*Courtesy of K-State Sports Information*
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Josh Rolette, Jake Scudder and Tyler Moore combined for seven of K-State’s 10 hits and Brogan Heinen earned the win in his first career start as K-State defeated Wichita State, 9-5, on Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.
K-State (22-23) moved into a game within .500 by beating the Shockers (16-28) for the seventh time over the last eight meetings. The win was also K-State’s fifth straight at home in the all-time series.
The middle of the order fueled the K-State offense that turned in its 22nd game with double-digit hits. Scudder, the cleanup hitter, had a game-high three hits, which was his team-best sixth game this year with three or more, while Moore, batting fifth, had three RBI to go with his pair of hits and runs. Rolette, meanwhile, finished 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
Moore, who is 7-for-13 in his career against Wichita State, had RBI in K-State’s four-run first and four-run sixth while he drove in the final Wildcat run in the seventh. The trio of RBI fell one short of his season-high and was his ninth multi-RBI effort of the campaign.
Heinen, in his 13th overall appearance of the season, limited a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the first to two runs before retiring 10 in a row following a one-out double in the second. The freshman finished throwing a career-high five innings and allowing three runs on four hits and one walk while striking out three.
“I give (Heinen) a lot of credit,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “He was very nervous, obviously, (in his) first college start. He didn’t really have command. Then we score four (in the bottom of the first), and it kind of settled him down a little bit. (Innings) two through the four, the ball was down and was where he wanted to throw it. He got a lot of groundballs, and we played good defense behind him.”
K-State answered back from Wichita State’s two early runs in the first with four runs in the bottom half of the inning. The crooked inning, K-State’s first since last Wednesday against Grand Canyon, started when Wichita State starting pitcher Chandler Sanburn hit Clayton Dalrymple with a pitch to open the frame and then surrendered a single to Rolette, double to Scudder and another single to Moore. Scudder and Moore’s safeties each drove in a run to even the score before a successful delayed double steal with runners on the corners and a throwing error by Wichita State catcher Gunnar Troutwine during Cade Bunnell’s single gave K-State an advantage it would never relinquish.
“(Sanburn) had not thrown a bunch all year long, too,” said Hill. “He was nervous, I’m sure, and we took a little advantage of that. We put some good swings on the ball (in the first inning).”
Sanburn, making just his third appearance of the season, took the loss after being charged with four runs, three earned, on four hits over four innings. The right-hander also struck out four.
In the sixth, after 13 straight Wildcats were retired by Sanburn and Zach Lewis and K-State holding onto a one-run lead, the Wildcats snapped out of their funk with a leadoff walk drawn by Rolette and a single by Scudder that set up an RBI double by Moore. Tyler Wolfe followed Moore with a run-producing single that plated Scudder and chased Lewis from the game without recording an out in the inning. Chase Williams relieved Lewis, but he walked the first batter he faced, Bunnell, to load the bases before sacrifice flies by Quintin Crandall and Brooks Zimmerman made it 8-3 K-State.
Back-to-back hits by Rolette (double) and Scudder (single) set up Moore’s RBI groundout in the seventh that gave the Wildcats a 9-3 lead. Rolette and Scudder produced their hits off Tyler Gibson before Moore’s grounder to third was off John Hayes.
The Shockers added two late runs in the eighth and ninth off Jacob Ruder and Jordan Floyd. The eighth-inning run was on single by Troutwine that chased Ruder from the contest while in the ninth, K-State’s lone error, a wild throw by Jake Wodtke on the potential final out, allowed Trey Vickers to score.
Vickers, who finished 2-for-4, hit a home run off Heinen in the fifth that pulled the Shockers within one at 4-3.
The two sides will meet again on Wednesday in Wichita. First pitch at Eck Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m.