Kansas State Wildcats Earn Sixth Shutout of the Season
We have been focusing on the Texas Tech baseball team a lot this season because of their success on the field, but what about the K-State Wildcats? Kansas State has been racking up some impressive stats themselves. Does six shutouts stick out to you? It should. Take a second. Anything yet? You're heartless then! KSU's Max Brown had a career-high three hits which included a three-run triple, and the Wildcats pitching staff threw its sixth shutout of the season as Kansas State beat Bakersfield 13-0 on Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.
Brown, making his sixth straight start, hit a triple with the bases loaded in the second inning to ignite the offensive barrage by K-State (23-19). The left-fielder later added a pair of singles and scored two runs as he finished the two-game series against the Roadrunners (16-23) with five hits and three runs scored.
K-State starting pitcher Jordan Witcig led the way for the pitching staff, earning his first career win after holding Bakersfield scoreless in a career-high five innings pitched. The right-hander scattered six hits and struck out two while not walking any batters.
"The guys were focused and locked in," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "After we got embarrassed last night, you hope to see the guys more focused. You could just see their whole approach, from how they took the field to their body language, that they were locked in and ready to play."
K-State scored nine runs after its four-run second inning, including three in the fourth and five in the eighth. The Wildcats finished with 17 hits, 13 of which were registered after the third frame.
"We got the big hit from Max [Brown] in the second inning, which we've been lacking [as a team]," said Hill. "What I liked better, though, was that we came back and scored later. It's something that we have struggled with. We would score early and not score late, or we would score too little too late. The fact that we scored nine runs after we put up the four-spot in the second inning was something that I was really happy about."
Four Wildcat relievers, Tyler Stover, Jordan Floyd, Jake Whaley and Jake Matthys, each threw a scoreless inning following Witcig's strong start to help K-State record its most shutouts in a season since 1991.
Stover made first collegiate appearance as a pitcher. The right-hander allowed one hit and a walk.
Tuesday's game also ended K-State's non-conference schedule at home for 2014. The Wildcats finished 12-1 against non-conference opponents at Tointon Family Stadium.
Five different Wildcats had multi-hit efforts, helping K-State record its 21st game this season with 10 or more hits. Shane Conlon matched Brown for the team-high with three hits, and Ross Kivett, Austin Fisher and Lance Miles each had two hits. Miles entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.
After the four-run second inning, which was capped by Carter Yagi's RBI groundout to drive in Brown, the Wildcats scored three runs in the fourth, all with two outs. Fisher notched his first triple of the season, driving in Kivett and RJ Santigate. Fisher was later plated by an RBI single by Conlon that made it 7-0 Wildcats.
Brown scored in the fifth when Kivett drove him in with a single on a full-count to give the Wildcats an 8-0 advantage. Brown led off the inning with a single.
The Wildcats broke out for five runs in the eighth, started by pinch-hitter Brooks DeBord reaching on an error with runners at second and third base. DeBord hit a ground ball to Bakersfield shortstop Mylz Jones to drive in Taylor Anderson from third, but Jones' throw was wild allowing DeBord to reach and Alex Bee to score from second. Miles later came to the plate and hit a two-run, two-out single while Kyle Speer placed a single through the right side to score Clayton Dalrymple and make it 13-0 K-State.
Bakersfield starting pitcher Garrett Nimmo suffered the loss after he allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in two-plus innings pitched.
Both teams combined to use 40 different players in the game. Fourteen of the 15 Wildcats that registered an at-bat reached base either with a hit, walk or hit by pitch.
K-State will now hit the road for its first ever trip to Morgantown, W. Va. The Wildcats will take on the Mountaineers in a three-game set, starting on Friday, April 25.
Portions of the content above may contain materials provided courtesy of the K-State athletic department.