Sophomore pitcher Levi MaVorhis twirled his second shutout of the season, leading the K-State baseball team to a 10-0 victory over KU in the first game of the Sunflower Showdown series on Friday at Tointon Family Stadium.
MaVorhis had a perfect game through five innings before he surrendered the first of three KU (19-11, 3-4 Big 12) hits in the game to the leadoff batter, Ryan Pidhaichuk, in the top of the sixth. The K-State (18-11, 2-2 Big 12) right-hander finished the night with four strikeouts and two walks on 96 pitches.
“Through the fourth inning, you could see [MaVorhis] was getting into a groove,” said K-State head coach Brad Hill. “He was just pumping strikes. I think the big factor was his changeup was really good as it kept hitters confused and guessing a little bit. A couple balls were hit hard, but they found some gloves.”
MaVorhis, who threw his first shutout of the season and his career on March 14 against Northern Colorado, also becomes the first pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout against KU since Chase Mitchell did so on April 29, 2005.
“Whenever I am able to locate my fastball on both sides of the plate, I know that I am getting out in front and my stuff should be pretty good that day,” said MaVorhis. “In the first inning, I started to feel good.”
The shutout win for K-State is its largest in the all-time series against KU since April 11, 1969 (10-0). It was the 17th time that K-State blanked KU since the first meeting between the two schools in 1897.
The Wildcats now have five shutouts this season and two shutouts against Big 12 opponents, which are both their most since 2008.
The K-State offense quickly supported MaVorhis with a five-run bottom half of the first. After RJ Santigate plated Ross Kivett with a chopping RBI single over the KU third baseman Aaron Hernandez’s head, Tanner DeVinny hit a three-run home run to right-center field to make it 4-0 K-State. DeVinny’s homer was the first by a Wildcat freshman since Jared King in 2011. Meanwhile, Clayton Dalrymple capped the big inning with an RBI single that scored DeVinny.
Shane Conlon hit his first homer of the year in the fourth, a solo blast that gave K-State a 6-0 lead. It was Conlon’s first homer since April 13, 2013 at Iowa.
In the sixth, DeVinny led off the frame by being hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. The designated hitter stole second base, his second steal of the year, and was plated by Carter Yagi’s RBI single into center field.
K-State did not require using one of its 10 hits in the game during the seventh inning when the Wildcats utilized three walks to load the bases. Austin Fisher, who drew a one-out walk to start the process of loading the bases, later scored on a wild pitch that made it 8-0 K-State.
After pinch hitter Taylor Anderson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the first run of a two-run eighth, Blair DeBord delivered an RBI single through the left side to score Santigate. DeBord’s single gave each K-State starter a hit in the game and 10 hits total. It was the fourth straight game K-State had double-digit hits.
The Wildcats also had eight walks, their most since drawing 10 walks against Air Force earlier this season on March 18.
The Jayhawks’ Jordan Piche took the loss after he allowed seven runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings pitched.
K-State has won five straight games against KU and six of the last seven meetings.
K-State and KU will meet in game two of the three-game set on Saturday, April 5 at 2 pm. K-State’s Jared Moore will start on the mound for the Wildcats and face KU’s Robert Kahana.