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BatCats make Big 12 Tourney semifinals

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It’s a busy weekend for the Wildcat faithful!

NCAA Baseball: Big 12 Conference Baseball Championship Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball

Just a couple of weeks ago, it looked like Kansas State baseball was dead in the water. Instead, the BatCats have lit up the Big 12 Baseball Championship. A 9-4 rout of Baylor in the first game was followed by a 7-2 beatdown of #5 Texas Tech to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. This is the team’s fifth win over a top-five team this season, and their third win over Texas Tech in four attempts.

The BatCats took an early 2-0 lead when Cameron Thompson and Dylan Phillips both hit single-run homers in the top of the third. Phillips’ homer was his 16th of the season, which ties the school’s single-season record.

Thompson added a three-run double in the fourth inning, when the BatCats made good on three walks and a hit by pitch, getting an infield single from Cole Johnson and a bases-loaded walk for Zach Kokoska.

Tyler Eckberg pitched five scoreless innings in relief. He came into the game after Texas Tech had scored two runs and with two outs and the bases loaded. He proceeded to own the game with 97 pitches and no hits until the ninth inning. He finished the day with six strikeouts and three walks.

Up next, Kansas State will take on second-seed TCU. First pitch is at 9 AM, and the BatCats will need to take down the Horned Frogs twice to make it to the title game. The action will be live on ESPN+ and can be streamed via ESPN. Audio is available through KStatesports.

Track and Field

In College Station, Texas, at the NCAA West Regionals, three more Wildcats qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, joining Logan Wolfley (men’s javelin), Jullane Walker (men’s long jump), Taylor Latimer (women’s shot put) and Taishia Pryce (women’s long jump). Lauren Taubert and Ariel Okorie have already qualified for the NCAAs in the heptathlon.

Helene Ingvaldsen and Shaelyn Ward finished in seventh and 12th place respectively in the hammer throw event, the fourth time in five seasons that at least throwers have made the NCAAs. Meanwhile, TJ Shankar finished second in the men’s high jump, qualifying for the NCAAs for the third straight time. A Kansas State jumper has made the NCAAs for 18 consecutive years now. #HighJumpU indeed.

Bad weather forced the evening’s running events off the schedule, so those races will be run today, although a time has not been announced. The rest of Saturday’s schedule for the Wildcats includes women’s triple jump, the 100H race, and the women’s 100m finals.