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Hughes Collects 800th Career Win in 5-3 Comeback Victory

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HOUSTON, Texas (KStateSports.com) – K-State head baseball coach Pete Hughes reached 800 career wins Friday night, as the Wildcats came from behind to defeat Houston, 5-3, in the series opener at Schroeder Park.

BOX SCORE

“That was a fun game,” Hughes said following the team’s seventh consecutive win. “Our guys do what they always do, put their heads down and believe in each other. Teammates picking each other up, big two-out hits and phenomenal work from our bullpen. Also, I thought our defense played at a high-level tonight.”

In the first-ever Big 12 contest between the Wildcats and Cougars, K-State (15-6, 3-1 Big 12) erased a three-run deficit with a four-run sixth inning that included a go-ahead two-run single by catcher Raphael Pelletier.

K-State utilized four pitchers in the victory with Josh Wintroub, Cole Wisenbaker, Jackson Wentworth, and All-American Tyson Neighbors, who made his first appearance since February 20. The Cats’ bullpen combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering just one hit with six strikeouts.

Wisenbaker (2-0) was awarded the victory in his 2/3 innings of work, while Wentworth recorded his fifth save of the season after retiring nine straight over the final three innings.

“Proud of the boys and the energy they brought on the road,” Hughes commented.

Hughes became the 25th active Division I coach to reach 800 career wins, reaching the milestone by registering 52 wins at Trinity, 250 at Boston College, 222 at Virginia Tech, 128 at Oklahoma and now 148 in six seasons at K-State. His 800 wins is the most by any current Big 12 coach.

“There are more than 800 players, coaches, and administrators behind those wins. There’s also one incredible wife and one amazing family that has stood next to me for all those wins but more importantly all the losses. I’m extremely grateful for this milestone win, but I’m only interested in 801.”

“Always proud to be a Cat!”

Four different Wildcats helped K-State register its fourth road victory of the season, led by two apiece from Brady Day and Nick English. Day also drove in two runs for his 11th multi-RBI game of the year.

Paul Schmitz (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the sixth. Six players generated a hit for the Cougars (14-7, 4-3 Big 12), with first baseman Justin Murray driving in a team-high two runs.

THE RUNDOWN
Houston led off with a 2-0 lead in the opening frame with the help of a two-run homer by Murray, while a solo shot in the third stretched the lead to three.

Left-handed starter Antoine Jean carried a no-hitter through 3 2/3 innings until Day ended the drought with a single into center, extending his hit streak to 14.

The Wildcats struck out the side in the fifth frame, led by two from Wisenbaker.

Trailing 3-0, David Bishop walked to lead off the sixth before advancing to second on a single by Chuck Ingram. Bishop scored after the Cougars failed to get an out on a sacrifice bunt from Brenan Jones, leading to a throwing error that placed runners on second and third.

A grounder to first scored Ingram to bring the game within one before two walks loaded bases. With two-outs, Pelletier lined a 0-2 pitch through the left side to plate the tying and game-winning runs.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • K-State scored five runs on six hits, committed no errors, and left seven runners on base.
  • Houston scored three runs on six hits with four errors and stranded two on base.
  • K-State plated four runs in the sixth.
  • Pelletier drove in the game-winning run with a two-run single in the sixth.
  • Wisenbaker (2-0) picked up the victory in relief, logging 2/3 innings with two strikeouts.
  • Wentworth retired nine straight in the final three innings with two strikeouts to earn his fifth save.
  • Day and English turned in two-hit days.
  • K-State utilized four pitchers in the victory.
  • Wintroub allowed three runs, all earned, with five strikeouts in his 4 1/3 innings of work.
  • K-State hit .182 (2-for-11) with runners in scoring position while WSU was 0-for-2.
  • The Wildcats were 3-for-12 (.250) with two outs and had three two-out RBI, while Houston was 3-for-11 (.273).

NOTES

  • K-State leads the all-time series 3-2.
  • The win extends K-State’s win streak to seven.
  • Hughes collected his 800th career win – most wins by any active Big 12 coach.
  • Hughes is one of 25 Division I head coaches with 800 or more career wins.
  • K-State improved to 3-1 in Big 12 action – ranks second in the Big 12 standings.
  • The Wildcats are 4-4 on the road, and 2-3 in true road games.
  • Day extended his hit streak to a career-high 14.
  • By reaching safely in the nightcap, Jones stretched his on-base streak to a career-high 25 game followed by Pelletier with 23 games.
  • K-State has turned in seven come-from-behind wins this season.

ON DECK
Round two against the Cougars is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Schroeder Park. Jacob Frost (2-0) will get his sixth start for the Wildcats and face right-hander Duncan Howard (2-0).