Yes, it’s a Sunday Slate because it was a busy weekend for Kansas State and it’s still not over yet.
We’ll get the ugliness out of the way first: the men got plastered by West Virginia 65-43 in Morgantown, and speaking of plastered you all owe Luke Sobba a drink for that recap. The women, meanwhile, suffered the fate you would expect in Waco, losing 85-49 to the 7th-ranked Bears, who captured at least a share of their 11th straight Big 12 title. No Wildcat even managed a single-double, much less a double-double, as Rachel Ranke’s nine points led K-State.
Next up, the women host TCU Monday night while the men have all week to think about yesterday before facing Iowa State at Bramlage on Saturday in the rescheduled contest from January 13. Hopefully they won’t have to sweat that one out the way TCU did last night...
Now for the good stuff. It’s only Sunday morning, and the BatCats have already won their three-game weekend series with Western Michigan. Friday’s game saw an uncharacteristically mortal performance from All-American Jordan Wicks, who gave up five runs (four earned) over six innings before handing a 5-4 deficit to the bullpen. Said bullpen gave up three runs in the seventh to really make life difficult, but the Cats went berserk in the bottom of the eighth. A solo home run by Terrence Spurlin led off the inning, and a three-run jack by Nick Goodwin tied the game. A fifth run crossed the plate when Blake Burrows scored from first on an error following a sacrifice bunt attempt, and then the bullpen held on in the ninth for a 9-8 K-State win.
K-State’s Saturday starter last week, Kasey Ford, did not get the call this Saturday for game two. Carson Seymour took the hill and threw five innings of three-run ball, allowing only a single Bronco to cross the plate with nobody out in the sixth. But by the time that had happened, a first-inning Goodwin double drove in a run and led to Goodwin himself scoring, Goodwin homered in the third, and Spurlin and Caleb Littlejim each singled runs in in the fifth; Seymour left with a 5-1 lead.
Ford finally stepped into the breach at this point, immediately induced a double play, and in the seventh a Kamron Willman double drove in one run while two batters later Cameron Thompson drove in three with his first homer of the season. In the top of the eighth, the defense let Ford down as two Broncos scored, but the Cats got both runs back in the bottom of the frame. The first came as a result of Dylan Phillips walking and then advancing one base each time a Western Michigan pitcher threw a wild pitch; that happened three times with two different pitchers. After the first wild pitch, Zack Kokoska walked, so when Phillips scored on the last errant toss, Kokoska ended up on third. He scored a few pitches later on a Littlejim single, making the score 11-3 K-State. That’s how it ended, as Nico Rodriguez pitched a clean ninth to go with the perfect two-thirds he threw to get the Cats out of the eighth.
The BatCats (4-2) finish the series with the Broncos (0-2) at noon on ESPN+. If you’re not subscribed, maybe this will excite you enough to think about it.
Track and Field
Tejaswin Shankar is the Big 12 men’s indoor high jump champion for the third year in a row after yesterday’s conclusion to the Big 12 Indoor championships in Lubbock. Shankar, including his unofficial quarter-credit for being part of the men’s 4x400 relay team, racked up 21.25 of K-State’s 66 total points to help lead the men to a sixth-place finish in the event. Shankar also took second place in the triple jump and seventh in the long jump, while the relay team finished fourth. The team won the first heat, but had to watch helplessly as three teams posted better times in the final race of the day.
Other point finishes for the men:
- Kyle Gale, 2nd in the 400m plus the 4x400, 9.25 points
- Matas Adamonis, 3rd in the heptathlon, 6 points
- Donovan Tuner, 4th in the 60m hurdles, 5 points
- Kyle Alcine, 4th in the high jump, 5 points
- Devon Richardson, 6th in the high jump and 8th in the triple jump, 4 points
- Cooper Schroeder, 6th in the 5k, 3 points
- Kade McCall, 6th in the weight throw, 3 points
- Kyle Rohlinger, 7th in the 1k, 2 points
- Colin Echols, 7th in the weight throw, 2 points
- Tim Lambert and Sean Wilson, 1.5 points each for the 4x400, and
- Brian Simon, 8th in the pole vault, 1 point
Texas won the team title, holding off a strong challenge from Texas Tech for a 141-133 margin. Oklahoma had 89 points, Oklahoma State 75, and TCU 70. Trailing behind the Cats were Iowa State at 62, and Baylor and Kansas tied for last at 51 each.
