March 9, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State scored 10 runs over its final three innings to rally past the University of Iowa baseball team and post a 12-8 victory in the series finale Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium. The Wildcats swept all three games of the weekend series.
“Unfortunately the wheels came off in the bullpen in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “We had our good guys lined up. We have no excuses, we have to be better than that, and we weren’t very good on the mound today.
“We played the defending Big 12 champs tough in three-straight games, didn’t get a win, but our guys saw we’re right there. If we execute and do the things we’re capable of, we can compete with anybody out there. We competed in all three games, had a chance in all three games, came up short, and we’ll get better because of it.”
Trailing 7-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Kansas State erupted for four runs on four hits to climb to within 7-6. Three straight singles and a walk plated the Wildcats’ first run and knocked UI starter Tyler Peyton from the contest.
Iowa reliever Brandon Shulista walked in the second run of the inning before a Carter Yagi single and a Ross Kivett groundout cut the Wildcat deficit to 7-6. The Hawkeyes got one run back in the seventh when juniors Nick Day and Eric Toole led off the frame with consecutive singles. Junior Jake Mangler then lifted a fly ball to centerfield for a sacrifice fly, pushing the Iowa advantage to 8-6.
Iowa ran itself out of another run when Toole was thrown out trying to steal second. It was costly, as junior Jake Yacinich followed with a triple — his first of the season — to center field one batter later.
Kansas State grabbed its first lead with three runs in the seventh before adding three insurance runs in the eighth. R.J. Santigate led off the inning with a one-out triple to right centerfield to chase Shulista from the contest. The Wildcats welcomed reliever Nick Hibbing with back-to-back-to-back RBI doubles, giving K-State a 9-8 advantage.
The Wildcats got things going in the eighth inning courtesy of a Hawkeye error and two hit-by-pitches before Austin Fisher singled to left field against Iowa reliever Blake Hickman to make the score 10-8. Hickman then forced in the inning’s second run when he plunked Santigate, and Mitch Meyer pushed the lead to 12-8 with a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Hawkeyes pounded out 16 hits in the game against eight Kansas State pitchers. The top four batters in Iowa’s lineup had 12 of the 16 hits. Yacinich had a career-high four hits, going 4-for-6 with two runs and an RBI, Toole was 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, junior Dan Potempa was 3-for-6 with an RBI, and Mangler was 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored.
Hibbing (0-1) suffered the loss for Iowa, allowing five runs (four earned) in 2/3 inning. Peyton allowed six runs on five hits in five innings, Shulista gave up one run on two hits in 1 1/3, and Hickman got the final three outs, surrendering a single hit.
“We learned a lot about our team this weekend,” said Heller. “We fought hard, nobody quit and gave in, but we have to get over the hump with our confidence to put the offense and pitching together if we’re going to beat good teams.”
The Hawkeyes got off to a strong start jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings. Toole led off the game with a single to centerfield before Yacinich and Potempa roped a pair of one-out singles to load the bases. Junior Kris Goodman plated Iowa’s first run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
The bats continued producing in the second with senior Trevor Kenyon leading off the frame with a double to center field. After K-State starter Landon Busch retired the next two Hawkeyes, Mangler drove an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left field to make the score 3-0 and chase Busch from the contest. The home run was the first of Mangler’s career.
The Wildcats’ cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second, pushing two runs across the plate against Peyton. Mitch Meyer led off the inning with a hit by pitch before scoring on Tanner DeVinny’s RBI triple to centerfield. DeVinny then made the score 4-2 when he crossed the plate on an RBI groundout by Alex Bee.
The Hawkeyes got the two runs back in the fourth inning courtesy of a two-out rally. Mangler reached via a hit by pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Yacinich’s single up the middle. Yacinich then scored Iowa’s sixth run on Goodman’s RBI single to centerfield.
Kansas State reliever Jake Whaley (1-0) picked up the victory. He pitched 1 1/3 inning, allowing one hit and striking out a pair of Iowa batters.
The Hawkeyes (9-4) return to action Saturday at the Snowbird Baseball Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. Iowa opens the weekend with a 2 p.m. (CT) game against Georgetown.
|Kansas State 12, Iowa 8||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Kansas State (7-7)||0||2||0||0||0||4||3||3||X||12||11||0|
|W: Whaley (KSU) 1-0|
|L: Hibbing (IOWA) 0-1|