KSU baseball finds its footing against a red-hot KU team | K State Sports

The last few weeks of the college baseball season may seem like Kansas State is playing the role of a novice mountain climber, one clinging to the nearest safe edge and moving very gingerly forward. Any falls are short and not fatal, but daylight is long gone before the summit is reached.

Which is to say, the clock is ticking on the college postseason. The final portion of the 10-game regular season began with a trip to Hawks Field in Lincoln. There, K-State dropped an 8-0 decision and was no-hit by Nebraska’s Jackson Brockett. Wednesday’s game marked the first time the Wildcat offense was completely shut down since May 15, 2021, ironically against Kansas.

Then the red-hot Kansas Jayhawks head west for the Sunflower Showdown weekend, a series that K-State won in 2023. This KU team has won 11 of its last 12 games, starting with the Jayhawks’ first home game against Nebraska (April 9).

“Sometimes it takes a punch in the nose to get you back on track,” coach Pete Hughes said. “Friday will be here before we know it and the right response to tonight’s result must be in play.”

Last week on the road, KU (26-15) jumped out early to beat the Huskers 9-4, then limited Texas Tech to eight weekend runs for a three-game sweep. Suddenly the Jayhawks are a player in the Big 12 race, three games out of first place (nine remaining). But KU has to venture out on the road for two of the final three series. K-State has the opposite proposition with a road trip to West Virginia between upcoming home games and the season-ending BYU at Tointon Family Stadium.

The Cats (26-18) continue to try to regain their grip on that rock wall after losing 12 of 20 games. This weekend marks the third weekend for what K-State considers a Big 12 Tournament/NCAA regional pitching rotation featuring Ty Ruhl-Jackson Wentworth-Owen Boerema; Ruhl only returned for 4.0 IP since an injury early in the season.

K-State needs a lot of areas to gain traction after this midweek trip to Nebraska, where it not only went hitless but also had 12 K’s. In a four-run Husker fifth, Wildcat relievers recorded: Hit-by-pitch, double, two-run double, two-run home run in five at-bats.

Kansas State has dropped four of the last five Big 12 series, although 15th-ranked Oklahoma State was eliminated in the last home series. KU’s postponement is double-edged; it misses the top two teams in the current standings (OU/O-State), but the team’s strong schedule ranks 65th and has a lot of work to do to secure its spot in the postseason.

Friday night’s first pitch at the sold-out Tointon Family Stadium is at 6 p.m