Monday, November 30, 2015

Kivett hits for cycle in 12-6 victory

Ross Kivett already has his name etched in Kansas State’s baseball history books.

On Wednesday, he cemented it in the Wildcats’ record books.

The senior center fielder hit for the cycle in reverse order, going 4 for 5 with three RBIs and three runs scored as K-State beat Nebraska 12-6 on a blustery night at Tointon Family Stadium.

Kivett became the first K-State player to hit for a cycle since Manhattan High product Heath Schesser did it in 1997, and just the third player ever at KSU history, joining Craig Wilson (1992).

“He’s pretty good, a pretty special player — special night for him,” K-State coach Brad Hill said. “He got us off to a great start offensively, and we had a great offensive approach. I was really proud of what we did.”

Nebraska put a run on the board first with a single from Ryan Boldt to score Jake Placzek in the top of the first.

Then Kivett went to work.

Needing only three pitches, Kivett blasted a solo home run to left — his second of the season — giving the Wildcats their first leadoff home run since 2008.

Tyler Stover then singled to score Shane Conlon to give K-State an early 2-1 lead it would never surrender.

Before the game Kivett tweeted about it being a good day with favorable wind conditions for a righty. He said Conlon joked the ball wouldn’t have gone over the wall with the help from the wind.

“When the wind is blowing out 35 miles per hour to left — that doesn’t happen much — I was pretty pumped as a right-handed hitter,” Kivett said. “Conlon gave me a hard time and said no shot, but I had a lot of barrel so I like to pretend I think so.”

In the bottom of the second, the Wildcats tacked on another six runs to go ahead 8-1.

Kivett tripled in a pair of scores and Conlon tripled in Kivett. Austin Fisher singled to bring in Colon and Blair DeBord singled to score Fisher and RJ Santigate.

Kivett then doubled in the third and scored on an errant throw by Nebraska left fielder Michael Pritchard, who had just made a highlight catch on a deep fly from Conlon.

Boldt opened the top of the fourth with a leadoff triple and scored on a Blake Headley triple to cut the lead to 9-2.

Nebraska finally got both Kivett and DeBord out for the first time in the bottom of the fifth, but the Wildcats still scored a pair of runs.

Clayton Dalrymple scored on an error by Husker shortstop Steven Reveles. Conlon scored on a single by Santigate that caused Nebraska second basemen Pat Kelly to run into the umpire in the field as the ball trailed into the outfield.

Kivett snuck a two-out single through the middle infield in the bottom of the sixth to complete his cycle, and pumped his fist as he ran toward first. Kivett admitted he knew what was at stake when he went to the plate.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know, of course I know, everyone that has that opportunity they know,” he said. “I was just trying to get on top of something flat and I saw the middle was open and knew I had a chance.”

Max Brown brought in K-State’s final run in the bottom of the seventh with a single that scored Fisher.

Nebraska added four runs in the ninth off K-State pitcher Jake Whaley.

DeBord finished the game 3 for 5 with two RBIs, doubling his RBIs for the season and nearly doubling his hits. The senior entered the game just 4 of 41 on the year with two RBIs.

Colton Kalmus got the start for the Wildcats and pitched five innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on seven hits, one walk and three strikeouts.

“Great start,” Hill said. “Young guy, he’s had about three starts, to go out here with the wind howling out here 35 to 40, I thought he did a great job for us. In command of what he was doing, composure, talking to us — he came to play.”

The Wildcats are scheduled to play a three-game series against Creighton in Omaha, Neb., starting on Friday. The games will be played at TD Ameritrade Park, the home of the College World Series.


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