LUBBOCK, Texas - Trailing 5-0 after three innings, No. 20 Kansas State scored 10 of the game's final 11 runs while receiving an outstanding performance from sophomore relief pitcher James Allen to defeat Texas Tech, 10-6, Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field.
The win allowed the Wildcats to salvage the final contest of the three-game series. K-State improved to 21-5 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 action while Texas Tech dropped to 14-16 overall and 4-5 in the conference.
Allen entered the game with two outs in the third inning and the Cats down by five runs. The right-hander proceeded to sit down 16 of the next 20 batters, including retiring the side in order in the sixth and seventh innings, to allow the Wildcat offense a chance to rally.
K-State scored once in each of the fourth and fifth innings to cut the lead to 5-2 before exploding for five runs in the sixth to take its first lead of the series. After a pair of one-out walks and a single loaded the bases in the sixth, Carter Jurica smashed a double down the left-field line to score two runs and knock Tech reliever Brett Bruening (2-2) out of the game.
Jay Johnson came on to pitch and was greeted with a Nick Martini sacrifice fly to score the tying run before Daniel Dellasega walked. Kent Urban then singled up the middle to bring home the fourth run of the inning. Following another walk to load the bases, Matt Giller capped the frame with an infield single to score Dellasega and give K-State a 7-5 lead.
Allen improved to 4-0 on the year as he worked a career-high 5.1 innings, besting his 3.2-inning outing at Baylor last season. The St. Charles, Mo., product allowed a run in the ninth, but surrendered only three hits and tied his career high with five strikeouts.
Adam Muenster paced the Wildcat offense, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored. The senior finished the series 7-for-13 with a double and five runs scored. K-State's No. 2-5 hitters, Jurica, Martini, Dellasega and Urban, each recorded two RBI in the contest.
Martini's two hits in the contest improved his hitting streak to 23 games, the third-longest in school history and just two shy of the school record of 25 by Chris Hess between the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
Joey Kenworthy and Scott LeJeune led the Red Raider offense with two hits, while LeJeune recorded a pair of RBI.
As it had in the first two games of the series, Texas Tech scored first as Jamodrick McGruder led off the game with a bunt single. He stole second and third bases and came home to score when Muenster committed an error at third. Barrett Barnes then walked and scored on a LeJeune double.
Tech added to its lead with three runs in the third. Kenworthy and Barnes singled to begin the inning and Kenworthy scored on the second error of the game by Muenster. LeJeune smacked another run-scoring double, knocking K-State starter Kyle Hunter out of the game. Justin Lindsey came on to pitch and allowed a run-scoring single to Stephen Hagen, making the score 5-0.
The Wildcats began to chip away at the lead in the fourth when Dellasega reached on a fielder's choice and moved to third on Urban's single to left. Mike Kindel then laced a single through the left side of the infield to give the Cats their first run of the contest.
K-State scored another run in the fifth when Red Raider starter Louis Head hit two batters and allowed a bunt single to load the bases. Bruening relieved Head and plunked Urban to make the score 5-2.
After their sixth-inning explosion, the Wildcats padded their lead with three insurance runs in the seventh. Jake Brown reached on an error to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. The second baseman stole third base and, following a Jurica walk, scored on a squeeze bunt by Martini. Dellasega capped the inning when he blasted a 2-2 pitch from reliever Colt Farrar down the left-field line to score Jurica and Martini to give the Cats a 10-5 advantage.
Next action for Kansas State comes on Friday, April 9, as the Wildcats begin a three-game home series against Nebraska. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m., at Tointon Family Stadium.