Baseball opens weekend with win against Kansas

Kansas state beats Kansas baseball
Cash Rugely and Nick Goodwin high-five after Rugely makes it home against the Creighton Bluejays. The Wildcats had a victory of 10-0 over the Bluejays on April 10, 2023 in Tointon Family Stadium. (Avery Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State baseball bested Kansas 5-4 in a close matchup, coming down to the eighth inning when first baseman Roberto Pena hit a game-winning bunt, sending third baseman Kaelen Culpepper home. K-State moves on to 22-14 and 7-6 in the Big 12.

K-State struggled early as the Jayhawks took the lead in the bottom of the first inning off a double by Janson Reeder, followed up by an RBI from Jake English. The Wildcats would go scoreless through the first and second inning until the top of the third.

Outfielder Brendan Jones opened up scoring for the Wildcats with a triple to right field, sending outfielder Cole Johnson home. Utility player Cash Rugely then singled to left field, sending home Jones. Shortstop Nick Goodwin homered to put the Wildcats up 4-2.

Wildcats starting pitcher Owen Boerema pitched a full five innings, but his tenure at the mound would start and end with runs from Kansas, resulting in Ty Ruhl replacing him in the sixth.

Ruhl would be granted the win for the game with one walk and two strikeouts, moving his record to 2-3 on the season.

Kansas rallied in the fifth with a single from Cole Elvis sending two runners home to tie the game at 4-4. Both teams went scoreless through the sixth and seventh, but pitcher Thaniel Trumper held solid for the Wildcats entering the eighth inning.

Pena scored the winning run for the Wildcats off a bunt into right infield, allowing Culpepper to score and putting the Wildcats up 5-4. Pitcher Tyson Neighbors closed out the Wildcats pitching, allowing no runs, no hits and one strikeout.

K-State puts itself in a good position in the series and in the Big 12 standings. The next game is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence.