K-State baseball defeats No. 1 seed Texas in elimination game 

Redshirt sophomore Ty Ruhl lines up for a pitch against Army on March 3. K-State baseball finished strong with a 4-1 win. (Jersey Johnson | Collegian Media Group)

In a crucial game for its NCAA Tournament aspirations, No. 5 seeded Kansas State baseball shutout the top-seeded Texas Longhorns 6-0 in the Big 12 Tournament. 

The teams met in the elimination game after suffering defeats in their first matchups of the double-elimination bracket. Texas fell in an upset by the bottom-seeded Kansas Jayhawks. K-State was run-ruled by No. 4 seeded TCU which slightly damaged K-State’s postseason chances.

After throwing ace Owen Boerema in its first game, the Wildcats turned to typical reliever Ty Ruhl as the starter against Texas. Ruhl delivered, opening with four no-hit innings and allowing just one infield single in the fifth. The sophomore’s final line saw five shutout innings with one hit, four strikeouts and 92 pitches. 

Strong pitching allowed for K-State to hold a 1-0 lead for most of the affair. K-State plated its run in the first inning after center fielder Brendan Jones recorded a lead-off double and came around to score on designated hitter Dom Hughes’ RBI single.

Texas starting pitcher Lebarron Johnson Jr. otherwise settled in until his departure in the seventh. The righty finished with two runs allowed through six innings. 

Tyson Neighbors, the No. 1 reliever in the nation per D1Baseball, took the mound for Ruhl in the sixth.

K-State’s offense saw the opportunity to add insurance runs for Neighbors in the top of the seventh. The Wildcats loaded the bases with no outs and added three runs — two on walks and one on a line drive single up into center by right fielder Cash Rugely. Shortstop Nick Goodwin capped off the inning by roping a two-run double to the wall in left, extending the K-State lead to 6-0.

Neighbors continued Ruhl’s dominance of the Longhorns with a four-inning shutout that included eight strikeouts.  

K-State will face the loser of No. 4 TCU vs. No. 8 Kansas at 3 p.m. on Friday. The Wildcats will attempt to climb up the losing side of the double-elimination bracket and cement its place in the NCAA Tournament.