K-State scores most runs since 2010 in sixth win of season

K-State’s Nick Goodwin celebrates a two-run triple that tied the game. Goodwin then scored to take a 3-2 lead for the Wildcats. (Chase Hagemann | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State improves its record to 6-5 following a 25-3 victory against Stonehill on Fake Patty’s Day in Manhattan. The Skyhawks scored a run in the first and third innings to take a 2-0 lead, but a three-run third inning permanently swung the momentum to the Wildcats.

“We’ve learned our lesson already this season on how to not play with a lead; how to play with a lead the right way and the wrong way,” head coach Pete Hughes said. “I judge my teams on how they play five runs up and five runs down. … When you go up five, you’re hungry and greedy to go up 10. That was our mindset in our dugout today.”

Jayden Lobliner and Dom Hughes legged-out infield singles to start the inning and later scored on Nick Goodwin’s bases-clearing triple to left-center field to tie the game. The Wildcats didn’t wait long before taking the lead on Carson Queck’s RBI-ground ball. Lobliner’s single served as the first hit of his collegiate career, but he credits catcher’s Cayden Phillips and Raphael Pelletier’s close-knit relationship for the success in his debut.

“I think that helps because we push each other and try to get better,” Lobliner said. “When somebody sees something that we do or need to improve on or what we could be better here-there, we tell each other. I think being open about that kind of stuff really makes us a better group.”

Freshmen Lobliner and Queck combined for three hits and two RBI, Lobliner with two singles on five attempts and a run scored. The catcher allowed no passed balls or stolen bases from behind the plate as well.

“Jayden had some quality at-bats, but more than ever I didn’t notice him once behind the plate,” Hughes said. “Thought he did a phenomenal job behind the plate and that’s where we needed to improve his play.”

K-State’s Jackson Wentworth allowed two earned runs on five hits in five innings pitched for the win. Wentworth struck out six batters in his first Wildcat victory, settling down after escaping a bases loaded jam with a 4-6-3 double-play in the third.

K-State pitcher Jackson Wentworth prepares to hurl the ball towards home plate in his first collegiate win.The Wildcats claimed victory over the Stonehill Skyhawks 25-3. (Chase Hagemann | Collegian Media Group)

The Skyhawks’ worst fears occurred when K-State batters slugged for nine runs in the fourth, starting with a stand-up triple by Roberto Pena in right-center field. The Stonehill right and center fielder’s miscommunicated and misjudged the flyball, both diving and nearly colliding on the play. Pena scored moments later on an RBI-double chopped over first base.

Cole Johnson immediately extended the lead on an RBI-single back up the middle to score Day, one of his two hits. Johnson ripped an RBI-double down the right field line later in the fourth inning as part of his three-RBI, two runs scored, two-hit performance. The effort broke Johnson out of a slump he endured throughout the nine-game road trip to start the season, lifting his average above .200 on the season.

The Wildcats plated additional runs in the fourth inning with bases loaded walks, hit batsmen and throwing errors by the Skyhawks. The game could’ve ended in a 10-run mercy rule following the seventh inning, but teams mutually agreed to continue playing.

K-State scored 11 runs on Hughes’ three-run homer over the short right field wall and Cash Rugely’s grand slam in the eighth. The big-flies helped K-State achieve its first 25-run game since 2010, where K-State scored 27 against Western Michigan.

The Wildcats seek its seventh win of the season and second victory against Army at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, at Tointon Family Stadium. Tickets are available at K-State Sports while streaming is available on ESPN+ at Big 12 Now.