Cats Close Homestand with 6-5 Win

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From K-State Athletics

Terrence Spurlin homered, Cameron Thompson tallied a pair of RBI and Andrew Stratman recorded his first career save as K-State defeated Canisius 6-5 on Wednesday to split a two-game series at Tointon Family Stadium.

K-State (11-10) jumped out to a four-run lead after three innings and held a 6-3 going into the ninth inning. Canisius (5-15) scored two in the top of the ninth before Stratman induced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

“That’s why (baseball) is the best game in the world,” head coach Pete Hughes said after the game. “You can play like that (yesterday), and then in less than 24 hours have a chance to feel good again and correct some things. We needed to feel good coming into Oklahoma State this weekend. I thought that was a really good team win. We had some good balance out of our bullpen, a lot of guys involved making some really big pitches.

“Proud of Terry Spurlin. He didn’t have a great night last night and got us on the board early, really good team win.”

Spurlin launched his third homer of the season, a solo shot with two strikes to start the second.

Thompson, who had a team-high two hits, produced an RBI single in the bottom of the first with another coming as part of a two-run seventh.

Wildcat starter Joey Martin held the Golden Griffins scoreless on three hits through 3 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. Reliever Jaxon Passino gave up one earned run over 2 1/3 and escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the fourth with one of his two strikeouts.

“(Passino) did a really good job of settling everything down,” added Hughes. “I thought Joey did a really good job, too. He’s learning and getting better and competing like crazy. That’s 95 percent of it.”

The Cats took their 4-0 lead into the sixth when Canisius cut it in half with a pair of runs in the top half of the inning. Catcher Trevor Henneman’s RBI single put the score at 4-2. An unearned Griffin run put K-State’s lead at just a single run as the game reached the seventh-inning stretch.

K-State responded in the bottom half of the inning, as Thomas Hughes led off with a double and later scored via a sacrifice fly from Will Brennan. Rainer Ausmus, who earlier walked, scored on Thompson’s RBI single to push the lead to 6-3.

A two-run single by Jacob Victor again cut the Cats’ lead to a run before Stratman forced William Krull into a game-ending double play.

Brennan and Hughes, along with Chris Ceballos, each doubled in the game. Zach Kokoska added an RBI single in the third.

Canisius starting pitcher Brett Kochanski suffered the loss after allowing four earned runs on five hits in three innings. Kochanski walked two and failed to record a strikeout.

Senior Mitch Zubradt threw a perfect eighth inning, picking up two strikeouts. In nine outings (11 innings pitched), Zubradt has yet to allow a run on just two hits to go with 17 strikeouts.

K-State begins Big 12 play on Friday as the Wildcats travel to face Oklahoma State for a three-game series.

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Mitch Fortner

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