K-State baseball sweeps Northern Illinois at home

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Looking to get back on track after losing its home series opener, Kansas State baseball won two games against Northern Illinois in Manhattan.

On Tuesday, K-State won 9-6 after being down 6-0 early. The Wildcats scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth.

The three-run inning began with sophomore right fielder Zach Kokoska’s double down right field. A sacrifice bunt from senior infielder Rainer Ausmus advanced Kokoska from second. Junior catcher Chris Ceballos and freshman left fielder Dylan Phillips hit back to back doubles, driving in two runs. Junior center fielder Will Brennan singled driving in Phillips to give K-State their 9-6 lead.

K-State started its comeback in the second inning with a triple to right by Kokoska that scored senior infielder Thomas Hughes. Kokoska scored on a sacrifice fly by Maxson.

In the third inning, Brennan doubled and drove in Phillips. Junior infielder Cameron Thompson singled to right driving in two more runs.

Junior infielder Caleb Littlejim homered to left off of Northern Illinois sophomore right-hander Parker Kirkpatrick in the seventh. This tied the game at six runs each.

Junior right-hander Kasey Ford started the day on the mound for the Wildcats but only lasted 1.2 innings after giving up six runs on eight hits.

The bullpen had a strong outing for K-State to help pick up Ford. The Huskies only produced one hit and four walks against K-State after the first 1.2 innings. Senior right-hander Mitch Zubradt earned the save for the Wildcats in the 9-6 win.

K-State swept the midweek series with an 8-3 win on Wednesday afternoon.

After Northern Illinois took a 3-0 lead, K-State’s offense and pitching found its rhythm.

Ceballos collected an RBI on a single to left that scored Kokoska in the fourth inning. This put the Wildcats on the board and cut the lead to 3-1.

K-State scored its second run on a throwing error by the shortstop for Northern Illinois.

In the seventh inning, the Wildcats hit two homers and a triple to go ahead 8-3. That was all they would need as the pitching staff went to work.

Freshman lefty Joey Martin went 4.2 innings for K-State giving up three runs on four hits. Martin struck out seven batters and gave up only one walk in his outing. Sophomore right-hander Jaxon Passino earned his first win in relief with 3.1 innings of no-hit ball.

K-State is now 8-8 on the year and will look to carry that momentum into this weekend when they play University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in a three-game series. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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