K-State Baseball: Wildcats Dominate Huskers in 12-6 Victory

The All-American made a statement tonight - Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Ross Kivett hits for the cycle, the first Cat to do so since 1997, and some other stuff happened too.

Manhattan, KS – Mother Nature made it not the best evening for defensive baseball, but in the end the Wildcats (15-9, 1-2) again look dominate at home trouncing the Huskers of Nebraska 12-6. The win makes it seven of the last eight against the Huskers (14-10, 1-2), and pushes K-State’s overall home non-con winning streak to 21.

Strong south winds were predicted to wreak havoc on both teams, promising video-game scores from both teams as the wind made the left field wall appear that much shorter. But alas, only one player really took advantage. Ross Kivett used that wind to knock the ball over the fence in the Wildcat’s first at-bat of the game, marking the first lead-off homerun for K-State since 2008.

And Ross didn’t stop there. The All-American Mr. K-State hit for the cycle and nearly in direct order, his first five at-bats going HR, 3B, 2B, fly-out, 1B. It’s another feather in the cap for Ross (who went 4-5 with 3 RBI), and marks the first time that a Wildcat has recorded such a game since 1997. Ross said after the game that it was his first cycle at any level.

Well Kivett’s long bomb (and subsequent cycle) was just the start of the offensive dominance that the BatCats have shown at home this season. Kivett had four hits, Senior Blair DeBord recorded three hits and he and Junior Austin Fisher chipped in two RBI. In total nine Cats, starters and replacements, got in the hitting action and every single Cat starter that stood up to the plate reached base in some fashion. That Cats also got their own inning of doom after giving up two to Oklahoma last weekend, racking up six runs in the second inning to effectively put the game out of reach for the Huskers.

RS-Freshman Colton Kalmus (2-1) was solid on the mound in the start and win for the Cats, giving up only two runs on seven hits in five innings of work (though only one run was earned due to an error in the 1st inning). Overall, the K-State defense looked shaky early, but managed to hold off the Huskers with some big and key plays throughout the game.

Three younger arms got some action in relief out of the bullpen. Freshman Jordan Floyd came in for Kalmus, and while he looked shaky on the mound at times, managed to only give up one hit and no runs in two innings of work. Freshman Ethan Landon came in to pitch the 8th, and while giving up a leadoff hit, the defense bailed him out and got three quick outs to prevent the Huskers from capitalizing. Junior Jake Whaley closed out the game, retiring the Huskers but not before allowing four runs on four runs in a very sloppy 9th.

Not much went right for Nebraska in this one until the very end. No pitcher went two innings, with starter Freshman Ben Miller (0-1) getting the loss after giving up six runs on six hits in only an inning and a third. On the bright side, seven Huskers managed a hit off the K-State bullpen thanks to the final push in the 9th.  Freshman Ryan Boldt led the Husker batters, going 4-4 with an RBI. Junior Blake Headley also chipped in three hits and three RBI (two in the 9th).

Nebraska will return home after this after going 2-3 during a short roadtrip, going 1-2 against conference-foe Iowa, and notching a big win over the Shockers before getting blown-out in Manhattan. This is the first of three games between the Huskers and Wildcats, with two games to come in April in Lincoln.

K-State goes on a Omaha roadtrip for their next four games, at Creighton this weekend for a series (3/28-6:30pm; 3/29-2:00pm; 3/30-1:00pm) and staying for what was supposed to be the return game against Nebraska-Omaha on April Fools’ Day (Tuesday, 6:30pm). After coming back from Nebraska, the Wildcats will host rival KU the next weekend followed by Wichita State in Manhattan. The four games in Manhattan are all slated for TV on Cox Ch. 22.

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