The Kansas State baseball team found the offensive fireworks it was missing in Saturday’s two-run win over Oakland and dominated the Grizzlies in the doubleheader Sunday.
The Wildcats won the second of the series 9-2 and finished the series with a 13-3 victory in Game 3 at Tointon Family Stadium. With the weekend sweep, the Wildcats improved to 6-3, while Oakland dropped to 0-7.
K-State head coach Brad Hill challenged his team Saturday to take better advantage of baserunners after the Wildcats scored just four runs on 11 hits.
On Sunday, the Wildcats churned out 22 runs on 25 hits between the two games.
“It was much better today,” Hill said. “We talked about how to string together at-bats, and how two-out RBIs are huge for us.
“We started getting those and it was good to see guys like Jon Davis come around the way we know he can swing the bat. And Shane Conlon and RJ Santigate, those two guys were good all day long and didn’t seem to give away too many at-bats.”
In Game 1, K-State starting pitcher Joe Flattery picked up his first win of the season. The senior went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Freshman Levi MaVorhis pitched the rest of the way in relief and gave up no runs on two hits with no walks and two Ks.
Offensively, the Wildcats were led by center fielder Jared King, who went 2 for 4 with a home run, a double and two RBIs.
“(Saturday) he was really chasing,” Hill said about King. “He was going after some pitches that weren’t there. He was better today.”
“I felt a little better today,” he said. “I’m still working on some mechanical stuff and timing stuff. We were setting it up (Saturday), but we really weren’t driving (runners) in.
“It’s just a mindset. You have to be able to go out there everyday and say guys are on base and that you just have to get it done. Good teams consistently will drive guys in with two outs and two strikes, and those are big-time RBIs that we were able to do today that we are very capable of doing all the time.”
In Game 2, Matt Wivinis earned his first win of the season in his third start. The sophomore right-hander allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts through 5 1/3 innings of work.
Freshman Jake Matthys then pitched 2/3 of an inning, before freshman Landon Busch took over in the seventh. Freshman Blake McFadden handled the eighth and senior Jake Doller closed out the ninth.
Hill was pleased with the pitching performances from both games.
“It was good,” he said. “Joe was better. He pitched through a bases-loaded situation, which has kind of been his deal, so it was good to see him pitch through that and I’m proud of him. He just has to continue to compete, throw hard and be aggressive. When he does that he’s usually in pretty good shape.
“I thought Matt was good. It was just walks with him. But, he comes back in the next inning and gets three ground balls and bounced back.”
Junior third baseman RJ Santigate led the Wildcats at the plate in the second game when he went 3 for 4 with four RBIs, a triple and two runs scored.
The Wildcats will host Niagra Tuesday and Wednesday this week at Tointon Family Stadium, with both games beginning at 3 p.m.