March 20, 2003
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -
Kansas State concluded the Papa John's Challenge with an exclamation point on Wednesday afternoon, as the Wildcats got a hit from nearly every player in the lineup en route to hammering out a season-high 21 runs on 17 hits in a 21-2 victory over Rider in a game held at Nova Southeastern campus at the NSU Sports Complex.
With the win, Kansas State snapped a two-game losing skid and improved to 10-8 on the season, while Rider fell to 2-5 overall with the loss. After posting season-lows in both runs scored and hits the past two games, the Wildcats broke out with season-highs in both runs scored (17) and RBIs (20). The team also got an impressive performance from its pitching staff holding the Broncos to just two runs on four hits, including just one hit the last eight innings of the game.
Rider jumped on the board first, as Wildcat starter Allan Woodward gave up two singles and two walks in the first inning leading to a pair of runs. However, Woodward and relievers Frank Bauer, Kevin Melcher, Danny Wilson and Eric Rollins stifled the Bronco attack, holding the team to just two hits and one walk the last eight innings.
After a scoreless first inning, Kansas State plated eight runs on four hits and two errors in the second. Sophomore outfielder Terry Blunt and senior outfielder Pat Maloney highlighted the inning with two-RBI singles, while junior third baseman Ty Soto connected on his team-leading fourth home run with a three-run shot over the fence in right field to cap the score at 8-2. With their hits in the inning, Maloney and Soto extended their hitting streaks to double-digits. Maloney's streak now stands at 13, while Soto has a hit in 10 consecutive games.
The score remained the same until the Wildcats started a stretch of 12 straight runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Maloney led off a two-run, three-hit fourth inning with his second home run of the season. Senior first baseman Tim Doty followed with a double to left-center then scored on a wild pitcher and senior catcher Ryan Baldwin's sacrifice fly to center field. The Wildcats took advantage of two errors in the fifth to plate three more runs. Baldwin totaled his 12th double to cap the scoring after runs scored on a Doty fielder's choice and a Soto ground out.
With the score 13-2, Kansas State broke the game open with seven runs on six hits and two errors in the sixth inning. The Wildcat led off the inning with five straight hits highlighted by doubles from junior catcher Josh Heinrich, Maloney and junior outfielder Brian Patty. After a couple of errors and walks, Heinrich connected on his second double of the inning to score three runs.
Kansas State added a single run in the eighth on two hits to conclude the scoring at 21-2, as Heinrich knocked in his fifth run with a single off the glove of the shortstop into left field. Senior second baseman Brandon Taylor reached base on a deep double to center to set-up the final run.
Kansas State got hits from 11 players, including three-hit performances from Blunt, Maloney and Heinrich, while 13 different Wildcats had at least one run scored and seven had at least one RBI. Heinrich paced the team with a career and team-high five RBIs, while Soto added four RBIs on his 1-for-3 effort. Maloney posted a team-best four runs scored to go with three RBIs and Blunt added three more RBIs and two runs scored.
Outfielder Scott Rich paced the Rider attack with his 1-for-2 effort with a RBI.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Frank Bauer evened his record to 1-1 in earning the win for Kansas State in relief, as he pitched three shutout innings with one hit, one strikeout and one walk. Woodward withstood a rocky first inning in his first career start to rebound for a solid outing, as he allowed two runs on three hits in three innings pitched with two strikeouts and two walks. Senior right-handed pitcher Kevin Melcher, junior right-handed pitcher Danny Wilson and sophomore right-handed pitcher Eric Rollins each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to end the game.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Ken Peare (0-1) picked up the loss for Rider in his first start of the season, as he allowed seven unearned runs on four hits in 1-1/3 innings of work with one walk.
Kansas State returns to action on Friday, as the Wildcats start Big 12 Conference play by traveling to nationally-ranked Nebraska to begin a three-game series at Hawks Field in Lincoln, Neb. First pitch on Friday and Saturday is schedule for 2:05 p.m., while Sunday's finale is set for 1:05 p.m. Both the audio broadcast and live statistics will be available at www.kstatesports.com.