MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State Athletics) – K-State scored 11 runs in the seventh inning to race away with a 20-4 game one victory against Youngstown State on Friday at Tointon Family Stadium.
“Today was a great dress rehearsal for the Big 12 opening weekend for us,” said head coach Pete Hughes. “You have to set the tone and control the atmosphere on a Friday night, and we did that.”
“It was challenging because of the weather. There was not a great atmosphere in our park tonight because the condition and the crowd was sparse. It’s not like a Tointon crowd but that’s when you have to take the energy that’s not there and put it in your dugout, and feed off of it,” said Hughes.
Despite the cold weather conditions, the Wildcats (9-5) scored 20 runs on 12 hits to extend their win streak out to five while the Penguins moved to 3-11 overall.
“We talked about it and the guys executed perfectly. I thought we were solid in all aspects of the game. Plate discipline was outstanding, and we got to show our running game. Overall, you have to win on Friday night to set the tone to win the series on Saturday.”
“It all starts with a good start from your starting pitcher, and we certainly got that tonight. Owen [Boerema] set the tone. Our team set the tone for the weekend, but Owen set the tone for the night with that first inning.”
Boerema shut down the first three batters in order to start off his fourth outing of the season. The senior left-hander collected his second straight victory on the mound, striking out a season-high eight with two runs on seven hits and one walk over six innings.
HOW IT HAPPENED
K-State scored in five straight innings in game one of the series opener. The Wildcats jumped on the board in the first inning with an RBI grounder to short by Nick Goodwin to grab a 1-0 lead before the Penguins leveled the score in the second.
Cash Rugely moved to third on a wild pitch after reaching on a walk before crossing the plate on a sac fly into right from Raphael Pelletier to put K-State back on top. Roberto Pena beat out the throw from second for the infield single before coming around on the Cats second sac fly of the game.
With a 3-1 lead in the third, Rugely became the third Wildcat to send out four home runs this season as the senior unloaded on a 2-0 pitch to push the lead to four.
The Cats plated two in the fourth with Brendan Jones’ first collegiate homer to make it 7-1 in favor of the K-State.
The Penguins trimmed the gap to five after capitalizing on a fielding error in right, but Pelletier gunned the runner down at second to end the threat.
Cole Johnson reached on a fielding error before scoring on a single through the 3-4 hole to extend the lead back out six, 8-2.
After a scoreless sixth inning, K-State sent 17 batters to the plate to produce 11 runs on four hits with one costly error to take control of the game.
INSIDE THE BOX
- K-State scored 20 runs on 12 hits including six extra-base hits with two errors and nine left on base
- Roberto Pena had a game-high three hits going 3-for-6 at the plate
- Four players recorded multiple hits against the Penguins
- Cash Rugely and Nick Goodwin each tallied five RBI
- Brendan Jones hit his first career home run
- Wildcats pitching staff allowed four runs (two earned) on 10 hits with 12 strikeouts and two walks
- Cats walked a season-high 16 times on Friday
- Second 20+ run game this season; third under Hughes
- Cats were one stolen base shy of tying a program record 12
- Cash Rugely became the first player to steal three bases since Drew Mount against La Salle (March 2, 2018)
- Second 11-run inning this season
The Cats will return to Tointon Family Stadium for game two on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday’s game will be broadcasted on the Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with radio coverage on KMAN (93.3 FM/1350AM). A free live audio is available at kstatesports.com/watch.