March 30, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. – Pitching in front of friends and family members, Millard West High School product and K-State redshirt freshman pitcher Nate Griep matched his career-high in strikeouts with five over seven innings to help lead K-State to an 8-2 win over Creighton on Sunday at TD Ameritrade Park.
After dropping the first contest of the three-game set against the Bluejays on Friday, the Wildcats (17-10) earned the series victory by scoring eight runs and tallying double-digit hits for the second game in a row to back up Griep in his fourth career start. Dating back to last season, K-State has now won three of its last four games against Creighton (12-9-1).
“Winning a series is what the season is all about,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “If you win a lot of series, you’re going to have plenty of success. We put ourselves in a hole on Friday night, but the guys did a great job of coming back with wins on Saturday and Sunday.”
Griep surrendered a two-run home run in the second inning, but the right-hander settled in, retiring seven straight Bluejays after the homer and scattering three hits over his final four innings of work. Griep walked only one in his second consecutive impressive weekend start to improve to 3-0 on the season.
“Nate gave us a great start,” said Hill. “He pounded the zone and did what he had to do on the mound to put us in position to win.”
RJ Santigate had three hits for the second consecutive game as the senior went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. The three hits, all singles, matched Santigate’s season-high.
K-State had 12 hits on Sunday, the third time in the last four games and 15th time this season the Wildcats have registered double-digit hits in a game.
Ross Kivett and Mitch Meyer joined Santigate with multi-hit efforts. Kivett went 2-for-4 with two RBI to finish the series 6-for-12 with four RBI. Meyer snapped a 0-for-12 stretch by collecting two hits, including a one-out double in the second inning that drove in Santigate and gave K-State an early 1-0 lead.
K-State responded to Mike Gerber’s second-inning home run by regaining the lead with three runs in the top of the third. Meyer drew a walk and Blair DeBord was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second for Carter Yagi, who came through with an RBI double to the right-center field gap that tied the game at 2-2. Clayton Dalrymple made it 3-2 with a bloop single to right field that scored DeBord, and an error by Creighton shortstop Ryan Fitzgerald on a ground ball hit by Kivett allowed Yagi to cross home.
DeBord led off the sixth with a double into the left field corner, and after he advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Yagi, Kivett plated the senior catcher with a sacrifice fly that made it 5-2 K-State.
The Wildcats added three runs in the ninth on an RBI single by Santigate, an RBI groundout by Tanner DeVinny, and an RBI single by Meyer.
Jordan Floyd and Jake Matthys each threw an inning out of the K-State bullpen. Floyd surrendered one hit in a scoreless eighth, and Matthys worked around a hit and a walk in the ninth inning to toss a shutout frame. Matthys struck out Nicky Lopez to end the game.
Creighton's Taylor Elman took the losing decision after he allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings pitched. The right-hander also struck out six.
K-State makes a return trip back to the Omaha area on Tuesday, April 1 for a midweek contest against Omaha at Werner Park. First pitch is set for 6:30 pm.