K-State baseball took three games this weekend in Texas

Sophomore Dylan Phillips rounds third base during the the March 7, 2021 game against Eastern Illinois. (Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Sophomore outfielder Dylan Phillips continued to stay hot at the plate over the weekend, where Kansas State (11-5) took three out of four games in Houston, Texas. The Wildcats swept Northern Illinois and split with Rice.

K-State took a 4-3 walk-off win over Northern Illinois on Friday. The Wildcats scored three in the bottom of the ninth to take the opening game of the series.

Senior pitcher Kasey Ford tossed six innings, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts and a walk. The lone mistake for the fifth-year senior came in the sixth inning with a home run, which opened the scoring. The Huskies added two in the top of the ninth with two doubles, but both runs were unearned.

The Wildcats stayed scoreless until the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop Kamron Willman. Junior pitcher Michael Lasiewicz threw 7.1 innings and only allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk. Junior pitcher Kyle Seebach was credited with the loss with one inning pitch allowing three runs on two hits and two walks.

Phillips tied the ballgame at three apiece with a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth. The Wildcats won the game on a fielder’s choice by junior catcher Dylan Caplinger which scored Phillips.

“Overall, it wasn’t a great day at the plate for us,” K-State head coach Pete Hughes said to K-State Sports. “We grinded out enough at-bats late to come through. I keep hammering to our guys that we’ve got to be the better team in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. That’s what winning programs do.”

K-State took game two in extra innings with a win over the Huskies. Phillips continued to shine in the series going 3-4 with two RBIs that gave the Wildcats the lead.

It was a pitcher’s duel in game two as redshirt sophomore Carson Seymour pitched six innings, allowing two hits with four strikeouts and three walks. K-State pitchers struck out 11 in the win.

Sophomore pitcher Brandon McPherson threw eight innings for the Huskies, allowing one run on six hits with nine strikeouts. Northern Illinois pitchers stuck out 12 on the afternoon.

Junior outfielder Zach Kokoska gave the Wildcats the early lead with a home run in the first inning. The Huskies tied the game in the seventh, scoring on a wild pitch.

Phillips belted a two-run home run in the top of the tenth. Sophomore pitcher Eric Torres shut the door keeping the Huskies hitless in 2.2 innings, striking out five.

Sophomore pitcher Jordan Wicks tossed 6.1 innings in an 8-3 win over Rice in game two of the doubleheader on Saturday. Wicks allowed one run with four strikeouts and two walks in his third win of the season.

The Wildcats got off to an early lead with a double by Phillips in the first inning. Rice got on the board with a home run in the fourth, which was the lone mistake by Wicks.

K-State responded with five unanswered runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh. The Owls got a pair of runs in the eighth and ninth, but the Wildcats responded with a two-run ninth.

The offense was limited to five hits in the final game of the weekend in a 1-0 loss to Rice on Sunday night. Freshman infielder Luke Beckstien went 2-3 from the plate in the loss. Phillips continued his hitting streak going 1-4 on the night.

“It comes down to situational hitting,” Hughes said to K-State Sports. “We’ve got to put the ball in play and we didn’t do it. We didn’t deserve to win today. At some point, we’ve got to develop a little killer instinct, but we’re not there yet.”

Redshirt freshman pitcher Connor McCullough was dominant through 6.1 scoreless innings allowing two hits and seven strikeouts with two walks.

K-State left nine men on base as starting pitcher sophomore Brandon Deskins threw five scoreless innings with five hits, one walk and six strikeouts. Sophomore pitcher Dalton Wood recorded the win for the Owls in four scoreless innings of work to slam the door on the Wildcats, keeping the offense to one hit, a walk and four strikeouts.

The Owls took the lead in the bottom of the eighth with a single by senior infielder Braden Comeaux and the runner scored off an error. K-State went down in order in the ninth to end the game. The Wildcats only gave up three hits but made two errors.

K-State will host a three-game series against New Mexico starting at 6 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats lost to the Lobos 4-3 earlier this season in the Sanderson Ford College Classic in Surprise, Arizona. Wicks will likely start the first game for K-State. The series will be available on ESPN+ and KMAN radio.