Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct an error. A previous version said the game was Saturday night, and has been corrected to Friday night. The Collegian apologizes for this error.
When Kansas State pitcher Blake Corsentino struck out Texas’ Silas Ardoin in the ninth inning, cheers erupted as K-State’s sound effects rang “Wooooo!” over the speakers. The crowd couldn’t get enough, and when Texas’ Austin Todd flew out to left field, fans sporadically yelped “Wooooo!” and faintly chanted “S-E-C,” while kids boasted horns down.
The Wildcats did it. They hooked the No. 7 Texas Longhorns 8-1 Friday night, winning their first Big 12 conference series of the season after starting conference play at 1-8.
The story for K-State was right-handed pitcher Blake Adams, who’s been used as a closing pitcher in his past four appearances. Most of them didn’t age well, but tonight Adams got the call to start again and made the most of it.
“I think he’s more comfortable in that [starting] role, and my job as a coach is to put guys in a position where they feel most comfortable and they’re gonna have success, that’s my job,” K-State head coach Pete Hughes said. “I think we’ve seen him have success in that consistent starting role.”
Success indeed, as Adams threw 108 pitches in seven innings of work, posting six strikeouts and only allowing three hits. Two of those hits came in his final outing, which allowed Texas’ only run of the game on a home run, but Adams buckled down and finished the inning.
“I knew we needed another good start,” Adams said. “I got in a rhythm early and kept them off-balance, was able to mix with all four pitches for the most part of the game and it really kept them off balance, and [I] trusted my defense, especially with the conditions we had today.”
The series-clinching win was crucial for the Wildcats, and the Arkansas transfer personally understands how special it is to beat No. 7 Texas.
“It was great to get the first series win, and what a team to do it against too, a top-10 team and it being Texas,” Adams said.
K-State’s offense helped Adams by scoring early in the second inning. Nick Goodwin was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat, and Justin Mitchell made them pay by lining an RBI double down the left-field line.
Following Goodwin’s three-run go-ahead homer in Thursday night’s win, he said no one likes the Longhorns and that Texas is a cocky team that expected to sweep. It’s unclear if Texas’ Tristan Stevens intentionally threw at Goodwin for his comments, but the hit batsman paid off for K-State.
Nick Goodwin speaking from the heart:
“No one here likes the Longhorns and that group of guys [that] came in are pretty cocky guys. They expected to win all three of these games, so to win that first one is huge, and it feels really good.” #KStateBSB #EMAW #HookEm #NCAABaseball
— Chase Hagemann (@chasekhagemann) April 15, 2022
Then, Dom Hughes tacked one more on for the Wildcats with an RBI sacrifice fly to right. The two-run advantage held until the sixth inning.
That’s when second baseman Josh Nicoloff smacked an RBI single back up the middle, scoring Orlando Salinas Jr to extend K-State’s lead to three. However, it didn’t contribute to the win, as Texas answered with their only run of the evening.
It wasn’t until the bottom half of the seventh when K-State started pulling away with a pair of runs. Dom Johnson smashed a two-run homer over the Raising Canes sign in left to put the cherry on top.
Then, the icing on the cake was frosted when the Wildcats scored on a throwing error to second, an RBI single and an RBI sac-fly. The deficit was daunting for the Longhorns, and they couldn’t piece together anything in the ninth.
“Our goal was to get a lead, get the momentum first, expand the lead and then finish the game, and we did all of those things today,” coach Hughes said.
K-State looks to write history at 4 p.m. on Saturday by winning the showdown against No. 7 Texas at Tointon Family Stadium. It would mark the program’s first-ever sweep against Texas.
Tickets are available at K-State Sports. Viewing is available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.