Offense paves way for Wildcats to best Cornhuskers 10-6

Emily DeShazer | The Collegian K-State senior catcher Blair DeBord hugs sophomore pitcher Jake Matthys after defeating Wichita State 3-2 on Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.

After scoring just four runs in the final two games of their series against Kansas last weekend, K-State’s offense looked like it needed some work, and a three-run outing on Tuesday was less than a resounding rebound. But with their 10-6 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers (20-14, 4-2 Big 10) last night in Lincoln, Neb., the Wildcats (20-13, 2-4 Big 12) showed that they still pack plenty of punch in their lineup, especially the upperclassmen.

The first three hitters in K-State’s lineup, senior center fielder Ross Kivett, senior first baseman Shane Conlon and junior shortstop Austin Fisher were all unanimous selections to last season’s First Team All-Big 12 squad, and are about as good as a 1-2-3 punch as they come in college baseball. But they struggled recently, combining for just eight for 47 at-bats in the last four games.

However, good hitters find a way to get back on the horse, and those three certainly turned things around against Nebraska. In the win, Kivett, Conlon and Fisher went a cumulative six for 12, drew four walks, scored four runs, drove in seven runs and struck out just once.

Kivett tied with sophomore second baseman Lance Miles for a game-high three hits, and Kivett had the team’s lone extra-base hit, a double to lead off the game.

As is common in midweek games, K-State used plenty of pitchers in the game, needing five to pull out the win.

Head coach Brad Hill started sophomore Landon Busch on the mound, and he allowed four runs – three earned – off four hits over three innings, with two strikeouts and no walks issued. Freshman Jake Fromson got the win, the first of his career, by tossing three innings with one run allowed off four hits, walking none and striking out one.

Two perfect innings by freshman Jordan Floyd brought the team to the ninth inning, bringing in freshman Ethan Landon. The right-hander has been lights out for most of his freshman season, but he suffered a rough outing last night, allowing one run and loading the bases with two outs before junior Jake Whaley bailed him out by striking out the only batter he faced for the game’s last out, sealing the win and earning his first save on the season.

Next up for K-State is a three game road series in Lubbock, Texas against Texas Tech as the Wildcats continue conference play.