Baseball fights off elimination with victory over the Jayhawks

German Fajardo pitches the ball on April 1, 2023, against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Wildcats took a 7-1 win over the Mountaineers in Tointon Family Stadium. (Archive photo by Avery Johnson I Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 7-1 in an elimination game at the Big 12 Baseball Championship in Arlington, Texas, boosting K-State’s status for an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. 

Strong pitching led the way for K-State throughout the affair, allowing for the offense to add insurance runs along the way. 

German Fajardo (4-4) got the start on the mound for K-State, pitching 7 1/3 innings with one run allowed and nine strikeouts. 

The Wildcats opened scoring in the second inning as third baseman Kaelen Culpepper sent a line drive three-run home run just over the wall in left field.

The Jayhawks added a run on a solo shot in the third. The Wildcats responded with two runs back to back in the fourth with two unearned runs on two separate errors. K-State led 5-1. 

Culpepper added two more RBI to his name in the seventh, plating second baseman Brady Day and shortstop Nick Goodwin for the second time each. 

Blake Corsentino came in relief for Fajardo and shut down the Jayhawks in the final two innings, allowing K-State to save their arms while advancing.

Culpepper’s final line saw 3-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs and two runs. 

K-State will face a rematch from their first Big 12 Tournament game against TCU at 9 a.m. on Saturday. If K-State wins, a second game against TCU will take place at 4 p.m. with the winner advancing to the championship game.