The Kansas State baseball team took on the Crowder College Roughriders in its second exhibition game of the fall season Friday afternoon. While the game provided plenty of offense from both sides, the Wildcats came away with an 11-8 victory over the Roughriders after 12 innings. Three extra innings were established because of the exhibition status of the matchup.
Crowder College is an NJCAA Division I squad that finished its 2021 regular-season with a 55-8 record this past year. The team — which also placed in the semi-finals of the NJCAA Division I tournament — proved to be a tough opponent for the Wildcats. The Roughriders struck first with a two-spot in the first inning.
Following a pair of walks surrendered by junior right-handed pitcher Dylan Phillips, sophomore infielder Nick Goodwin made a throwing error at shortstop, allowing two Roughrider runs to cross the plate. However, K-State immediately evened the score in the bottom half of the first with an RBI from juniors Cole Johnson and Dylan Phillips, scoring Justin Mitchell and Johnson.
After a scoreless top of the second inning, the Wildcats again put up a run in the bottom half. Senior Josh Nicoloff golfed a low-pitch for a streaking home run over the left-field wall, giving K-State its first lead of the game at 3-2.
In the third inning, Crowder took advantage of Wildcat mistakes to scratch a run across. A dropped third strike and a passed ball set Crowder up with a runner in scoring position, who would tie the game on an RBI single up the middle infield.
Then, fireworks erupted when K-State scored three runs to make it 6-3. A first-pitch opposite-field home run by Dylan Phillips set the tone in the bottom of the fourth, and Goodwin scored on a passed ball. As Goodwin took out the pitcher sliding into home plate, the ball shot free and allowed senior Terrence Spurlin to score as well.
K-State tacked on insurance runs by scoring two more in the fifth with RBI’s from Phillips and Goodwin to make it 8-3. However, Crowder managed to get those back in the sixth and seventh innings with a solo shot and a bases-loaded walk. The Wildcats still had an 8-5 edge.
K-State poured two more runs on with an RBI from sophomore transfer Orlando Salinas Jr., scoring freshman Dylan Hufft, who made an amazing catch in shallow right field as he fell backward in the 10th. Then, Dom Hughes scored on a passed ball after reaching on a single and an error in left field.
To cap off a terrific offensive performance, K-State had one more home run in its back pocket when freshman Cayden Phillips hit a bomb to left-center field. Crowder scored two on an RBI double in the top of the 12th, but sophomore right-handed pitcher Elijah Dale secured an 11-8 victory against the Roughriders.
Dylan Phillips (3) and Cole Johnson (1) combined on four RBI’s and three runs scored — Johnson with two runs and Phillips with one. Pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts, three of which struck out the side in the ninth by freshman right-handed pitcher Jackson Wentworth.
The Wildcats continue their fall season with the annual ALS Halloween Game on Oct. 30. Fall ball will conclude with the annual fall world series scrimmage from Nov. 5-7.
The ALS Halloween Game at Tointon Family Stadium will start about 30 minutes after the K-State football game against TCU.