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SLATE: BatCats complete comeback against Texas

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Baseball takes game one, and football has had a very good week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 04 TaxAct Texas Bowl - Kansas State v LSU Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Baseball

After trailing 5-1 into the bottom of the 6th, the Wildcats scored 7 unanswered runs in the 6th and 7th innings to take the lead, and then a surprising move to pull Connor McCollough, Saturday’s expected starter, out of the pen helped seal the stunning 8-5 victory for K-State over No. 7 Texas on Thursday night. It was almost all about the long ball for Kansas State, with 6 of the 8 runs coming via homeruns. Dylan Phillips, who continues to add to his K-State career record, knocked two solo shots for K-State’s first two runs, and then his buddies got into the act. It was Nick Goodwin’s powerful 3-run shot over the left-center fence in the 7th that put the Cats ahead. That 3-run homerun almost wasn’t to be, as Dylan Phillips hit into what was sure to be a double-play, except Texas’ defense made a very uncharacteristic mistake fielding that led to the Cats staying alive in the inning with two men on for Goodwin to knock home. K-State’s Tyson Neighbors picked up the first win of his career, while McCollough was awarded the save. UT’s Pete Hansen took his first loss of the season (6-1), as UT’s best tried to make it through the 7th but was pulled after that error on the play that would have ended the inning.

Next up is the middle game of the series, with Friday night’s game set for 6pm CDT, and Blake Adams is expected to take the bump for the Wildcats. Saturday’s contest is at 4pm CDT, starter was listed as Connor McCollough, and that may remain as he only tossed 14 pitches to close the game.

Football

Despite a talented transfer re-entering the portal, the Wildcats have had a very good week. After the commitment of Wichita’s Will Anciaux late last Sunday, another kid from the Air Capitol has pledged his services to Kansas State. Wesley Fair, a 6’2 185 “athlete” from Wichita Collegiate HS announced early Wednesday morning that he was committing to K-State. Fair is projected on defense right now, primarily at safety but could maybe make the move to linebacker. Fair, a 3-star recruit, becomes the third commit of the 2023 class, and the third from the Sunflower State as the K-State staff is focusing heavily on a very loaded 2023 class in the state.

Six K-State football seniors were named members of the 2022 National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society on Wednesday. The six Wildcats to earn the honor were Ross Elder, Ryan Henington, Noah Johnson, Logan Long, Reggie Stubblefield, and Landry Weber, as they are a part of group of 1,559 players from 313 schools across all NCAA divisions and the NAIA who qualified for membership in the Society’s 16th year. It is the second-most K-State has had named to the list – which began in 2007 – behind the nine Wildcats named in 2020. The Hampshire Honor Society recognizes college football players who maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college career. They must have met all NCAA/NAIA-mandated progress toward degree requirements and been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2021 season.

K-State will not have a “spring game” or even an open practice for the fans this year. Coach Klieman officially announced the move to close the final practice to fans at the last press conference of the spring season on Wednesday, citing the heavy toll that injuries (and the need for recovery) has put on the Cats this spring. It’s gotten bad enough that they’ve had to get creative in practice, like having guys play out of position on the defensive line and getting extra reps for special teams to keep guys working.

Golf

K-State’s men’s golf team continues to have a very solid spring, earning their 5th Top-5 finish of the season earlier this week with a 5th-place finish at the Mossy Oak Invitational. Overall, the Cats finished with a 3-under 861 to keep them ahead of No. 19 Ole Miss and in the Top 5. K-State was the lone Big 12 team in a field heavy with SEC teams, and still finished ahead of three ranked foes. The Wildcats were again led freshman Laurenz Schiergen, as the German blasted a 6-under 210 to tie in 4th. It’s the second-straight week that Schiergen has led the Wildcats on the leaderboard.

Next up is a tournament this weekend in Iowa, as the Cats head to Iowa City for the Hawkeye Invitational, set to run Saturday and Sunday from Finkbine Golf Course. After that, It’s a full week off before the Big 12 Championship April 25-27.