K-State baseball did exactly what it was supposed to do last night, dropping the visiting Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff to the tune of 12-2 in just 8 innings. Kasey Ford tossed three scoreless innings to pick up the win, his second of the season ,and dropped his ERA to 0.94 in the process. Dylan Phillips went opposite field on both of his homeruns, going 4-4 overall for the game, and was joined in the longball club by Cam Thompson, who went 4-5 on the evening. The three homers put K-State back in front of Texas Tech for the Big 12 lead, though mostly because the Red Raiders didn’t play last night. The rubber match has been pushed up to 3pm today due to weather in Manhattan, junior right-hander Zak Herbers will take the mound for the Cats.
It wasn’t exactly a perfect finish, but led by junior Will Hopkins 9-under 3rd place finish, the Wildcats finished second overall to the hosts at the Missouri Tiger Invitational. Both Hopkins and the Wildcats started the final round in first place, but were only able to hold even as a team in the final round against a less than loaded field. Hopkins was joined in the Top 10 leaderboard by sophomore Riccardo Leo and super-senior Jacob Eklund, who tied for 6th at 5-under. It was Leo’s best finish of his career, and Eklund’s best finish of the season.
Now that spring practice is complete, three Wildcats have opted to enter the transfer portal, though only one is a scholarship athlete. RS-freshman linebacker Jay Harris, once one of the jewels of Klieman’s first recruiting class, announced his intent to transfer, and was joined by Kansas natives (and walk-ons) C.J. Horton and Drake McCall. Harris and McCall both depart from a linebacker group that was already expected to be thin in 2021.
Klieman is hoping that things return more to normal this summer now a full, regular spring practice is complete, and also that his players are eligible for the COVID vaccine. And his hope with the vaccine extends beyond the confines of Vanier, encouraging everyone to get the vaccine.
After her huge win to help seal K-State’s first victory over KU since 2014, sophomore Ioana Gheorghita has been named Co-Big 12 Player of the Week. It’s the first time a Wildcat has received the conference’s weekly honor since February 2019, and comes after Gheorghita took down KU’s internationally-ranked Tiffany Largarde in the winner-take-all final singles match of the day. The native of Romania now has a four-match win streak going, and will look to make it five on Friday as the No. 9 Baylor Bears will be in Manhattan.