MORGANTOWN — German Fajardo pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and Kansas State launched five solo home runs Saturday to beat No. 24 West Virginia 7-1.
With the victory, K-State (19-10, 5-3 Big 12) evened the three-games series at one apiece, with the deciding game scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan.
WVU (20-7, 1-1) is expected to start Grant Siegel (2-2, 6.38 ERA) on the mound.
The game was supposed to be Blaine Traxel’s introduction to the Big 12.
West Virginia’s side-armed senior transferred in from Cal State Northridge this summer and leads the country with four complete games.
K-State adjusted quickly to Traxel’s awkward release points and Brady Day got things going with a blast to center field for a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Roberto Pena followed that up with a solo home run in the third and Raphael Pelletier added another solo home run in the fifth to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.
Dom Hughes added another home run in the eighth, which sent Traxel to the dugout. Nick Goodwin added the final solo shot off reliever Maxx Yehl.
Traxel (5-2) took his second loss of the season after going seven innings. He allowed eight hits, five runs and struck out two.
Rather than Traxel dominating, that honor went to Fajardo (1-1), who picked up his first victory of the season. He went seven innings and allowed three hits and a run, while striking out six.
WVU’s lone run came in the fourth inning, when Landon Wallace tripled home Dayne Leonard.
The rest of WVU’s bats were rather silent. A day after hitting for the cycle, Caleb McNeely was 1 for 3 and walked once. J.J. Wetherholt was 1 for 4 with a single in the eighth inning.
Pena finished 2 for 2 for the Wildcats with two RBIs. He also walked with the bases loaded in the eighth for the final score.
Pelletier also had two RBIs for K-State, adding a sacrifice fly in the seventh.