BatCats win 1st Big 12 series of the season

Josh Rolette, freshman centerfielder, slides into home plate to score the Wildcats another point against the University of Nebraska Omaha on Tuesday March 29, 2016 at Tointon Family Stadium. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

After getting its first win in the Big 12 last weekend, the K-State baseball team took two out of three games on the road in Morgantown, West Virginia this weekend.

This was the first time ever that the Wildcats won in Morgantown and the first time since March that they have won two games in a row.

In game one, the Wildcats used a two-run ninth inning with the game tied to win it 8-6. It was a back and forth game after K-State scored one run in the top of the first inning.

K-State also held a 6-2 lead after the top of the sixth, but West Virginia scored one in the bottom of the sixth and got a three-run home run from sophomore infielder Kyle Davis to tie the game at six in the seventh.

The Wildcats are 11-1 on the season when the offense scores six or more runs.

Wildcat junior pitcher Parker Rigler retired the first eight batters he faced while senior pitcher Lucas Benenati finished the game in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning to secure the win for the Wildcats.

Game two was the offensive explosion that head coach Brad Hill had been waiting for.

The Wildcats scored in the first six innings of the game in a 15-2 win over the Mountaineers.

Wildcat senior shortstop Tyler Wolfe started the scoring after he hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and K-State led 4-0 after the first frame.

K-State scored three runs in both the second and sixth innings, two runs in the fourth and fifth innings, and one in the third.

This was the most runs scored by the Wildcats in a Big 12 game since 2013, and they clinched their first Big 12 series of the season.

Mountaineer starting senior pitcher Ross Vance entered the game with an ERA under two against the Wildcats, but the Wildcats got to him early and often in the win.

“What a great approach against a guy who has given us fits for two years,” Hill said to K-State Sports. “We almost knew what every pitch was coming. We took a lot of pitches that we have swung at against him over the last couple of years.”

The Wildcats had a sweep of the Mountaineers in the palm of their hands after leading by three runs in the eighth inning, but they allowed four runs in the bottom of the inning and lost 5-4.

K-State senior pitcher Corey Fischer pitched five and two-thirds innings and only allowed four hits and one run.

The Wildcats’ offense was sparked by a three-run home run in the third inning by freshman catcher Josh Rolette, which was his third of the season.

Benenati took the loss in the game after two runs on three hits in just two-thirds of an inning pitched.

The Wildcats are now 16-20 overall and 3-9 in conference play. They will host Nebraska at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.