In the first inning last night, Cameron Thompson was perfectly willing to take a walk.
With the count at 2-0, Thompson started fouling off pitches; on the ninth pitch of the at-bat he saw one he didn’t need to fend off and rocketed it over the right field fence. It was the third straight game in which the Kansas State third baseman homered. His eighth jack of the season, it moved K-State into the Big 12 home run lead at 44, and Thompson into a tie for fifth place in the Big 12 this season — and he’s only in third place on his own team.
That first-inning homer was all K-State would need last night, but that didn’t deter the offense from continuing to shine. Thompson had his second-straight four-hit day and Nick Goodwin drove in four runs as K-State (17-11, 2-4 Big 12) sent Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-19, 2-8 SWAC) home after only seven innings in a 12-0 rout.
K-State wasn’t even done in the first after Thompson’s blast. Terrence Spurlin drove in two runs with a single before UAPB was able to escape the inning. Spurlin was also responsible for two runs in the second; after Goodwin drove in a run on a groundout, Spurlin grounded to second, but an error led to two Wildcats crossing the plate.
The Cats added three more in the third as Thompson doubled to plate one run, Goodwin reached on an infield single to add a second, and Dylan Phillips sent Thompson home on a single to right.
In the fifth, K-State got their fourth three-run inning of the game when a Goodwin triple drove in two runs and Zach Kokoska drove him in on a groundout to short.
Meanwhile, the Wildcat pitching staff was nails. Phillips started the game, but only pitched the first inning before giving way to previously-announced starter Zak Herbers (2-1), who struck out six in three innings and got credit for the win. K-State pitchers struck out 12 Golden Lions against just two walks and five hits.
The BatCats only get one day off before heading to Austin, where for the second week in a row they’ll face the #3 team in the nation as the Longhorns moved up to replace Texas Tech in that position over the weekend. That three-game series begins on Friday, and will air on the Longhorn Network.
After taking bronze at the Sunshine State Invitational, K-State’s 1v4 shared Big 12 Boat of the Week honors with the 1v8 crew from Kansas. It’s the first time the Wildcats have received that award in four years.
Brookelynn Entz has been named one of 12 finalists for the 2021 Senior CLASS Award for women’s soccer. A legitimately prestigious award by any measure, its criteria involves excellence in the classroom, on the field, and in the community; you may be familiar with the award from 2018 when Dalton Risner was a football finalist.
The best part: you get to vote and you can do it often.
Track and Field
It’s a big three-day weekend for K-State Track as they head to Tucson for the Jim Click Shootout. Action begins today with the first portion of the heptathlon and decathlon and continues through Saturday. It’s a stacked field featuring BYU, Arizona, Washington, Arizona State, and Washington State; of the six schools five (including K-State) have both the men’s and women’s teams in the top 50, and six teams — four men’s and two women’s — are in the top 30; BYU’s men are ranked #1 while their women are #6.
In today’s Sports Extra, Austin Siegel introduces you to Wildcat super senior Konstantina Romaiou, who’s angling for her third trip to the NCAA Championships. Romaiou returned to Manhattan after going home to the Greek resort island of Corfu during the pandemic, and her profile is pretty interesting.
Yesterday’s Sports Extra focused on the spring practice notebook. Meanwhile, at the Eagle Kellis Robinett says that Kade Warner is very likely not going to be the only post-spring transfer that Chris Klieman adds to the mix.
From Sean Schaper at the Collegian comes the news that K-State and Fort Riley have officially renewed their partnership agreement for 12 more years, which we can presume means another dozen games with camo Powercats on helmets.