Kansas State right-hander Matt Wivinis tossed his first-career complete game, limiting 21st-ranked Cal Poly to just four runs on seven hits, as the Wildcats won the series finale, 10-4, Saturday night at Tointon Family Stadium.
With the win, K-State salvaged the final game of the three-game set and improved to 9-5.
Wivinis, whose previous career-long outing was six innings, gave up three runs in the first two frames as the Wildcats were down 3-1 after the second. However, the Downers Grove, Ill., product recorded a pair of groundouts to get out of the second inning and begin a streak of 12 straight retired batters.
Wivinis needed just 91 pitches and struck out five Mustangs, his second-highest mark of the year. The sophomore allowed just one free pass, which was a hit-by-pitch to lead off the contest.
“Matt has so much potential,” K-State coach Brad Hill said. “In the past, that would have been a situation that he wouldn’t have gotten out of the second inning, and we would have had to go to the bullpen. It’s a great credit to him, and we need him to do that. For our team to be successful, he needs to pitch in that capacity. You could see the confidence level rise as the game kept going, and you could see he wanted to get the complete game.”
The complete game by Wivinis was the first by a Wildcat since Joe Flattery went the distance at Texas Tech on May 18 last year.
Junior third baseman RJ Santigate led five Wildcats that recorded multi-hit games by going 3 for 4 with two RBIs. The Las Vegas, Nev., product completed a four-run K-State fifth inning with a RBI single, and he also singled home one of two seventh-inning runs.
Sophomore Shane Conlon went 2 for 3 with two RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the second-longest mark to begin a season in Hill’s 10 years at K-State. The first baseman is now one game shy of tying Carter Jurica’s 15-game streak to open the 2010 season.
Trailing by two in the fifth inning, the Wildcats scored four runs to take a 5-3 lead. Mitch Meyer, who drove in two runs in the contest, began the scoring with a RBI single. Following a fielder’s choice, K-State strung together three straight two-out RBI hits as singles by Tanner Witt and Santigate were sandwiched around a double to right field by Conlon.
In the seventh, K-State scored a run on a throwing error and Santigate’s second hit, an infield single. A three-run eighth inning featured RBI singles by Blair DeBord and Ross Kivett, as well as a Meyer sacrifice fly.