DeLAND, Fla. - Kansas State scored nine times in the sixth inning to turn a one-run lead into an eight-run victory as the Wildcats defeated Stetson, 14-6, Friday in the first game of the Bright House Invitational at Melching Field.
With the win, Kansas State improved to 7-2 overall. The victory also marked the 200th at K-State for head coach Brad Hill, becoming just the second coach in school history with at least 200 wins. Stetson fell to 3-6 with the loss.
Kansas State equaled its highest run total in an inning this season in the sixth when the Cats torched four Stetson pitchers during the nine-run outburst. The Wildcats, who registered seven hits in the frame, began the scoring when Blair DeBord reached on a leadoff infield single before Kent Urban hit his first home run of the season, a line-drive, two-run shot over the right-field wall to make the score 5-2.
Nick Bohne came on in relief for Stetson after the home run but didn't fare any better. Jake Brown singled to left and moved to second when Adam Muenster walked. Carter Jurica singled through the right side to plate another run.
Another walk loaded the bases before Daniel Dellasega was hit by a pitch to score the fourth run of the frame. Mike Kindel followed with a RBI single while, after a wild pitch, a RBI walk and a strikeout, Brown brought in another two runs on a single to left field to cap the inning and put the game away.
"There were some great at-bats in the nine-run inning," said Hill. "I thought Jake Brown had a big night for us and I thought that Daniel Dellasega struck the ball extremely well. I thought it was one of our better efforts offensively and we swung the bats and competed really well tonight."
The Wildcats were led at the plate by Jurica and Dellasega. Jurica went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and one RBI. It marked his sixth multi-hit game of the season and extended his hitting streak to nine games to open up his junior campaign. He also picked up his fourth and fifth stolen bases of the season. Dellasega was 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI, including a pair of RBI doubles.
Brown and Matt Giller also drove in a pair of runs, while Muenster, Kindel, DeBord and Nick Martini each scored two runs.
K-State starter Ryan Daniel picked up his third win of the season in as many tries. The senior right-hander allowed seven hits, but surrendered only two earned runs with no walks and three strikeouts. In 16 innings pitched this season, Daniel has only issued one walk.
Stetson starter Lindsey Caughel (0-2) gave up five runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts to take the loss. The Hatters were paced offensively by Ryan Lashley and James Rassmussen, who each collected three hits.
Kansas State put up the game's first run in the second inning. Kindel was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. On a 3-2 pitch, Giller laced a single into right field to score Kindel.
Stetson tied the game in the third inning with back-to-back doubles, the latter by Jeff Simpson. But Daniel avoided further damage as he coaxed two fly balls and struck out another batter to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Aaron Crittenden blasted a solo home run off the right-field foul pole in the bottom of the fourth to give the Hatters their only lead of the game at 2-1.
Kansas State scored a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Muenster responded to Crittenden's homer with one of his own to tie the game at 2-2. It was the senior's first home run since April 18 last year against Missouri. Jurica followed with a double into right-center field and later scored on a Dellasega sacrifice fly to center, giving the Cats a 3-2 advantage before their big sixth inning that pushed the margin to 12-2.
The Hatters showed some fight when they scored three times in the seventh to cut the deficit to 13-5. Stetson added another run in the eighth and had runners at the corners with one out. But freshmen relievers Robert Hawkins and Jake Doller recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the last threat of the evening.
Kansas State will face Notre Dame on Saturday in the Wildcats' second game of the Bright House Invitational. First pitch from Melching Field is set for 2 p.m. (CT).