Coach Hill Garners Win No. 600

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State broke open a two-run game with six runs in the eighth inning, propelling head coach Brad Hill to his 600th-career victory as the 16th-ranked Wildcats downed North Dakota, 10-2, Tuesday evening at Tointon Family Stadium.

With the win, the Wildcats improved to 32-11-1 this season, just three victories shy of tying the single-season school record. The Fighting Sioux fell to 10-24 overall in their first transition year into Division I.

With Kansas State holding a 4-2 lead going into the eighth, the Cats plated six runs on five hits to run away with the game. Jordan Cruz led off the frame with a walk before back-to-back singles by Rob Vaughn and Dane Yelovich produced a run.

Adam Muenster was next and hit his second triple in as many games, driving in two more before he scored on a wild pitch to push the Cat lead to 8-2.

Following a walk, consecutive doubles from Nick Martini and Justin Bloxom drove in a pair of runs and capped the scoring.

"There were some emotional games down in Texas and I thought our kids hung in there good tonight," said Hill. "They competed hard and North Dakota did a good job tonight. We just sustained it and broke it open late. This was a pretty tough battle and I thought our kids competed pretty well tonight."

Five different K-State hitters recorded multi-hit games, including Muenster and Bloxom, who each went 3-for-5. Bloxom paced the Cats with three RBI, while Jurica tallied his 17th and 18th stolen bases this season.

Freshman pitcher Kyle Hunter (1-2) recorded his first-career win in a predetermined pitch-count start, allowing one run on three hits with a career-high five strikeouts in four innings of work. The left-hander started the game on fire, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced.

Mark Joukoff and Thomas Rooke combined to allow one run on three hits with six strikeouts to close out the final five innings of the game.

"Our pitchers threw outstanding tonight," Hill added. "I thought Hunter did a nice job and Joukoff did a really good job throwing strikes."

The Wildcats scored the first run of the game in the second inning when a Vaughn single to left field scored Drew Biery from second base.

A towering two-run homer in the third inning by Bloxom gave the Cats a 3-0 lead.

North Dakota's Aaron Cook injected life into the Fighting Sioux in the fourth inning when he singled through the left side of the infield to plate Jake Magner.

In the fifth, UND received a run-scoring fielder's choice off the bat of Andy Sadler to cut the deficit to one at 3-2.

Following a scoreless sixth, Kansas State answered with an unearned run in the seventh inning as Muenster reached on an error by North Dakota shortstop Josh Nelson, moved to second on a passed ball, stole third base and scored on a Martini sacrifice fly.

Kansas State concludes its two-game homestand against North Dakota with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium.

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