Sophomore first baseman Shane Conlin went a perfect five-for-five at the plate, including a two-run blast to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the K-State baseball team knocked off #8 Kentucky 7-5 in the Caravelle Resort Tournament in Myrtle Beach, SC. The Cats beat a top 10 team for the first time since they knocked off then #8 Texas A&M 15-12 last March 16th.
Kentucky took an early 3-0 lead with two runs off K-State starting pitcher Joe Flattery in the fourth inning, and another off reliever Levi MaVorhis in the top of the fifth. MaVorhis (1-0) took his first win as a K-State Wildcat, giving up just a pair of hits and striking out one.
K-State would respond, exploding for five runs in the bottom half of the 5th. With one out, seven straight batters reached base for K-State. Conlin singled to right, followed by back-to-back RBI singles for Jared King & Ross Kivett to pull K-State within 3-2 of Kentucky. Jon Davis walked to load the bases, and Damion Lovato knocked in two runs with a single to left to give the Cats a 4-3 lead. After an R.J. Santigate single to load back up the bases, Blair DeBord walked to force in another run to make it 5-3.
K-State (3-2) was held at bay until the ninth inning, but the chance for insurance runs looked bleak with the first batters retired. Kentucky brought in Kyle Cody from the bullpen, who gave up single to Tanner Witt, and then Conlin took the second pitch of his plate appearance into the K-State bullpen in right field for a 7-3 edge. Those two runs were crucial because Kentucky pitcher/designated hitter A.J. Reed hit a two-run homer as well in the top of the 9th off Witt, but the score got no closer than the final margin. Reed (1-1) dropped the game for Kentucky (3-1), lasting just 4 1/3 innings, giving four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
The Cats dropped the opener of their doubleheader with a 2-1 loss to tournament host Coastal Carolina. A run would score for K-State in the top of the second when Santigate reached base on an error. The Chanticleers tied the score at 1 following a double play with no outs and the bases loaded. They would win the game on a throwing error by right fielder Mitch Meyer in the seventh inning. Tyler Herb (2-0) went eight innings for the win by giving up no earned runs and just three hits for Coastal Carolina, while Seth Lamando claimed his second save. Nate Williams (1-2) took the hard-luck loss, with only an earned run given up off seven hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.
K-State is slated to face Elon in their final game at Myrtle Beach on either Saturday or Sunday with a time yet to be announced. Heavy rains are forecasted for Friday and Saturday.
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