The K-State baseball team finished up their non-conference slate with an 11-5 win over Texas Southern Tuesday afternoon.
The game was moved up from 6 p.m. to 3 p.m. to avoid the ensuing poor weather conditions. Unfortunately, it began to rain during the bottom of the first, which happened to be when the Cats’ runs started raining down on the Tigers’ starting pitching Noe Guerrero III.
The BatCats’ scoring began with a Chris Ceballos three run home run which scored third baseman Cam Thompson and K-State’s starting pitcher Will Brennan. It continued with a solo shot by outfielder Dylan Phillips in the bottom of the second. The Cats didn’t let up in the fourth inning as they tacked on an RBI single by Cam Thompson and a sacrifice fly to make it 6-0. It already seemed hopeless for the then 17-31 Texas Southern Tiger squad to come back from this large deficit, and Dylan Phillips added on three more runs thanks to a three-run bomb in the bottom of the fifth. K-State then went into cruise control mode from that point on and went on to give up five runs in the process while gaining two themselves.
The Wildcats’ pitching was led by Brennan who went just two innings and gave up no earned runs, one walk, had one strikeout and threw just 30 pitches. The bullpen took care of the rest led by Andrew Stratman who came and pitched three scoreless innings allowing just one hit and fanning three batters. The Cats will need to continue their solid pitching if they want to have a shot at winning their final two series against West Virginia at home and KU on the road.
K-State ends their 2019 non-conference schedule on a five-game winning streak and host #21 West Virginia this weekend to finish their home schedule. The Cats are battling for their first Big 12 conference tournament bid in three years.
Dylan Phillips is cognizant of the team’s situation down the final stretch. “I think it’s just being close to the end of the year and knowing what we need to do to get where we want to be, postseason-wise, Phillips said. “We know these games are important, and that’s just how we approach them now, like they’re must-win games for us now.”
The Wildcats haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since their most recent and only Big 12 Championship season in 2013. They would have an opportunity to make the tournament if they were to win the Big 12 conference tournament in Oklahoma City on May 22nd-26th.