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SLATE: Depleted Wildcats hold Kansas State Spring Showcase

BatCats win series, Tennis steamrolled, Neelly breaks school record

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Justin Hughes was a bright spot last year, but he’ll miss 2019.
Justin Hughes was a bright spot last year, but he’ll miss 2019.
Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Note: This will serve as both the Sunday and Monday Slate, since we’re checking in after all real Sunday news has hit.

Before we get started: congratulations to Tiger Woods, who broke a long, long drought by winning the 2019 Masters. How long? The last time Tiger won a major, Ron Prince was still K-State‘s head coach.


Saturday was the Spring Showcase at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, a long way from the heady days of holding an actual spring game at Sporting Park in Kansas City. But that’s okay, because In Klieman We Trust.

There’s not a lot to report from the showcase itself unless one happened to be in attendance, since there was no game. However, JT VanGilder was present, so one way or another he’ll have some thoughts later.

The real action, and most important information, came from the post-Showcase press conference. Chris Klieman informed us that senior linebacker Justin Hughes won’t be on the field in 2019 as he tore his ACL last week. That’s a blow to the defense, as Hughes was one of the brightest spots on the embattled unit last year. At the Eagle, Kellis Robinett covers this bad news in more detail.

One major change from the Snyder II years will be the use of the tight end in Courtney Messingham’s offense. In light of that, the staff asked redshirt freshman quarterback Sammy Wheeler to move to tight end, and he’s already making waves. Greg Woods of the Mercury reports on the beautiful one-handed catch Wheeler made during Saturday’s scrimmage.

At GPC, Ryan Wallace reports on a new signing which happened at the Showcase: Huntington Beach (Calif.) tight end Christian Moore has given a hard commit to the Wildcats. Moore picked K-State over several Pacific schools which had extended offers, including Oregon State.

The Denver Post reports on localish boy made good, profiling Wiggins, Colo., native Dalton Risner ahead of the NFL Draft.


Saturday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin, #14 Texas got even with K-State for Friday’s drubbing. A seven-run second inning was really all the Longhorns needed as they coasted to a 10-2 victory. Today, the Texas bats were again silent, however. Cameron Thompson led off the game with a home run, and then Jordan Wicks proceeded to throw a complete-game shutout to lead K-State (16-21, 3-6) to a 2-0 series-clinching victory over the Longhorns (23-15, 5-6).

The BatCats will be in Lincoln for one game against the Huskers on Tuesday before returning home for a weekend series with TCU.

Track and Field

Senior Brett Neelly, who had already become the first Wildcat ever to break the 20-meter mark indoor, is now also the only Wildcat to do it outside. Yesterday, Neelly put the shot 20.13m to break a record set by Andrew Gillam way back in 1985. That was good for third place in the Triton Invitational in San Diego, second among collegians and the sixth-best mark in the NCAA this year.

Unfortunately, Neelly’s effort was the only podium finish for any Wildcat at either the Triton or at the K.T. Woodman Classic in Wichita, but a full complement was not sent out this weekend even with two events so this isn’t a huge surprise.


The late-season surge has ended, as K-State (12-10, 2-7) was blanked 7-0 by the eternal rivals down the river. On their home courts, 20th-ranked Kansas was simply too much for the Cats this afternoon.

The Big 12 Championship will take place in Lawrence as well starting on Thursday. We’re not quite sure yet what seed K-State will hold, however; the Cats finished in a three-way tie for seventh with Iowa State (who they beat) and Baylor (who they didn’t). The problem: Iowa State beat Baylor this afternoon, so they’re all 1-1 in the mini-round-robin. We’ll have to wait for the Big 12 to announce seeds to get a final determination.


The women currently sit in seventh place after round one of the Big 12 Championship in Broken Arrow, Okla. They’re 30 over par, and 16 shots back of tournament-leading Texas. Chloe Weir is leading the way for K-State with a 2-over through 13 holes; that’s good for seventh place, 7 shots behind leader Sara Kouskova of Texas.