The latest edition of the Sunflower Showdown took 11 innings to decide Thursday. And the two teams combined for 29 runs.
The bad news for Kansas State: KU scored one more.
Thanks to a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th from James Cosentino, the Jayhawks escaped with a 15-14 victory — and in the process, ended the Wildcats’ season at the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City.
“It was a battle and we fought until the very end,” K-State head coach Pete Hughes said. “They are a good team and that’s just how it goes sometimes. We are a good team and we never gave up. We never cut any corners. We always try our best, and sometimes you don’t end up on top. That’s baseball. I am excited for this team. We have a great group of guys and good things will come from the years to come. Guys like this, their fingerprints are all over it.”
Six different Wildcats produced multi-hit games, with K-State (25-33) matching a season high with 15 hits and scoring a season-best 14 runs.
Dylan Phillips had a day to remember, recording a career-high five RBIs, setting a K-State single-game record for a Big 12 tournament game.
After falling behind 6-1 after two innings, K-State rallied, combining to score 10 runs between the fourth and sixth frames to take an 11-7 lead. Phillips lifted a three-run home run as part of a four-run fourth inning. The Jayhawks responded with three in the sixth before tying the game with a run in the seventh. Brett Vosik’s two-run double in the sixth cut K-State’s lead to a run at 11-10.
In K-State’s three-run 11th, Caleb Littlejim led off with a single and later scored on Ceballos’ single. Ceballos and Terrence Spurlin both scored on Phillips’ one-out double.
Despite appearing in the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 2016, Hughes said the team fell short of his objective in Year 1 of his tenure.
“Our goal every year is to make the NCAA Tournament,” Hughes said. “It always has been and always will be as long as I am wearing this jersey right here. We will continue to work hard and try to fix our mistakes going into next year in order to work toward a championship.”