The Kansas State baseball team scored 12 unanswered runs over the final four innings Tuesday in a 16-4 victory over Northwestern State at Tointon Family Stadium.
According to a release from K-State, sophomore catcher Josh Rolette led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run that broke a 4-4 tie and helped K-State (10-2) score a season-high 16 runs on a season-best 19 hits. Ten different Wildcats recorded a base hit in the Cats’ sixth consecutive victory.
“We put some pretty good swings on the ball today,” said head coach Brad Hill. “I thought it was a better offensive output, guys put together more than one good at-bat for us. Multiple guys had really good days today. That was good to see, I thought we played hard. We played a solid game today.”
Following Rolette’s homer, his first of the season, senior second baseman Josh Ethier singled home Hanz Harker to put K-State ahead 6-4 after five innings.
K-State added three more in the sixth courtesy of a Jake Scudder three-run home run, his third homer in the last four games, and opened the gap even further with a seven-run eighth inning that was highlighted by a Kyle Barfield pinch-hit RBI double.
“Those guys coming off the bench did a good job, you never know what can happen,” Hill added. “Those guys are ready to go, they came in and got some good swings.”
Six different Cats recorded multiple hits in the game, led by Scudder who went 3-for-6 with three RBI. Junior outfielder Hanz Harker posted a career-high three hits and two walks as he reached base in all five plate appearances.
Northwestern State (4-7) scored two runs in the top of the first inning via a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk to take an early 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats responded in the home half after the first four batters – Cameron Thomson, Jake Wodtke, Steve Serratore and Scudder – recorded a base hit to level the score.
Senior Quintin Crandall homered in the third and Thomson’s RBI single in the fourth handed K-State a 4-2 lead through four. Crandall has now reached base safely in 20 straight games, dating back to last season.
K-State starting pitcher Colton Kalmus lasted four and 2/3 innings and struck out four, allowed four hits and gave up four earned runs, including two in the top of the fifth that tied the game, 4-4.
From there, the Wildcat bullpen finished the job as Jared Marolf, Nick Jones and Mitch Zubradt combined to allow just one base hit and one walk while striking out six to keep the Demons scoreless over the next four and 1/3 innings.
The 6-3 freshman Marolf recorded his second win of the season and now has 10 punch outs with only one walk issued.
Batting in the leadoff spot for the 10th straight game, Thompson went 2-for-4 with an RBI for his team-leading eighth multi-hit game – twice as many as any other Wildcat.
Serratore had a season-high three hits in five at-bats and scored two runs.
K-State concludes its two-game set with Northwestern State on Wednesday with first pitch slated for 3 p.m. Brian Smoller and Matt Walters will call the game with the Demons that will be broadcast worldwide on K-StateHD.TV with audio streaming free online at k-statesports.com.