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SLATE: Oklahoma comes back twice to sweep Kansas State

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Pringle settles in as a Chief, and Connie Jaffrey prepares for NCAAs — but illness may be a problem.

Really, this is how we all feel.
Really, this is how we all feel.
Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

On the front page of Kansas State Wildcats athletic website, stories are virtually always in reverse chronological order.

Today, that’s not the case. This is partially, but not entirely, due to Connie Jaffrey’s impending tee-time at the NCAA women’s golf regionals. But when a track story from Saturday detailing a relatively routine meet is sitting ahead of the recap of Sunday’s baseball game, it’s hard not to assume it’s got less to do with track and more to do with nuclear winter.

Yesterday afternoon in Norman, the BatCats had a shot. They took a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth when Jordan Maxson doubled with two on and Kyle Barfield hit a sacrifice fly. Will Brennan retired the side in the bottom of the frame, and took a shutout into the seventh.

And then Oklahoma tied the game on a two-run Tyler Hardman double, chasing Brennan and leaving him with a no-decision. Barfield homered in the eighth to give K-State a 3-2 lead, but it didn’t last long enough for the Cats to even record an out in the bottom half. Steele Walker walked, Kyler Murray (yes, that Kyler Murray) reached on a Dylan Watts error, and Brady Lindsly doubled home the tying run. Brylie Ware then flew out to center, scoring Murray and giving the Sooners (31-18, 13-8 Big 12) a 4-3 lead.

Although Trent McMaster drew a two-out walk in the ninth, Maxson couldn’t get him home, and the Cats left Norman without a win.

The loss had a doubly tragic meaning for K-State (18-29, 3-18 Big 12), because Kansas beat West Virginia 5-2 in Lawrence, moving the Jayhawks to 5-12 in conference play. That means that in order to reach the Big 12 tournament, not only does K-State have to sweep Kansas this weekend at Tointon... they also need Oklahoma to do the same next weekend in Lawrence. One single win for the Jayhawks in those six games will condemn K-State to last place in the Big 12.

Yay.

But at least we have schadenfreude.

Football

We have to take our shots when we can on a day like this: Chad Lawhorn of the Lawrence Journal-World reports that football ticket sales in Lawrence fell to an absurdly low $3.4 million in 2017. That’s $6 million below what the Jayhawks took in back in 2009. To put this in perspective, the Jayhawks sold over $15 million in basketball tickets last year; to put it in even starker perspective, in that 2009 year Kansas sold $9.5 million in football tickets compared to just under $11 million for basketball.

When you’re done gloating, hop on over to the Star, where Blair Kerkhoff relates the history of Byron Pringle and how he’s looking forward to his opportunity with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Basketball

Four-star shooting guard Kevin McCullar from San Antonio Wagner, who has K-State in his top nine list, has sprung a surprise according to Corey Evans of Rivals. He’s reclassified to the 2018 recruiting class, because he’s graduating this December. That means he’s going to be signing with someone Real Soon Now. If K-State can find room — which according to McCullar they have, because he says every school that’s offered him has committed to have the space available — and he chooses the Cats, he’d redshirt the spring semester of 2018-19.

Golf

Corbin McGuire has normal news and bad news in today’s Sports Extra. The normal news is the usual pre-competition profile, today’s edition focusing on Connie Jaffrey as she prepares for today’s opening round of the NCAA regionals. The bad news: she missed yesterday’s practice round with an illness. The coaching staff “hopes” she’ll be able to play today. Stay tuned.

Today is the first round of the Oklahoma class 6A boy’s golf championship, which is important to you because one of the individual favorites is Owasso’s Jared Strathe, who will be headed to Manhattan in just a few months. Strathe finished fourth in last year’s event. Mike Brown of the Tulsa World has a quick and dirty preview.