The Kansas State baseball team struggled to contain No. 4 Texas (25-8, 10-2) offensively as the Longhorns scored five or more runs in three separate innings across the three games. The Longhorns swept the Wildcats in the weekend series.
Texas took its first series win over K-State since 2017 with a dominating series over the weekend, which began with a momentum-shifting opening game.
Texas took game one in comeback fashion, 13-6, highlighted by an eight-run eighth inning on Friday night.
“Great battle by our guys to put ourselves in position to take the lead in the eighth inning on the road, but you’ve got to finish the job,” head coach Pete Hughes said in a K-State Athletics press release. “Give credit to Texas, they scored in six out of eight frames, and when they went down, they kept punching.”
Starting sophomore pitcher Jordan Wicks threw six innings, allowing five runs, four earned, off ten hits with six strikeouts and a walk. Redshirt junior Tyler Eckberg (2-2) got the loss after allowing six runs off five hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout.
Redshirt senior outfielder Mike Antico went 4-5 at the plate with five RBIs for the Longhorns. Junior outfielder Zach Kokoska went 3-5 with two RBIs for K-State.
The Wildcats opened the scoring with an RBI single by Kokoska in the first inning, but Texas tied the game in the bottom half of the first with an RBI single. The Longhorns took a 4-1 lead with runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
Kokoska notched his second RBI of the night with a solo home run in the sixth, but the Longhorns responded with a solo home run by redshirt sophomore infielder Ivan Melendez to keep a three-run lead.
The Wildcats took the lead in the seventh inning that was capped off with a two-run triple by sophomore infielder Daniel Carinci to give the Wildcats a 6-5 lead.
Texas took back the lead with eight runs in the eighth that was sparked by Antico. The New Jersey native started the scoring with an RBI single and capped off the inning with a two-run double to give the Longhorns the lead.
The bats stayed hot for the Longhorns in game two en route to a 15-1 win on Saturday, locking in the series win for Texas.
Redshirt sophomore Carson Seymour (2-3) was tabbed with the loss allowing seven runs on four hits in 2.1 innings with three strikeouts and four walks. The four K-State pitchers combined for nine walks with one hit batter and seven strikeouts.
“We didn’t throw enough strikes, and we gave Texas too many free base runners,” Hughes said. “That’s a difficult challenge against a good offense in their park. Damage control is the key to winning in the conference, and we were not very efficient in that area today.”
The Longhorns opened the scoring with a solo home run in the first inning by Antico. Texas extended the lead with seven runs in the third inning and added five in the following inning.
Freshman infielder Nick Goodwin provided the lone run for the Wildcats with a solo home run in the seventh inning. The Longhorns responded with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to wrap up the scoring barrage.
The Wildcats left seven men on base but only struck out five times with nine hits in the ballgame. Texas was able to capitalize on free baserunners and only left six on base with 13 hits.
Texas belted three home runs to complete the sweep with a 9-2 win on Sunday afternoon.
Redshirt freshman Connor McCullough (2-2) received the loss and went 5.2 innings allowing six runs with four strikeouts and four walks.
Antico opened the scoring with a two-run home-run to give the Longhorns an early lead in the third inning. The Wildcats pulled within one in the top of the fourth with a solo home run by Kokoska.
Melendez extended the Texas lead with a two-run home run in the fourth inning. The El Paso, Texas native, hit his second home run of the day and fourth of the series in the sixth inning, which gave the Longhorns a 6-2 lead. Texas added two more in the eighth to wrap up the scoring.
The Wildcats missed opportunities throughout the weekend, leaving 19 men on base in the series. Texas capitalized on the K-State pitchers’ opportunities and scored on a walk with the bases loaded over the weekend.
The Wildcats will open a twelve-game homestand with a two-game, mid-week series against Northern Colorado. Game one on Tuesday is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start and will be available on ESPN+ and KMAN radio.