MANHATTAN, Kan. - No matter who Arkansas' opponent is on Saturday, that team will be coming off an ugly game in which it put up double-digit runs.
Host and top-seeded Kansas State put up a season-high number of runs while downing fourth-seeded Wichita State 20-11 Friday afternoon in the opening game of the NCAA Manhattan Regional.
The Wildcats (44-17) scored nine first-inning runs and had 19 hits in the contest, but also took full advantage of a Shockers' pitching staff that hit six batters and walked nine.
"That was kind of ugly," Kansas State head coach Brad Hill said. "I don't think either team wanted to play like that. It just wasn't a good game either way. It was ugly and we won. That's the big thing about it and obviously our offense did a tremendous job of covering us today."
Kansas State moves on to play Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the winner of Friday night's game between second-seeded Arkansas and third-seeded Bryant while Wichita State gets the loser at 2 p.m.
Long-time Wichita State head coach Gene Stephenson was mortified at the effort by his Shockers (39-27) in a game in which he ran seven of the contest's 12 pitchers out to the mound.
"I think that was as poor as we can pitch, unless we do worse tomorrow," Stephenson said. "We were playing against a very good hitting team that we knew had no weaknesses in their line-up and we knew that already. We knew we would have to pitch well and play good defense and we didn't do either."
Wichita State jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the first, but then committed an error that would have likely stymied the home team from getting off to its roaring start – which he did with a pair of singles courtesy of bounces off the field's synthetic turf.
Things just mushroomed and blew up from there," Stephenson said. "That was characteristic of a good hitting team and a team that really wasn't focused today."
Kansas State leadoff hitter Ross Kivett doubled his career total of home runs with a pair of blasts and he and second-place hitter Tanner Witt combined to go 8-for-10 with five RBIs and eight runs scored.
Jon Davis also had four hits while Mitch Meyer and Austin Fisher had three each as the Wildcats scored in every inning but the second.
Kansas State 20, Wichita State 11
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