Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Cats’ Run at Big 12 Baseball Championship Ends Thursday


ARLINGTON, Texas ( – Trailing by six runs, K-State rallied for three runs in the sixth inning but was unable to complete the charge as TCU won 9-4 Thursday morning in the elimination game of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Globe Life Field.

“Credit to TCU, they were able to get more hits than we did,” head coach Pete Hughescommented. “They put a dominating guy in a different role against us today and I thought he was really good in his new role. It’s not easy to do and he navigated that transition pretty well. They got more hits than we did and bigger hits.”

No. 9 seed TCU improved to 33-20 on the year and will face the loser of No. 7 KU – No. 1 OU Friday at 9 a.m. K-State (32-24) will learn its NCAA Tournament fate on Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m. via the 2024 NCAA Selection Show, which can be seen on ESPN2.

“I think there’s going to be a next week. Our resume speaks for itself. A full body of work with a strengthened schedule. Number one strength of schedule in the Conference with unbalanced scheduling. I feel really good about having a next week to answer your question,” Hughes commented about K-State’s postseason chances.

A year ago holding an RPI of 54 following the Conference tournament, K-State now posts an RPI in the high 40’s with the second-best strength of schedule in the Big 12. At the end of the regular season, K-State led the Big 12 in opponents RPI average at 54.70.

“I like our arms and what I got out of today is that we’re starting to get some guys going. Brady Day, Kaelen Culpepper, for all these guys, the bats are going for them at the right time, so hopefully we can translate that into next weekend.”

TCU hammered 14 hits for nine runs in the elimination round with three players recording multiple hits. Ben Abeldt, who made his first start after 26 relief appearances, held K-State to one run (earned) on three hits with nine strikeouts.

The Cats produced eight hits from six different players.  Juniors Brendan Jones and Brady Day each went 2-for-3 to lead the Wildcat offense, while Day stole a career-high three bases to turn in the team’s 127th steal of the season. Jones, David Bishopand Danniel Rivera each drove in a run, led by Rivera with a two-run single in the sixth.

Right-hander Jackson Wentworth suffered the loss, surrendering six runs (six earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

TCU grabbed a quick lead in the elimination game after using six hits to plate four runs over a two-inning span.

Blake Dean relieved Wentworth in the fourth and inherited a bases loaded situation with no outs. The freshman fanned the first batter he faced but a single up the middle stretched the Horned Frogs’ lead to 6-0.

K-State broke through in the fourth with the help of an RBI single from first baseman David Bishop.

Down 7-1, Jones started a rally with his eighth homer of the season, as the junior centerfield belted a 2-1 pitch into center field followed by back-to-back singles from Culpepper and Day.

With runners on second and third, designated hitter Danniel Rivera laced a two-out single into right center to bring the game within three, 7-4.

TCU responded with an insurance run in the seventh and eighth to stretch the lead back to five.


  • K-State scored four hits on eight hits, committed no errors, and left five men on base.
  • TCU scored nine runs on 14 hits with one error committed and nine runners left stranded on base.
  • Jones and Day each went 2-for-3, with Day stealing a career-high three bases.
  • Rivera drove in a team-high two runs with a two-run single in the sixth.
  • Wentworth suffered the loss, allowing six runs (six earned) on seven hits in three innings of work (4-5).
  • Slack logged a scoreless inning relief.
  • TCU utilized three pitchers in the win, with Abeldt (3-0) credited with the win while Rodriguez picked up the save (2).
  • K-State hit .200 (3-for-15) with runners on and went 2-for-9 (.222) in scoring position, while TCU was 9-for-5 (.250) with men on base and hit .389 (7-for-18) in runners in scoring position.
  • The Wildcats outhit the Frogs with two outs, going 3-for-11 (.273) while the Frogs were 0-for-7.


  • The Cats are 22-26 when playing in the Big 12 Tournament, and 8-9 under Hughes.
  • In neutral games, K-State is 3-3 while holding an overall 12-17 record on the road.
  • With four stolen bases in the game, K-State has stolen 127 bases this season, which is third overall in K-State history.