9th Inning Passed Ball Rallies K-State Past Wichita State

The chances for a comeback looked bleak when K-State trailed in-state rival Wichita State 6-1 entering the bottom of the eighth.  But, the Cats scored five runs on five hits in the inning to tie the score at 6, and Shane Conlon scooted home on a passed ball by Shocker catcher Tyler Baker for an improbable 7-6 win on Tuesday night at Tointon Family Stadium.  The win is K-State’s sixth in a row as they push their record to 24-10, and also are now second to Oklahoma in the Big 12 in overall victories.

Wichita State scored two runs in the first inning on a wild pitch and a double play, and plated four more runs in the seventh aided by an error to lead K-State 6-1.

The Cats had just four hits entering the eighth inning including an RBI single by Blair DeBord back in the fourth.  Ross Kivett started the frame with a single, and reached third after Tanner Witt took first on a fielder’s choice.  Kivett and Witt each scored on back-to-back RBI singles by Jared King and DeBord to cut the Shockers’ lead to 6-3.  RJ Santigate knocked in King on an RBI groundout, and the Cats tied the game with an RBI single by Jon Davis and an RBI double by Austin Fisher.

With the score still tied in the bottom of the ninth, Conlon singled in between strikeouts by Kivett and Witt.  King then singled to push Conlon to third base.  With two outs, DeBord battled against Wichita State’s Brandon Peterson (0-1), and coaxed a walk.  Baker dropped ball four, and Conlon came in without a throw to score the Cats’ winning run.  Jake Matthys (5-0) earned the win in relief by blanking the Shockers over the final two innings as he gave up two hits, but struck out a pair.

K-State was scheduled to make a return trip to Omaha on Wednesday to face the Mavericks, who they beat 3-2 one week ago, but inclement weather cancelled the trip.  The Cats will now play their next game at Iowa on Friday at 6:05pm in Iowa City. The BD4 Distributing pregame show begins at 5:30 on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN.  K-State will face the Hawkeyes at 1:05 in Iowa City on Saturday, and then the teams will head to the home of the Iowa Cubs, Principal Park in Des Moines, for a 3:45 first pitch on Sunday.

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