Ryan Kinsella knocked in three runs including the game-tying single in the bottom of the 8th, and then his Elon teammate Joey Tomko put the Phoenix ahead to stay with an RBI single in a 4-3 defeat of K-State on Sunday morning in Myrtle Beach, SC.
K-State jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two runs in the top of the 4th after Jared King was hit by a pitch and Ross Kivett reached on a bunt single to begin the inning. A throwing error by Elon pitcher Kyle Webb pushed the runners to 2nd and 3rd base, and the Cats plated the pair with an RBI groundout from R.J. Santigate and an RBI single by Damion Lovato. Kinsella’s sacrifice fly to score Casey Jones allowed Elon to pull within 2-1 after the fourth inning.
Blair DeBord led off the top of the 7th with a single; K-State was able to manufacture him home thanks to a sacrifice bunt and another throwing error on an attempted pickoff by Webb. Tanner Witt provided his first RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to right field that plated DeBord to put the Cats ahead 3-1. Once again, Elon was able to match the K-State run in the bottom of the 7th as Kinsella led off the inning with a solo homer off Wildcat reliever Hayden Nixon that carried the right field wall to pull the Phoenix within 3-2.
It looked like the Cats would take their one-run lead into the ninth inning as Gerardo Esquivel sat down the first two Elon batters out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth. But, Jones and Alex Swim put runners on the corners with two outs via consecutive singles to right. Kinsella then lined a ball to left against Esquivel to tie the score at 3, and Tomko hit a ball just past the mound off Jake Matthys.
Elon closer Nate Young earned his second save with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth inning including K-State pinch hitter Mitch Meyer to end the game. Andrew MacDonald (1-0) earned the win for the Phoenix with 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief.
K-State wasted a sterling start from sophomore Matt Wivinis, who went six innings, giving up just one run on three hits, while striking out three. Esquivel (0-1) gave up two runs on three hits in just two-thirds of a inning to take the loss. Lovato and DeBord led the Cats (3-3) with two hits. Kinsella was joined by Jones and Danny Lynch with multi-hit efforts for the Phoenix (3-3).
Up next for K-State is a three-game series with Oakland to begin a 19-game homestand at Tointon Family Stadium. First pitch on Friday afternoon will be at 3:00pm and the BD4 Distributing pregame show will begin at 2:30 on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN. The Cats and Grizzlies will play on Saturday at 3:00pm as well, and on Sunday at 1:00.
Stay connected to all things KSU on the go just text EMAW to 88474
For full video wrap-ups, including analysis, highlights, coaches & player interviews of K-State Football & Basketball check out PowerCatGameday.com