Oklahoma State sweeps K-State baseball in opening series of conference play

Sophomore Jordan Wicks pitches during the game on March 19, 2021 against New Mexico. (Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State baseball team (13-10, 0-3) opened Big 12 Conference play by getting swept by No. 13 Oklahoma State this past weekend.

The Cowboys jumped out to early leads in every game during the series and the pitching kept the Wildcats at bay throughout the weekend as K-State batters struck out a total of 36 times.

A seven-run inning plagued the Wildcats en route to a 14-5 loss on Friday night. Sophomore star pitcher Jordan Wicks (4-1) allowed five runs on six hits with nine strikeouts and two walks in the loss.

Senior catcher Chris Ceballos led the Wildcats offensively, going 2-3 with a two-run home run. K-State was held scoreless in all but two innings in the opening game of the weekend.

The Cowboys plated two in the bottom of the eighth inning to seal a 4-2 win over K-State on Saturday night.

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Carson Seymour tossed six innings and allowed two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.

Head coach Pete Hughes said he felt like his team wasted an opportunity on Saturday night.

“We wasted a great start by Carson [Seymour],” Hughes said in a K-State Athletics press release. “We’ve got to find a way to win tight games. There’s really no margin for error in these types of games.”

Senior pitcher Caleb Littlejim was tabbed for the loss after going 1.2 innings and allowing two runs on two hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout.

The Cowboys spoiled a quality Wildcat start as Cowboy freshman pitcher Justin Campbell struck out 11 batters through seven innings. Campbell allowed two runs, both unearned off of four hits with only two walks. Sophomore pitcher Brett Standlee (2-0) got the win and kept the Wildcats hitless with three strikeouts.

Oklahoma State opened the game with two runs in the first inning. Freshman outfielder Caeden Trenkle scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore third baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand to open the scoring. Sophomore shortstop Hueston Morrill scored on a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat by senior catcher Max Hewitt.

The Wildcats tacked on two in the top of the fifth, which came of mistakes by the Cowboys. Freshman outfielder Cameron Uselton scored off a wild pitch strikeout by junior outfielder Zach Kokoska, who reached first base to keep the inning alive and give the Wildcats an opportunity with the bases loaded. Senior third baseman Cameron Thompson scored off of a passed ball that tied the game.

Senior outfielder Cade Cabbiness gave the Cowboys the lead with an RBI double in the eighth. Cabbiness scored on a balk by Littlejim to add an insurance run. The Wildcats were held to only six hits and were held scoreless after the fifth inning.

On Sunday in the series finale, the Wildcats were held hitless until the eighth inning in an 8-2 loss.

It was a short outing for redshirt freshman Connor McCullough who was responsible for six runs, three earned in only 3.1 innings pitched. McCullough allowed four hits with three walks and one strikeout.

Sophomore pitcher Justin Wrobleski kept the Wildcats at bay, allowing two runs on one hit in seven innings. The southpaw struck out nine and walked four in the quality start outing.

The Cowboys jumped out to an early lead for the third time in the series in the second inning. Encarnacion-Strand homered to left to give the Cowboys an early 1-0 lead. Trenkle capped off the three-run inning with a two-run double.

The Wildcats threatened in the top of the third and got a run back with a fielder’s choice by Uselton that scored sophomore infielder Daniel Carinci.

An RBI double by senior outfielder Carson McCusker sparked another three-run inning for the Cowboys in the bottom of the fourth. McCusker scored on an error following a fielder’s choice. Morrill brought in a run with a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Cowboys a 6-1 lead.

Oklahoma State extended the lead in the fifth inning that began with an RBI single by McCusker. The Cowboys pushed the lead to 8-1 with a bases-loaded RBI single by Mathis, but a double play ended the threat.

The first hit of the game for K-State came in the top of the eighth inning with a solo home run by Kokoska. The Wildcats finished the game with three hits as Standlee shut the door on the Wildcats for the second straight game.

In the team’s four consecutive losses, K-State has been outscored 31-10.

The Wildcats will have a chance to right the ship when it plays host to Texas Tech for a three-game series beginning on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be available on ESPN+ and the K-State Sports Network.