Offense continues to soar as Wildcats take series from Loyola Marymount

The K-State baseball team plays against each other in the annual Fall World Series. (Archive photo by Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

K-State jumped out to an early 9-0 lead on Saturday night and held off a late comeback attempt from Loyola Marymount as the Wildcats held off the Lions 10-5 to win their second straight game and their first series of the season.

Redshirt sophomore Connor McCullough was sharp on the mound, picking up his first win of the season, going 5 2/3 innings, surrendering three earned runs on three hits, walking two and striking out seven.

On the offensive side, K-State had a balanced attack, collecting a season-high 17 hits and scoring double-digit runs for the second straight game. Every hitter in the starting lineup had at least one hit, and six players had multiple hits.

“A good team win, one through nine,” head coach Pete Hughes said to K-State Athletics. “The offense drove the show, and we had a lot of people contribute.”

Sophomore transfer Orlando Salinas Jr. launched his first homer of the season, a two-run shot in the second inning.

Redshirt freshman Brady Day and junior Cole Johnson chipped in three hits each, and sophomore Nick Goodwin, Salinas Jr. and senior Josh Nicoloff each drove in a pair.

K-State outscored the Lions by a score of 21-5 in the first two games of the series.

“Brady and Cole continue to swing hot bats,” Hughes said. “Orlando Salinas got us going early, and that just makes things easier for us.”

LMU was held to just five hits on the evening. Sophomore Grant Weiss homered in the defeat, and junior Cole Roberts had two knocks, leading the Lions offensively.

The efforts were not enough as the Wildcats roughed up Lions starter Matt McClure for seven runs and four walks issued in four innings of work.

K-State finished its series and California road trip on Sunday afternoon, falling 7-14 against Loyola Marymount. A full recap will be posted on the Collegian. The Wildcats have their home opener at 6 p.m. Tuesday night at Tointon Family Stadium against Nebraska.