Early offense leads Wichita State over K-State baseball

Sophomore catcher Raphael Pelletier waits to congratulate senior infielder Roberto Pena after Pena's home run against Wichita State. The Wildcats lost, 4-10, against the shockers on April 18, 2023, in Tointon Family Stadium. (Sarah Anliker | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s note: Increased the quality of gallery photos, and added captions to all photos.

Eight home runs were launched at Tointon Family Stadium Tuesday night as Kansas State baseball was out-slugged by Wichita State 10-4. Jackson Wentworth saw the start for K-State and fell to 1-4 with the loss.

The bats got off to a hot start for both teams. Wichita State plated two in the top of first, courtesy of a homer inside the right foul pole by designated hitter Payton Tolle. K-State grabbed one run back on a two-out double by third baseman Kaelen Culpepper. 

Wichita State second baseman Brock Rodden and first baseman Garrett Pennington each launched solo shots in the third, putting the Shockers up 4-1. Shortstop David Herring joined the slugfest with a two-run homer to extend the Wichita State lead to five. 

Each Wichita State batter recorded a hit by the fourth inning. Mason Buss came in relief, but the Shockers continued to rake. Pennington hit his second home run of the night, plating three runners. Wichita State led 9-1.

Culpepper stepped up for the Wildcats again, sending a two-run homer to left-center. First baseman Roberto Pena followed with a solo shot that cut the K-State deficit back to five. 

Lefty Jace Miner relieved Boyer and proceeded to retire 12 straight Wildcats. K-State right-hander Kyler Heyne matched Miner’s efforts, setting down nine of 10 Shockers. No hits were seen by either team from the fifth inning until the bottom of the eighth.  

Shortstop Nick Goodwin ended the streak with a single as K-State loaded the bases for Culpepper. Two consecutive strikeouts by Culpepper and Pena followed, however, putting a dagger in K-State’s hopes for a comeback. 

Rodden catapulted his second and the Shockers’ fifth home run of the night to cap off scoring in the ninth. Miner received the win for Wichita State and moved to 2-0 on the season.

K-State will stay at home for a weekend series against UC Irvine, starting at 8 p.m. on Friday.