Kansas State squeaks past Shockers 3-2
K-State relief pitcher Jake Matthys threw four shutout innings to notch a save and help the K-State baseball team hold on for a 3-2 win over Wichita State on Tuesday at Tointon Family Stadium.
After the Wildcats’ starting pitcher Colton Kalmus led off the sixth inning with a walk to the Shockers’ cleanup hitter Chase Simpson, Matthys entered the game for K-State (19-13) and bookended his first inning of work with two of his five strikeouts in the game.
Wichita State (16-15) put runners in scoring position in each of Matthys’ four innings pitched, including a bases-loaded situation in the seventh, but the K-State right-hander used 73 pitches, 43 for strikes, to work out of each jam unscathed.
“His stuff was good,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill about Matthys. “You could see by the Wichita State swings and the movement on his ball. He just felt pretty good about it.”
Matthys’ save, his third this season in five opportunities, was the first four-inning save by a K-State pitcher since April 26, 2005 (Eric Rollins, vs. Sacramento State). The four innings pitched for Matthys fell 1/3 of an inning short of matching his career-high.
“Baseball is a lot about confidence,” said Hill. “[Matthys] has worked pretty hard this last week. It is a goal of ours to get him put back together and make sure he does the things that he needs to do. Obviously, he has done that by what he showed tonight.”
K-State’s win gives it four straight victories over the in-state rival Shockers.
The Wildcats struck first when RJ Santigate drove in Ross Kivett and Shane Conlon with a two-run single to left field in the first inning. Kivett started the frame with a single, and Conlon followed by being hit by a pitch for the team-leading 10th time this season. The two moved into scoring position on a strike-three wild pitch delivered by Wichita State’s Drew Palmer against Austin Fisher.
An RBI double by Micah Green in the second inning cut the K-State lead in half, 2-1, but in the bottom of the third, freshman Tyler Stover delivered the eventual game-deciding hit, an RBI single up the middle to score Conlon that returned a two-run advantage to K-State, 3-1.
Wichita State’s Garrett Bayliff quickly made it a one-run advantage for K-State once again when he hit a leadoff home run off Kalmus in the fourth inning to make it 3-2 Wildcats.
Kalmus earned the win, his third of the season, after he surrendered two runs, one earned, on two hits and three walks in five innings. The right-hander also struck out three.
The two sides combined to strand 19 runners in the game, led by 13 runners left on by Wichita State. The Shockers went hitless in their 13 opportunities with runners in scoring position while K-State went 2-for-6.
Santigate led K-State with two hits to go along with his two RBI. Conlon reached base a team-high three times with a single, walk and hit by pitch.
Palmer took the loss for Wichita State after the left-hander allowed three runs on two walks and five hits in 2 2/3 innings. The Shockers bullpen threw 5 1/3 shutout innings, led by Ray Ashford’s scoreless 3 1/3 innings of work in relief of Palmer.