I think spring might finally be here. And now I’ve probably jinxed it for the entire Midwest. Apologies.
Kansas State won a series over Texas, then won a mid-week contest against Nebraska, and now has a 7-4 win over #19 TCU to open this series with a game lead.
Starting pitcher Griffin Hassall, a true freshman, tossed a career-long 7 3⁄4 innings and only allowed one earned run, striking out five batters and walking one. It was his second collegiate win, and both have come against ranked teams. Hassall appears to be going from strength to strength.
Meanwhile, Terrence Spurlin had three runs and a home run in the fourth inning to essentially cement the victory for the BatCats. He has four homers on the season and has posted multi-hit stats in back-to-back games now.
Kansas State has now won three games in a row, including two shutouts, and two wins over ranked Big 12 opponents. This was the BatCats’ fifth win out of the last six games, including three wins over Top 25 teams.
The series against the Horned Frogs continues tonight at Tointon Family Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM and live action can be seen on ESPN3.
The BatCats also had other good news. Junior Will Brennan was named to the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year watchlist, while Jordan Wicks was added to the Pitcher of the Year watchlist.
In Lawrence at the Big 12 Championships, the Kansas State tennis team blanked West Virginia 4-0 to advance into the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Playing in gusty and cooler conditions, the Wildcats struggled a bit, but came out on top in the first two singles matches. Anna Turco, playing at the top singles spot for the first time, easily won her match and Karine Marion-Job, Maria Linares, and Ines Mesquita all added their own straight sets wins in singles. Job and Mesquita and Turco and Decker teamed up to take the first two doubles matches, while the third—featuring Linares and Ioana Gheorghita—went unfinished since Kansas State had already clinched.
In the next round, the Wildcats will take on No. 2 Oklahoma State. Matches begin at 9 AM this morning. This will be a much tougher contest for the Wildcats, who were beaten 6-1 by the Cowgirls this season and are only 6-42 all-time against Oklahoma State.
The men’s and women’s track athletes will be in Waco this weekend for the Michael Johnson Invitational. This is Kansas State’s first appearance at the event, but the ninth outdoor meet of the season. Competition begins today around noon.
Incidentally, the Wildcats are competing at the same venue as the 2018 Big 12 Outdoor Championships, when the women successfully defended their Big 12 title.
Peyton Williams was named Big 12 Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the league yesterday. She is also a two-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree.
Williams is the fourth Wildcat to earn the honor, following in the footsteps of Brittany Chambers (2013), Kindred Wesemann (2016), and Shaelyn Martin (2018). In addition to her 4.0 GPA, Williams also became the first player to average a season double-double (16.2 points, 10.0 rebounds) since Kendra Wecker in the 2004-05 season. This season, Williams led the Big 12 in double-doubles with 14, the third-highest total in school history.
Following this year’s Spring Showcase, questions about the football team abound. The one thing that appears above question however is the team’s energy. The players are united in noting that practices—though shorter than before—are more energetic (and fun) than in years past. Whether this translates to actual games in the fall remains to be seen, of course.