March 13, 2013

Tinnon lifts baseball to first win over Kansas State

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- A no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings for Northern Colorado junior Josh Tinnon lifted Northern Colorado Baseball to a 3-0 win over Kansas State on Wednesday afternoon.

Tinnon pitched a perfect game through three innings before allowing his first base runner when the Wildcats' Ross Kivett led off the fourth with a walk. Tinnon then forced Tanner Witt into a double play.

Kivett also broke up the no hitter, singling in the sixth inning, but he was stranded at first.

"First and foremost, Josh Tinnon had a great, great day," Coach Carl Iwasaki said. "He had a career day going 7 2/3 innings and just pitched a gem."

Tinnon improved to 1-1 on the year, allowing just four hits, striking out five and walking just one in 7 2/3 innings. Senior Kevin Willman earned his third save of the year, allowing just one hit in the final 1 1/3 innings with one strikeout.

The Bears tied their season high with 11 hits on offense, led by junior Joe Love (Danville, Calif.), who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Senior Dylan Banach (Westminster, Colo.) went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to a career-best eight games, while junior Nick Miller (Loveland, Colo.) and sophomore Jensen Park (Kaneohe, Hawai'i) each added two hits.

The Bears scored one run each in the third, fifth and ninth innings for their-first ever win over the Wildcats. The team entered the day 0-13 in the all-time series.

"I'm real proud of the team and we're starting to build momentum," Iwasaki said. "It's been a little bit of a struggle with our bats but finally we opened ourselves up to score the three runs off of 11 hits today. Timely hitting has been the key for us. We loaded the bases 11 times in the first 10 games and had not converted but when we had a chance, we did so today, so we're encouraged. We need to keep playing to our level and we're going to be in great shape."

The Bears now head to California for the second time this year, starting a four-game series at CSU Bakersfield on Friday.