Know Your Opponent: Wildcat baseball opens season against Stephen F. Austin

K-State's hitter, Nick Goodwin, ended the night with a two-hit performance against Texas Southern. The Wildcats pulled a 16-1 win over the Tigers at Tointon Family Stadium on May. 2, 2021. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State baseball travels to Nacogdoches, Texas, to begin the 2023 campaign against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks in a four-game series. It’s part of a nine-game road stint where the Wildcats play Loyola Marymount, No. 1 LSU, Sam Houston and Iowa in Texas. Then, they travel to Omaha, Nebraska, to battle the Omaha Mavericks.

This marks the Wildcats’ first contest under K-State head coach Pete Hughescontract extension, after his initial four seasons. During those four years, the Wildcats went 98-92 (.516), and are coming off a 29-29 (.500) record in 2022.

K-State suffered a 35-65 win-loss record on the road under Hughes, but looks to swing its mojo against a Lumberjack team that went 15-36 this past season, with eight wins at home. Although SFA has had one winning season in the past decade, the upper-classman-heavy lineup gives them depth, especially with infielder Peyton Parker.


Parker hit a .379 batting average on 116 at-bats, raking in 15 RBIs and scoring 21 runs. The infielder also tallied a .434 on-base percentage and struck out 15 times while walking six.

Outfielder Clayton Loranger is one of two Lumberjacks returning that hit above .300 this past season. The outfielder hit .301 on 143 at-bats, crossing the plate 21 times and hitting 15 RBIs, similar to Parker.


SFA returns two of three pitchers from last season’s set starting rotation in Joe Richter and Benny Emmons III. Richter earned two wins and four losses with a 5.20 ERA, while Emmons accumulated an 8.13 ERA and a 4-4 win-loss record. Also returning is Colton Castilaw, who made 18 appearances and is the only winning pitcher (1-0) from last season.

Meanwhile, K-State returns two right-handed pitchers — Blake Corsentino and Griffin Hassall — who weaved their way into weekend starting rotations last season. Hassall threw a 6.24 ERA amid a 4-7 win-loss record while Corsentino pitched a 4-5 win-loss record on a 4.21 ERA.


Despite K-State’s recent history of road struggles, the Wildcats returning starters will dominate the Lumberjacks in every facet. K-State’s sticks look to roll with preseason all-Big 12 shortstop Nick Goodwin and outfielder Cole Johnson leading the charge. Supporting casts on the mound will also step up and succeed, winning the Wildcats’ first series 3-1.

Game one starts at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17 and is available for viewing on ESPN+.