Baseball upsets No. 14 Texas in weekend series victory

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Sophomore Jordan Maxson bats at the March 8 home game against Old Dominion. The Wildcats lost 5-0. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State baseball team had a great weekend, and not just because of the spring weather — the Wildcats won a three-game series against the nationally ranked No. 14 Texas Longhorns, winning the first and last games of the series in Austin, Texas.

On Friday, the Wildcats stunned the Longhorns with a 6-4 victory. It started with freshman Griffin Hassall, who pitched five innings, giving up just one hit and one earned run.

K-State got on the board early with two runs in the first inning, and the Wildcats were able to hang on to the lead for the remainder of the game. Texas got close, earning a run in the third inning to trim the lead to 2-1, but junior Chris Ceballos hit a big two-RBI home run in the sixth inning to extend the Wildcats’ lead to 4-1.

The Longhorns answered in the bottom half of the sixth inning with two runs to make it a one-run game again, 4-3.

In the seventh inning, senior Thomas Hughes came through with a two-out clutch hit for the Wildcats to create some distance at a 5-3 lead.

Both teams scored a run in the eighth inning, and in the bottom of the eighth, after the Longhorns got their run, junior Chris Ceballos came into the game and retired all six of the Longhorns he faced to secure the Wildcats’ 6-4 upset.

On Saturday, in game two of the series, the Longhorns got their revenge in blowout fashion with a 10-2 win.

After a scoreless beginning, the second inning was a big inning for the Longhorns, with Texas scoring seven runs to K-State’s zero. Four of the Longhorns’ runs came from a grand slam.

Sophomore Zach Kokoska hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth inning, and junior Caleb Littlejim hit a home run in the ninth inning to count up the Wildcats’ two runs of the game.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Texas added an insurance run in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to reach double digits on the scoreboard.

On Sunday, in the deciding game of the series, the Wildcats pulled out a 2-0 victory to secure the series win.

K-State won this game behind the pitching arm of freshman Jordan Wicks, who threw a complete game shutout to leave Texas scoreless.

Junior Cameron Thompson got the Wildcats on the scoreboard with a home run on the second pitch of the game in the first inning, and in the fourth inning, Ceballos scored on a safety squeeze bunt by senior Rainer Ausmus.

The Wildcats’ record is currently 16-21 overall and 3-6 in the Big 12 Conference. Their next action will be a single game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln, Nebraska, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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