If there was one perfect way for the Wildcats to start off their home baseball schedule at Tointon Family Stadium, it was the way they did this past weekend.
K-State swept Arkansas Pine Bluff 18-8, 15-9 and 13-8.
Sunday’s game was a windy one, but the Wildcats did not let it affect them as they came out with the victory and completed the series sweep, winning 13-8. The game extended K-State’s winning streak to five games.
“A three-game sweep is very nice,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said after Sunday’s game. “It’s never easy. I give Arkansas Pine Bluff a lot of credit. They competed all weekend and they just never ever gave us time where we could breathe. I thought we were going to breathe yesterday and they scored seven in the ninth. I just give them a lot of credit for how hard they competed, and their kids kept playing.”
There was no waiting for runs to begin on Sunday, as scoring opened up in the first inning. Pine Bluff roughed up K-State’s starting pitcher, senior Levi MaVorhis, for three runs in the first inning.
Although MaVorhis started rocky, he went on to strike out eight Golden Lions before exiting in the fourth inning. The eight strikeouts was a career high for MaVorhis.
The Wildcats responded to the early scores by hanging seven of their own, highlighted by the Golden Lions’ mistakes. The Wildcats only managed two hits in the first, but they still put up seven runs.
The Golden Lions stayed scoreless until the fourth inning when Pine Bluff brought it back to within one run.
They stayed within one until the sixth inning. The Wildcats brought in two runs thanks to a triple from junior Jake Scudder, making the score 9-6. But just as soon as the Wildcats separated themselves, the Golden Lions brought it back to within one thanks to a two-run seventh inning.
K-State used a blooper from freshman pinch-hitter Cory Wright and a triple from senior outfielder Clayton Dalrymple to build a 12-8 lead after seven innings.
The Wildcats scored one more run on their way to winning the game and improving their record to 7-4.
The Wildcats will be back in action on Wednesday when they welcome the Creighton Bluejays to Manhattan at 3:05 p.m.
“We’ve got to move on from this weekend,” junior infielder Jake Wodtke said. “We’ve got to hit it hard in practice. Creighton is a very worthy opponent, and we’ve got to make sure we come out with just as much fire.”
Wildcats take second game of series
The Wildcats won the Saturday game 15-9.
K-State was led on Saturday by Wodtke. Driving in six runs on Saturday, Wodtke recorded the most RBIs by a K-State player since the 2011 season.
The scoring began in the first inning when Wodtke hit a sacrifice fly to center that drove in Dalrymple to take a 1-0 lead.
The Golden Lions responded in the top of the third inning and tied the game, but the Wildcats scored three of their own runs in the third to retake the lead.
After the teams each scored one more, K-State in the fourth and Pine Bluff in the fifth, the Wildcats scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on their way to the six-run victory.
K-State takes series opener
The Wildcats won the first game of the series 18-8, which was the first time since 2006 that K-State scored 18 runs in back-to-back games.
K-State responded to a quick Arkansas Pine Bluff score by producing seven runs in the bottom of the second. After five runs crossed the plate, junior infielder Steve Serratore wrapped up the scoring in the inning by sending a two-run home run over the fence, making it 7-1 in favor of the Wildcats after just two innings.
Arkansas Pine Bluff rattled a six-run, top-of-the-fifth inning and knotted the game up at 7-7.
“That’s just baseball,” Wodtke said about Friday’s rally. “Sometimes that’s going to happen. It’s up to our offense to not let that affect us and just come right back at them.”
Pine Bluff only scored one more run the rest of the game as K-State coasted to the 18-8 win.