For the first time since 2013, your Kansas State Wildcats (24-14, 9-6 Big 12) have swept the Kansas Jayhawks in baseball, winning 5-4 on Friday, 6-1 on Saturday, and setting a series record for total runs (in just one game!) in a wild 21-18 win on Sunday in Lawrence. With the wins, K-State is now 5-1 versus KU in men’s team sports this academic year. The wins also push the Cats into second place (!) in the Big 12, a game back of Texas.
Friday’s opener was a tight one, with KU taking a 2-run lead in the opening frame, before the Cats responded with a 4-run 3rd inning to take the lead. But Owen Boerema allowed two more runs in the 5th to bring the game back to even, which set the stage for some K-State heroics. I the top of the 8th, Roberto Pena pushed a safety squeeze out of range of the Jayhawks to score what would become the game-winning run. During that 4-run outburst in the 3rd, Nick Goodwin blasted his 29th career home run, which moved him into 6th all-time at K-State.
Saturday was all about the Cats, and they came out of the gate on fire, as Nick Goodwin knocked his second ball over the fence in as many games (and his 9th of the season) to give the Cats a 2-run lead in the 1st. Then German Fajardo took that lead, and tossed four scoreless innings before finally surrendering a run in the 5th. But a K-State run in the 3rd, and two more in the 6th put the Jayhawks to bed, and then the Cats put up one more in the 9th just for good measure.
Then on Sunday, things got crazy. Aided by a fierce western wind, the Cats and Jayhawks hit a combined 6 home runs, and both teams racked up nearly 20 hits each on the way to both the highest scoring game in series history, as well as the most combined points in a series. But it was K-State’s 19 hits and four homeruns, including a grand slam from freshman Kyan Lodice, that gave the Wildcats the series victory. Most of that scoring for the Cats, including Lodice’s slam, came in the 2nd inning, as the Cats put up 13 runs in the frame, their second 10-plus run inning of the season. The Jayhawks responded with 7 runs in the 3rd, then it was a shootout from there. But the Cats took a 21-17 lead into the bottom of the 9th, and Tyson Neighbors managed to hold the home team to just one run (unearned) to complete the victory.
Next up, the Wildcats will look to assert complete dominance in the the Sunflower State as they take on Wichita State tonight at Tointon Family Stadium. It’s the opening game of a home-and-home series, with the rematch set for May 2nd in Wichita. The Shockers, not surprisingly, lead the all-time series 56-44, though K-State is 26-18 when playing in Manhattan. If you can’t make it out to Tointon for tonight’s 6pm CDT first-pitch, the game will be streamed on the Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with radio coverage available on KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM). Live streaming audio is also available for the game at KStateSports.com/watch and on the K-State Sports app.
Since the season has ended, K-State has been relatively quite on the recruiting front. That doesn’t mean things aren’t happening, but rather that they haven’t gone crazy adding transfers or getting set for 2024. Well that could all change starting today. 4/5-star 2024 David Castillo, a 6’1 shooting guard from Bartlesville, OK, is set to announce his commitment this afternoon, and the Wildcats are the favorites to get his pledge, beating out KU (!) and Oklahoma State for the prized recruit.
It also seems like Jerome Tang and his staff are near the front of the pack when it comes to landed coveted transfers Max Abmas (PG, ORU), Aaron Estrada (SG, Hofstra), and/or Tylor Perry (PG, UNT). The staff likely won’t take all three, and Abmas and Estrada are probably 1 & 2 on the board right now, but it’s great to be actual contenders in the hunt for talented players.
We finally have it, the new contract numbers for the K-State football staff, and overall it amounts to a nearly $1 million raise for the pool of assistants. Collin Klein saw his own salary boosted $225,000 after nearly leaving the program to go to Notre Dame, and his new salary is matched by Joe Klanderman, marking the most K-State has ever paid it’s coordinators. But raises went down the line,
KANSAS STATE FOOTBALL ASSISTANT SALARIES
- Collin Klein (offensive coordinator): $825,000
- Joe Klanderman (defensive coordinator): $825,000
- Conor Riley (offensive line): $600,000
- Van Malone (cornerbacks): $410,000
- Steve Stanard (linebackers): $400,000
- Brian Anderson (running backs): $400,000
- Buddy Wyatt (defensive ends): $375,000
- Mike Tuiasosopo (defensive tackles): $325,000
- Matthew Middleton (wide receivers): $325,000
- Brian Lepak (tight ends): $283,000
Chris Klieman’s new contract is still being worked out, but expect the Big 12 Champion head coach’s new contract to be at least at or just above the $5 million contract signed Lance Leipold down the river.