The women had a better go of it in the team standings, although they were nowhere near eventual champion Texas and their resounding 154.5 point total. Oklahoma State was second at 103, with the Cats in third at 100.5.
Despite the gaudy point total, none of the Wildcat women took home a Big 12 championship yesterday, but did have three runner-up finishes. The women took third in the 4x400 and fourth in the distance medley, and those unofficial credits will be reflected below. As you’ll see, the key to K-State’s strong showing was both depth in certain events and athletes capable of pointing in multiple events:
- Chantoba Bright, 2nd in the triple jump and 4th in the long jump, 13 points
- Taylor Latimer, 3rd in the shot put and 5th in the weight throw, 10 points
- Kassidy Johnson, 2nd in the 1k and part of the distance relay, 9.25 points
- Shaelyn Ward, 2nd in the weight throw, 8 points
- Alex Ferguson, 3rd in the 600m and part of the 4x400, 7.5 points
- Wurrie Njadoe, 5th in the 60m and 6th in the 200m, 7 points
- Hannah Stewart, 4th in the mile and part of the distance relay, 6.25 points
- Anigbata Grace Chinonyelum, 3rd in the triple jump, 6 points
- Shalysa Wray, 5th in the 400m and part of the 4x400, 5.5 points
- Jaybe Shufelberger, 5th in the 5k and 8th in the 3k, 5 points
- Taishia Pryce, 5th in the long jump, 4 points
- Rhianna Phipps, 6th in the triple jump and 8th in the long jump, 1 point
- Sydney Burton, 6th in the 800m, 3 points
- Lavaun Stephenson, part of both relay teams, 2.75 points
- O’Shalia Johnson, 8th in the 400m and part of the 4x400, 2.5 points
- Jasmine Greer, 7th in the weight throw, 2 points
- Maddie Righer, tied for 7th in the high jump, 1.5 points
- Sydney Burton, part of the distance relay, 1.25 points
- Vitoria Alves, 8th in the 60m hurdles, 1 point, and
- Regan Dineen, 8th in the pentathlon, 1 point
Trailing K-State’s women in the point standings were Texas Tech at 95.5, Baylor at 93, Kansas at 68.5, Oklahoma at 59, West Virginia at 34, Iowa State at 31, and TCU with a mind-boggling 2 points.
No track this coming weekend, as the teams prepare for the NCAA Indoors on March 12-13 in Fayetteville.
The women are in Tallahassee for the Florida State Match-Up, where they’ll be teeing off shortly after this publication for the third and final round. Friday’s first round was sketchy, but the ladies rebounded behind Niamh McSherry’s 1-under 71 to post the fourth-best round on Saturday and head into the final stretch tied for eighth place — but just four strokes out of fourth — at 29-over 605. Florida State is running away with this one, sitting at 12-under and holding a 20-stroke lead over second-place Kent State. The truly important thing here is that K-State is ahead of both Minnesota and Missouri.
That’s a little inside staff humor; we’ll ignore the fact that Clemson is in third place.
Reid Isaac struggled to a 5-over Saturday after posting a respectable 1-over on Friday. She’s the top-placed Wildcat, tied for 21st at 6-over 150. She’s 16 shots back of the leader, Florida State’s Beatrice Wallin, but only 9 out of second place. McSherry is a stroke back of Isaac, tied for 28th, and Haley Vargas is tied for 34th, a stroke behind McSherry.
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