KSU rolls by Xavier while resting ace Morris
Editor's note: ESPN.com's Tim Griffin will check in frequently with updates from the Houston Regional. For live scores throughout the NCAA tournament, click here.
HOUSTON -- So much for any opening-game jitters for Kansas State.
The Wildcats pounded out 17 hits, including nine extra-base hits, to cruise to a 16-8 victory over Xavier in the first game of the Houston Regional.
The victory boosts the Wildcats into the winner's bracket Saturday night against the winner of Friday's second game between Rice and Sam Houston State.
The Wildcats' robust 17-hit attack was keyed by Justin Bluxom who went 5-for-5 with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs. Jordan Cruz and Nick Martini chipped in with three hits apiece.
Lance Hoge (6-4) scattered eight hits in five innings to cruise to the victory.
I'll be back with much more about this one later. But it couldn't have gone much better for the Wildcats, who saved ace pitcher A.J. Morris for Saturday's game.