MANHATTAN, Kan. Justin Bloxom had two hits and drove in three of Kansas State’s four runs as the Wildcats improved to 6-0 this season at home after a 4-3 win Friday over Central Michigan at Tointon Stadium. With the win, Kansas State moved to 15-4 overall, while Central Michigan fell to 7-8.
Bloxom, a freshman, led a group of three Wildcats with two hits each as Rob Vaughn and Jordan Cruz each had multi-hit games, but Bloxom’s three RBI, all with two outs, proved to be the difference.
In the first, Bloxom singled through the right side to plate Derek Bunker and Byron Wiley to give the Cats an early 2-0 lead. Bunker had left off the frame with a single while Wiley drew a one-out walk.
Central Michigan cut the lead to 2-1 on a solo homer from Ben Humphrey, but Bloxom’s two-out double in the third scored Nate Tenbrink, who had walked and stole second, to up the lead back to two at 3-1. The Chippewas continued to chip away as Bryan Mitzel homered down the line in left off Brad Hutt to again draw CMU to within one at 3-2.
Central Michigan tied the game at three in the fifth and had a chance to take the lead but Hutt pitched out of a bases loaded jam and got a double play to end the threat. The Cats then took the lead for good in the bottom half of the fifth when Eddie Vasquez drove in Tenbrink with a fielder’s choice groundout. K-State, which stranded a season-high 14 runners, left the bases loaded in the inning.
Hutt (5-0) remained perfect on the season after tossing 6.0 innings Friday, allowing three runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts. The bullpen took over and did its job as Trevor Hurley tossed 2.0 shutout innings for the hold, while Daniel Edwards earned his team-leading fifth save with a perfect ninth inning, which included two strikeouts.
Central Michigan’s Josh Collmenter (1-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
With one hit Friday, Wiley extended his current hitting streak to a season-long eight games, while Bunker has now hit safely in four straight.
Kansas State and Central Michigan continue play Saturday with a 2 p.m. matchup at Tointon Stadium.