth on a wild pitch, but K-State responded again to tie the game at 9-9 on Jared King’s second-straight two-RBI double, a towering shot into the left-center field gap.

Allen came out of the Wildcat bullpen to work the ninth inning and surrendered a leadoff single and a walk to put two Jayhawks on base with one out. Allen fanned Eldridge for the second out, but pinch-hitter Jordan Dreiling hit the first pitch he saw through the right side to give Kansas a 10-9 advantage.

KU reliever Frank Duncan, who got the Jayhawks out of the eighth inning, allowed a one-out single to Jake Brown in the ninth, then walked two batters and hit Martini with the bases loaded to tie the game at 10-10. K-State had a great opportunity to win the game but Jason King grounded into a force out at the plate and Jared King flied out to send the game into extra innings.

The loss spoiled a solid effort by Jayhawk starter T.J. Walz, who allowed a RBI single by Hinkle and a sacrifice fly in the second before Jason King’s two-run homer in the third. After that, the right-hander settled down to record three scoreless frames and ended the night with six strikeouts in a career-high 135 pitches.

The Wildcats improved to 9-11 in one-run games this season and posted their second extra-inning victory in four opportunities.

Kansas State and Kansas continue their three-game series with a 6 p.m., first pitch Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence. The game can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.