The weekend got off to a good start for Kansas State football, as two more transfers flew out of the Manhattan end of the portal. Sophomore cornerback Javione Carr comes to K-State from Arizona, while Justice Clemons, another defensive back, will arrive from Tyler (Tex.) Junior College.
Carr, at 5’11”, was an original target of the Wildcats last cycle before choosing the desert Wildcats instead. In his article, Kellis Robinett says Carr saw no action for Arizona last season, and Arne Green of the Capital-Journal says Carr redshirted., and Carr’s bio at the Arizona site says he didn’t play... but that’s allegedly Carr making a tackle against Colorado in the above photo, so either the photo was mislabeled by the wire service or Arizona’s own SID doesn’t know what’s going on. Frankly, it’s probably safe to assume the latter, because Carr wasn’t the only #25 on the roster.
Clemons, meanwhile, joins teammate Kobe Savage, who had already enrolled at K-State for the spring semester.
In order to ensure they stayed ahead of Baylor in the Big 12 standings, K-State had to take two from the Bears this weekend in their final series of the season at Tointon.
The difficulty of that task was compounded on Friday night, when seven innings of one-run ball from Baylor starter Jake Jackson was enough to provide the Bears with a 4-2 win. The run Jackson gave up was a sixth-inning solo homer by Dylan Phillips, his 13th on the year, which extended his school career record to 44.
In game two on Saturday, the Wildcats jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after two innings, including Justin Mitchell’s fifth homer of the season, while chasing Baylor starter Kobe Andrade. But the Bears fought back in the middle of the game, scoring five runs themselves and sending German Fajardo to the showers. Mitchell again was the hero in the seventh, however, ripping a two-run single to right which put the Cats up 7-5, and that’s how it stayed. Blake Corsentino (4-5) got the win while Phillips earned his fifth save.
Sunday looked like a disaster early, though. Connor McCullough only lasted three innings and Baylor took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth. After Josh Nicoloff reached on an error, Jeff Heinrich singled. Nicoloff then scored on a Phillips single and Dom Johnson walked to load the bases. That set the stage for Nick Goodwin, who blasted his first career grand slam into right field to give K-State the lead. Cash Rugely followed that with a homer of his own. The top of the ninth was a bit dicey, but Phillips came in and extricated the BatCats for save number six, and K-State took the series with another 7-5 victory. Tyler Ruhl (4-2) picked up the win thanks to the eighth inning outburst.
The win ensured that K-State (27-23, 8-13 Big 12) will make the Big 12 Tournament field, as they’re now four games up on Kansas with three to play. It also means they only need one win this weekend in Morgantown to clinch the seventh seed over Baylor (24-24, 6-15) — but that’s not all. West Virginia (30-20, 11-10) is three games ahead of K-State, so if the Cats were to sweep that series they’d move up to the six spot. (They could even move up to five, as they also trail Texas by three games... but let’s be honest, there’s no way Texas is getting swept this weekend. They’re hosting Kansas.)
There is one piece of business before West Virginia, however. The Cats will make a stop on their way to Morgantown tomorrow to take on Virginia Tech, the fifth-ranked team in the country, in a single game at 5:00. That game will air on the ACC Network.
K-State’s women’s 3v3 team lost three of its four games at the Red Bull USA Basketball 3x Nationals this week, bowing out in a quarterfinal loss on Sunday after managing to escape pool play.
K-State’s rowers finished in sixth place out of seven teams at the Big 12 Rowing Championships on Sunday. The best finish by any Wildcat boat was the third-place result earned by the First Varsity Four. Junior Megan Michaelis, however, did earn All-Big 12 honors at the regatta’s conclusion.