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Baseball Cats Fall in Regular-Season Finale Saturday


MANHATTAN, Kan. ( – Back-to-back home runs from Kaelen Culpepper and Kyan Lodice highlighted Senior Day but a grand slam would power BYU to a regular-season finale win, as K-State fell 12-8 in extra innings Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium.


K-State (31-22, 15-15 Big 12) enters the upcoming Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship as the No. 6 seed starting on Tuesday, May 21. The Cats will take on the No. 7 seed KU (29-21, 15-15 Big 12) with first pitch slated for 9 a.m. at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

“Frustrating loss, you get a chance to sweep someone, and you’re one strike away and up two runs,” said Pete Hughes. “It’s about as heartbreaking as a setup as you can have. My mind is stuck on that, to be honest with you.”

“We did a lot of good things. Proud of our guys battling back and tying that in the bottom of the ninth off a closer who’s been dominating this year. That sets up for a great comeback and it just didn’t happen. I feel bad for our seniors. Really frustrating loss because it was so close, but that’s the life of major college athletics right there.”

Eight different Wildcats contributed a hit led by multi-hit performances from Brendan Jones, who hit 3-for-6, followed by Culpepper (2-for-4) with a triple and two-run homer.

The Wildcats utilized four pitchers Saturday with graduate JJ Slack receiving the loss in relief (2-1), as the lefty surrendered four runs on three hits.

K-State honored seven seniors Saturday with Brady Day, Chuck Ingram, Jaden Parsons, Danniel Rivera, Ty Ruhl, Orlando Salinas Jr., and Josh Wintroub.

The Cougars struck first and scored three runs across three consecutive innings, highlighted by a solo home run by second baseman Luke Anderson.

Down 2-0, Culpepper was issued a walk on five pitches to lead off the bottom of the second and advanced to third with a grounder and fly out to left field. Parsons turned on the first pitch he faced from starter Bryce Robinson and doubled into right field to bring the game within one.

Jones and Ingram strung together a pair of hits to keep the Cats offense alive, leading to a two-out triple by Culpepper. The junior shortstop laced his league-leading fifth triple out of range of the diving efforts of the centerfielder to even the score, 3-3.

BYU took advantage of a pair of walks that led to two runs and helped the Cougars regain the lead.

The Cats plated a run in the bottom of the fourth, as David Bishop and Cayden Phillips each doubled to make it a one-run ball game.

Following a 1-2-3 behind Cole Wisenbaker, K-State exploded for three-runs with the help of back-to-back home runs from Culpepper and Lodice. After Day was issued a walk, Culpepper belted his ninth homer of the season to clear the bases to take the Cats’ first lead of the game followed by a first-pitch bomb from Lodice to extend the lead, 7-5.

A check swing led to a double down the left field line to make it first and third before a walk loaded the bases, until a costly error plated three runs and handed BYU an 8-7 edge.

Day immediately answered in the bottom of the inning with a lead-off solo shot to right field to even the score, but a grand slam from BYU’s Parker Goff put the game away in the 10th.


  • K-State scored eight runs on 11 hits, committed one errors, and left nine runners on base.
  • BYU scored 12 runs on 14 hits with no errors committed and stranded five runners on base.
  • Eight players contributed a hit Saturday, led by multi-hit days from Jones and Culpepper.
  • Jones turned in a three-hit day.
  • Culpepper and Lodice belted back-to-back home runs in the fifth.
  • Culpepper reached in three consecutive at bats, going 2-for-3 with a triple and home run, and drove in the game-winning run with his ninth homer of the season.
  • Slack (2-1) suffered the loss, surrendering four runs (four earned) on three hits in 2/3 innings of work.
  • Wisenbaker logged three scoreless innings, scattering three hits.
  • Cushing (2-3) closed the game to pick up the win, allowing one run on one hit in his two innings.
  • K-State issued eight walks.
  • K-State hit .333 (6-for-18) with men on base and went 3-for-13 (.231) with runners in scoring position, while BYU hit .280 (7-for-25) with runners on base and went 4-for-16 (.250) with runners in scoring position.


  • K-State holds a 7-5 advantage in the all-time series, including a 6-1 record in Manhattan.
  • Culpepper and Lodice teamed up for the first back-to-back home run performance since Febr. 18, 2024 vs. Georgetown (Jones, Ingram).
  • The Cats finished the year 20-7 at home, including a 9-6 record in Big 12 action.
  • K-State will make its fifth consecutive appearance in the Big 12 Championship tournament. The Cats have competed in the Conference tournament in each season of the Hughes era.