Wildcat baseball salvages finale over Cowboys

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Sophomore pitcher Connor McCullough on the mound during the game against No. 6 Oklahoma State on April 3, 2022. The Wildcats took down the Cowboys 7-2. (Kendall Spencer | Collegian Media Group)

In arguably one of its best all-around games of the season, the K-State baseball team came to play on Sunday, downing No. 6 Oklahoma State, 7-2. The win avoids a three-game sweep and secures the first Big 12 win of the Wildcats’ season.

“A great character win,” head coach Pete Hughes said to K-State Sports. “It’s always hard coming back if you lose the first two games of the series, and our guys did a great job today of doing that.”

Three bombs from Nick Goodwin, Josh Nicoloff and Orlando Salinas Jr. led the offense. Cole Johnson continued to swing his hot bat as well, going 2-3 and driving in the game-winning run in the seventh with an RBI double, one of two run-scoring doubles on the afternoon for him.

The day also included a special moment for Dylan Phillips, as he was presented with the home run ball that gave him the all-time record for home runs in K-State history. The 38th home run of Phillips’ career surpassed the record previously held by Scott Poepard.

On the mound, the Wildcats had excellent pitching from Connor McCullough and Blake Adams. McCullough surrendered two runs on five hits over six innings while striking out six batters, and Adams threw three hitless innings with no walks surrendered and secured the victory in relief.

In the seventh, the Wildcats got three runs thanks to Cole Johnson’s double and two-run blast by Nick Goodwin, his second of the season. Since March 20, Goodwin has raised his batting average by 50 points to .274.

“Two-out hits are huge,” Hughes said. “It gives you a ton of momentum in your dugout and deflates the momentum in the other one.”

In the eighth, K-State tacked on two more to put the game away as Nicoloff and Salinas launched back-to-back jacks. It is the first time this season that K-State went back-to-back.

K-State’s victory improves its record to 14-13 and 1-5 in Big 12 play. The team is back home to conclude a stretch of 13 of 17 games at Tointon Family Stadium against Creighton at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Stay tuned to the Collegian for coverage of K-State baseball all season.

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