BatCats hold off Shockers

A K-State baseball player slides for a base during the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Tointon Family Stadium on April 22, 2017. (File Photo by Justin Wright | The Collegian)

The Kansas State baseball team was able to get the win for head coach Brad Hill on his 55th birthday, Tuesday night 5-4 with the help of some great defense in the ninth.

The Cats were shut down in the first inning after a great diving catch by sophomore third baseman Alec Bohm to make the final out of the first.

The Cats would do the same to the Shockers with a one-two-three inning that was aided by a spectacular diving catch from redshirt senior Quintin Crandall at shortstop for the second out of the inning.

In the second, the Cats would finally score a run after senior third baseman Josh Ethier was walked with bases loaded to bring the man in from third.

The Shockers would tie things up at 1-1 in the top of the fourth after a liner from Bohm that went to deep center field for a double. The designated hitter, Willie Schwanke, a redshirt senior, would add a double right up the first base side to bring in Bohm.

Then in the bottom of the fourth K-State would regain the lead scoring three runs after a leadoff single from sophomore catcher Josh Rolette. Two more men would get on base after consecutive walks. Freshman center fielder Cameron Thompson would bring two runs home with a blooper into right.

Senior first baseman Jake Scudder would bring in the last run of the inning after a hard-hit ball that took a bounce off the right-field wall. Scudder, however, would be thrown out at second after attempting to stretch it to two.

The Cats would add one more run in the bottom of the sixth after a leadoff single up the middle from Ethier. Ethier would then steal second and reach third after a wild throw from the catcher that went over the second baseman.

A sac-fly from freshman left fielder Will Brennan would bring in Ethier for the only run of the inning.

“Really the only thing we didn’t do tonight was get a couple add on runs, we had a chance in the sixth to maybe add in a couple of runs,” head coach Brad Hill said.

In the top of the eighth, Wichita State would add two more after consecutive hits from freshman pinch hitter Jacob Katzfey and redshirt sophomore second baseman Jordan Boyer, to put men on second and third.

Freshman center fielder Alex Jackson would get an RBI making it 5-2. The second run of the inning came off of another RBI from sophomore first baseman Greyson Jenista.

Then it all came down to the ninth. After starting the inning with consecutive walks and a sac-fly to put men in scoring position, redshirt sophomore Travis Young came in to pinch hit. Young would be thrown out at first by Either. Young would get the RBI making it a 5-4 game.

Boyer would be thrown out by redshirt senior second baseman Jake Wodtke for the final out of the game for a final score of 5-4.

“I thought tonight we had great defense and Either made a great play in the ninth,” Hill said. “I think the guys are playing with confidence right now, there are still some things we could do a little be better but at the same time I think we feel better about ourselves.”

The Cats improve to 25-20 and will face Oklahoma in a weekend series starting on May 5.