The BatCats put up a lot of runs over the weekend, but the biggest news came Sunday afternoon.
They’re pretty rare regardless who you are — it’s been over 40 years since one pitcher could make it happen at K-State, 26 years since it’s happened for the Wildcats in one game, and only 8 other times total. But finally, history has been re-written as K-State starting pitcher Parker Rigler went a full 9 innings and pitched the first Wildcat no-hitter since 1991, and the first by a single pitcher since 1976.
Rigler threw six strikeouts in the effort and did allow three runners, two by walk and one by an error, but the Cat defense held strong to finish out the shutout, beating Eastern Illinois 13-0. Rigler’s effort was also in stark contrast to the effort from the Wildcat pitching staff that gave up 21 runs in games one and two on the weekend.
On the weekend, the BatCats didn’t put up fewer than 12 runs, those 12 coming on Saturday in a game that needed a walk-on hit from Jake Wodtke to earn the Wildcats the victory. With 15 on Friday and 14 on Sunday, the Cats notched an impressive 41 runs over the series. The Cats were led by freshman center-fielder Cameron Thompson who hit .400 in all three games and notched five RBI’s over the weekend.
Elsewhere through the order, Quintin Crandall ended his hit streak on Saturday, but his on-base streak, that now sits at 19 games dating back to last season, is still strong after earning a walk on Saturday and a hit on Sunday. Sophomore Grant Reuben nearly hit for the cycle on Friday, and followed that up with a 2-hit performance on Saturday and a 1-hit, 1-RBI performance on Sunday.
Senior Jake Scudder had a home run on Friday and Saturday, but only managed a single-base knock on Sunday, and joined Crandall, who had two home runs on Friday, to hit more than one home run during the series. For a team that only hit 30 home runs in all of 2016, the Cats already have 12 through eleven games in 2017, with Scudder, at three so far, nearly half-way to his 2016 total of seven.
The BatCats will get only one day off, as K-State will host Northwestern State on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Demons, who will be making the short drive from Lawrence where they were playing this weekend, were coached from 2002-07 by current K-State assistant Mitch Gaspard. As of story time, the Demons are 3-6 on the season, but are leading KU 6-4 in the top of the 9th inning.