April 29, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kansas State held off the University of Iowa baseball team for a series-opening 3-2 victory Friday night at Duane Banks Field.
The Hawkeyes trailed 3-1 heading into the eighth inning before senior Tyler Peyton roped a leadoff triple into the right centerfield gap. Iowa cut the lead to 3-2 when Peyton scored on an RBI groundout from senior Daniel Aaron Moriel.
Iowa put the game-tying run on second base in the ninth when freshman Luke Farley delivered a pinch-hit single and pinch runner Corbin Woods advanced to second on a fielding error by first baseman Jake Scudder on a failed pickoff attempt.
Kansas State reliever Lucas Benenati closed out the game, striking out pinch-hitter Grant Klenovich looking before getting Peyton to foul out to right field to end the game. It was Benenati’s third save of the season.
“It was a frustrating night,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “C.J. (Eldred) pitched well enough to win. We game them one run in the first and they ended up getting a two-out bunt and a double to score another run.
“We had our chances. We had runners in scoring position and had our guys up (that we wanted), but they just didn’t come through. It was a night where we didn’t get that hit. We had some at-bats in some key situations that weren’t very good by our best guys and you get beat when that happens.”
Iowa stranded the game-tying run at second base and stranded eight base runners for the game. The Hawkeyes were just 1-for-16 with runners on base and 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Sophomore C.J. Eldred (2-6) suffered the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits over six innings. He struck out five and issued three walks. Sophomore Nick Allgeyer allowed one run on three hits over the final three frames and he struck out a career-high five.
Kansas State struck first in the opening inning, plating an unearned run. Back-to-back one-out singles started the inning before Jake Wodtke scored on an Eldred fielding error when he muffed a relay throw on a potential inning-ending double play.
The Wildcats pushed their lead to 2-0 in the fifth, using three-straight singles, including an RBI base hit from Josh Rolette. Eldred avoided further damage in the inning, striking out Steve Serratore swinging to leave the bases loaded.
Iowa plated its first run in the sixth courtesy of the long ball. Moriel connected on a 1-0 pitch, belting a solo home run to left field off K-State starter Parker Rigler. It was Moriel’s fourth home run of the season.
Kansas State plated a key insurance run with a two-out rally in the seventh. Catcher Tyler Moore laid down a bunt single before scoring on a Serratore double into the right centerfield gap to stretch the Wildcat advantage to 3-1.
Rigler (3-6) earned the win, allowing one run on six hits over six innings. He had seven strikeouts to one walk.
Peyton finished with four of Iowa’s eight hits in the game. He finished 4-for-5 with a triple, two doubles, and a run scored. Moriel drove in both of the Hawkeye runs.
Weather permitting, game two of the series is set for a 5:05 p.m. (CT) start Saturday.