A nine run first inning propelled K-State to a 20-11 win over Wichita State to open up regional play at Tointon Family Stadium. The 20 runs allowed were the most that Wichita State has ever given up in an NCAA tournament game.
The Wildcats racked up 19 hits on their way to the 20 run output. Every Wildcat starter except Jared King had a hit, and the Shockers issued nine walks and hit six K-State batters. It didn’t take long for the offensive barrage to get going.
The Shockers got two runs in the top of the first, but K-State sent 15 batters to the plate in the bottom of the frame while scoring nine runs on seven hits. The marathon first inning took 49 minutes, and K-State was just two runs shy of tying the NCAA regional record for runs in the first frame. Wichita State pulled the plug on their ace, starting pitcher Cale Elam, after just one third of an inning. Elam gave up a season high four earned runs on six hits.
“As an offense our goal was to get to them early,” said K-State second baseman Ross Kivett. “If we could get a couple zeros from the staff we were gonna put up a lot of runs, and it happened.”
Kivett showed why he was the Big 12 player of the year with four hits in the game, including two home runs, three RBI’s and four runs scored.
“That doubled my career (high),” Kivett said with a chuckle. “I just wanted to protect early in the count and get a good swing off and I happened to do so.”
Tanner Witt also had four hits and three runs scored to help pace a K-State offensive attack that forced Wichita State to use seven pitchers.
“Guys will take their walks, guys will take line drives or hit the ball through the middle on the ground,” said head coach Brad Hill. “That’s just the way you score a lot of runs. Guys doing those things and not trying to do too much individually.”
K-State starter Levi MaVorhis lasted just two innings and allowed four runs, but left with a five run lead. Jared Moore, Jordan Witcig, Matt Wivinis and Landon Busch kept the Shockers at arms length the rest of the game.
K-State will play tomorrow at 7:00 PM against the winner of Arkansas-Bryant.
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