K-State baseball continued its solid season and recovered from a loss on Friday, winning games on Saturday and Sunday in the series at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The Wildcats, who rank as high as No. 20 in major baseball polls, pushed their record to 23-6 and 6-3 in the Big 12 Conference, sitting second behind conference-leader Texas, which is ranked sixth nationally and has a 10-2 conference record.
K-State did not start the series off on the right foot Friday as it could not overcome an early deficit and fell 5-3 to the Huskers. Sophomore starting pitcher Justin Lindsey took the loss for K-State and fell to 2-1 on the season.
Lindsey worked four innings and gave up four runs on four hits while striking out two. Nebraska right fielder Adam Bailey did most of the Husker damage with two home runs and four RBIs in the game. Bailey has a conference-leading 13 home runs on the season.
Bailey’s three-run shot in the third off Lindsey’s toss propelled the Huskers to an early lead, and K-State could not make its way back, despite two hits from freshman Blair DeBord and senior Adam Muenster.
The Wildcats, trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth, got consecutive singles from DeBord and sophomore Jake Brown to start the frame before Muenster struck out and junior Carter Jurica flied out. Sophomore Nick Martini then laced an RBI-single to extend his streak, but it was not enough as senior Daniel Dellasega was retired to end the threat.
In Saturday’s matchup, a pair of grand slams that fueled the Wildcats in a 13-5 victory over the Huskers. Sophomore Matt Giller connected on his first home run of the year, while junior Kent Urban belted his third home run of the season.
Dellasega’s bases-clearing double gave the Cats a 3-1 lead after three frames. However, the Huskers clawed back to tie the game with single runs in the fourth and fifth before Giller’s slam ignited a five-run fifth inning for K-State and all but sealed the victory. Urban added a slam in the sixth to give the Cats a commanding nine-run lead.
Sophomore Kyle Hunter improved his record to a perfect 6-0 on the season. The left-hander gave up four runs on seven hits with one strikeout in five innings of work.
On Sunday, head coach Brad Hill and his team put the contest away with a six-run sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie. K-State went on to win the matchup 8-3 and send the Huskers home with a series loss.
The Wildcats sent 11 hitters to the plate in the inning and racked up six hits in the decisive frame. DeBord recorded the only extra base hit in the inning with an RBI-double.
Senior starter Ryan Daniel was effective but did not factor in the decision. Daniel worked five innings and gave up one run on seven hits with two strikeouts. Sophomore Evan Marshall (3-1), who worked out of the bullpen for the first time all season, picked up the win, throwing 2.2 innings and giving up two runs on two hits.
Martini and Jurica each recorded multihit games for the Cats, while Jurica added his team-leading fifth home run in the eighth inning and drove in three runs on the day.
K-State also managed to steal five bases against the Huskers while being thrown out only once. Muenster swiped two bags to push his total to 10 while Jurica and Martini also added one stolen base to each of their totals. K-State leads the Big 12 with 67 stolen bases on the season.
The Wildcats are scheduled to open a two-game series in Provo, Utah, with the BYU Cougars tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and a live broadcast of the game can be heard on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN.