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SLATE: Big weekend turns to happy Monday

Baseball struggled in Norman, but Tang is firing on all cylinders, and two Cats drafted.

NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball

It was a, ummm, rough weekend in Norman for the BatCats, as your Kansas State Wildcats continue to struggle on the road this season.

The Wildcats gave up a combined 36 runs (not a typo) while losing the first two games of the series to the Sooners, falling 14-2 on Friday night while getting blasted 22-10 on Saturday.

But it wasn’t all bad news in Norman, as the Cats managed to prevail 8-7 to avoid another series sweep and pick up their first road conference win of the season. Down 4-6 headed into the 8th, Dominic Johnson blasted a two-run homerun to plate the go-ahead runs, and Blake Corsentino and Dylan Phillips managed to hold the lead through the remaining two defensive frames for the Cats, with Corsentino giving up just one run in the bottom of the 8th.

After the weekend in Norman, the Cats are still barely above .500, sitting at 22-21 overall and 4-11 in Big 12 play. K-State returns home for a critical 7-game home stretch, with weekend series against KU and Baylor these next two weeks. But game one of that stretch starts (weather permitting) tonight as the Cats host Wichita State in the return game from the Wildcats trip to Wichita in mid-April, a game the BatCats won 12-1. Let’s hope for more of the same tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 6pm CDT and you can catch the action on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

Basketball

It was a big recruiting weekend for Jerome Tang and his staff, and it resulted in (at least) two more commitments for the rebuild elevation of K-State’s men’s basketball roster. The “Cat Signal” went out on Saturday and again on Sunday, but both recruits waited until Monday to announce their commitments.

The Saturday commit turned out to be 3-star prep recruit Dorian Finister. The 6’5 guard from New Orleans officially signed with K-State over offers from Houston, Texas A&M, Tulane, and others. He becomes the first high school athlete to sign with Tang and Co. (though the second of the class, as they kept Taj Manning from the previous staff), and the third overall new player signed since the hiring of Tang.

The Sunday commit was 6’8 junior college forward Nae’qwan Tomlin, who announced his commitment via social media on Monday afternoon, not long after Finister’s announcement also went public. Tomlin comes from Chipola College, and will have two years of eligibility remaining for the Wildcats. He was the top uncommited JUCO athlete left, and a Top 10 player in the JUCO recruiting rankings. Tomlin picked K-State over interest from Texas Tech, St. John’s, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh and others.

The 2022-23 roster now has 7 names, and more big names are expected.

Also, K-State social media is killing it, if you were unaware. (If they keep this up, I might just have to join Instagram)

Football

The big news from the weekend was that both Skylar Thompson and Russ Yeast were selected in the 7th Round of the 2022 NFL Draft, picked up by the Dolphins and Rams, respectively. Thompson becomes the first K-State QB to be drafted since Josh Freeman went 17th overall in 2009, and becomes the 4th quarterback coached by Chris Klieman to be drafted since 2016, a group that includes two first-round picks from North Dakota State (Trey Lance redshirt the 2018 season, Klieman’s last in Fargo).

Thompson was surprised to receive the call from the Dolphins, and he had been working on some potential UDFA deals with teams as the Draft wore to a close. But Miami chose to use their last pick on the Wildcats signal-caller, giving Thompson “one of the best moments of [his] life”.

On Monday, Timmy Horne was announced as part of a group of 13 free agents that signed with the Atlanta Falcons post-draft. The 6’4 323lb DT was a force for the Wildcats in his one season in Manhattan, regularly taking on double and triple-teams to free up the edge rushers, and creating havoc on the interior during run plays. He missed the Texas Bowl due to the birth of his daughter, who decided she wanted to come a week early.

Rowing

I twas a rough weekend on the water for the Cats, and despite winning three of the five races against the Jayhawks, KU took the Sunflower Showdown with an overall final point total of 15-7. KU took the two biggest-point races, winning both the First and Second Varsity 8 races, while the Wildcats took both Varsity 4 races and Third Varsity 8 to complete the day. This was the last race of the regular season, as next up is the 2022 Big 12 Rowing Championships on Sunday, May 15th.