K-State splits season-opening weekend at Snowbird Classic

Sophomore-then right-handed pitcher Levi MaVorhis hurls a ball toward an Iowa batter in the top of the fourth inning in the Wildcats' defeat of Iowa at Tointon Family Stadium on Mar. 7, 2014. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

K-State baseball’s opening weekend was a mixed bag of results. After opening with two strong performances, the Wildcats dropped the final two games to finish 2-2 at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida.

K-State capped off the three-day stretch with a disappointing 7-4 loss to St. Louis Sunday. Junior starting pitcher Corey Fischer allowed just one run through 5 2/3 innings, and K-State and St. Louis went into the ninth inning tied 1-1.

In the ninth, K-State handed the ball over to junior relief pitcher Brandon Erickson, who had a solid appearance against Pittsburgh earlier in the weekend. Erickson allowed four runs on six hits and two more K-State errors led to six St. Louis runs.

“We missed opportunities today,” K-State head coach Brad Hill told K-State Sports. “We didn’t score in the first inning with the bases loaded and one out, and we kind of just hit the panic and pressure button after that.”

Saturday vs. Pittsburg and George Mason

On day two, K-State took down Pittsburgh 7-0 before falling to George Mason 0-5 in the season’s first doubleheader.

Led by junior pitcher Levi MaVorhis, K-State shut out a Pittsburgh offense who put up 18 runs on Saint Louis the day before.

“Big thing (for MaVorhis) was composure,” Hill said. “He wasn’t ultra-sharp, but he competed and made pitches when he had to.”

Later that evening, the Wildcats were blanked 5-0 by George Mason. K-State fell behind by the five runs after two innings and were unable generate offense on a total of five hits.

Friday vs. Iowa

K-State started the tournament strong with a 5-4 victory over Iowa Friday.

Junior pitcher Nate Greip threw 5 1/3 strong innings for K-State, but did not factor into the decision. Sophomore pitcher Jordan Floyd earned the victory after allowing zero hits in two innings of relief.

With Greip limiting Iowa to zero hits through the first five innings of play, K-State jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Iowa responded with two runs in the sixth inning, but a clutch hit by K-State junior catcher Tyler Moore led to three runs in the top of the eight inning.

“(Moore’s) been swinging the bat really well in batting practice,” Hill said. “He’s the guy I felt right there who was going to give us a good at-bat.”

Junior pitcher Kyle Halbohn earned a gutsy five-out save to seal the victory for the Wildcats to open the season 1-0.

“(Halbohn) attacked the zone with strikes, that’s the big thing,” Hill said. “He was fearless. Even in the last inning, the two-out double, he could have started feeling for it, but he didn’t. He stayed aggressive with his pitches.”

Up next

The Wildcats will travel to Surprise, Arizona next weekend for the Big 12/Pac-12 challenge.

Tim Everson was born in Wichita, KS in 1994. Before fifth grade he moved up to Manhattan for one year before settling in Riley, KS where he graduated from Riley County High School in 2012. Tim has worked for the Collegian since spring of 2014 and took over as Sports Editor during the summer of 2015. Tim loves sports, music, movies and good food when he can get it.