No. 3 Virginia Tech too much for Wildcat baseball

Junior Griffin Hassall prepares to pitch the ball during the May 6, 2022 game against the University of Kansas at Tointon Family Stadium. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State baseball head coach Pete Hughes stressed the importance of winning the last four games of the season to make the NCAA tournament. They might have to settle for three after No. 3 Virginia Tech dominated the Wildcats in Blacksburg, Virginia, winning 8-2.

The Virginia Tech Hokies — coach Pete Hughes’ and Austin Wates’ former team — went ahead early and didn’t hesitate to keep pressure on. An RBI single off shortstop Nick Goodwin’s glove helped them get out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

In the second inning, Hokie batter Carson Jones smacked his first home run of the season to center field in just his second start of the season. Then, Jack Hurley rocketed his 12th of the season in the third inning.

Not long after, a ground-rule double bounced over the outfield wall, and Carson Demartini smoked a two-run homer to extend Tech’s lead to 5-0.

K-State managed to get two runs back in the top half of the fourth inning. All-American Dylan Phillips pulled an outside pitch to right field for a leadoff single, and Dom Johnson hit a moonshot just over the left-field wall at a 100-mph exit velocity.

The Wildcats didn’t have much trouble putting leadoff batters on, but those were the only runs K-State scratched across home plate.

Griffin Hassall got the start for K-State on the mound, surrendering five of the Hokies’ eight runs in three innings pitched. Christian Ruebeck relieved Hassall and also threw three innings, striking out three batters but allowing two additional runs.

Tyson Neighbors threw the seventh inning before Dylan Phillips closed the game. Although Neighbors struck out the side, he gave up a run as well, making Phillips the only Wildcat pitcher not to allow a run.

K-State looks to finish the season on the road against the West Virginia Mountaineers this Thursday-Saturday. The 5:30 p.m. Thursday matchup is available for viewing on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.