MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State starting pitcher Jordan wicks played a 7 2/3 innings season with seven strikeouts to secure a 4-2 victory over fifth-ranked TCU in Game 1 of the series Thursday night at Tointon Family Stadium.
Wicks dispersed five hits and allowed just two earned runs before giving way to Eric Torres, whose four strikeout stoppage included four strikeouts. The Wildcats (30-20, 9-13 Big 12) earned their third victory over a top-five team this season, marking the first time since 2009 they’ve knocked down two different top-five opponents (Texas Tech).
Cameron thompson and Terrence Spurlin threw back-to-back home runs in the fourth, breaking a 1-1 draw, propelling K-State to their first 30-game winning season since 2013.
“It’s good to be back home for sure, and to be able to take advantage and enjoy a great launch outing by Jordan wicks“said the head coach Pete hughes after the game. “Just happy to play energetically and play effectively in front of our home crowd.”
Wicks then struck out seven straight batters from the TCU after giving Gray Rodgers an RBI single in the second inning. After ceding a second RBI single to Rodgers in the fifth, the second southpaw sat down the next nine Horned Frogs he saw.
âThere’s no time big enough for this kid and to do it against a quality opponent,â Hughes said of Wicks. âReally dominant with four different pitches. He didn’t want to get out of the game, but that’s the way he is. He loves pitching in front of this home crowd and for this university.â
Wicks hit the side in sequence in the third, capping a streak of four straight outs. The Conway, Arkansas product rose to second on K-State’s all-time retirement list with 221 in his career. He only has three strikeouts to become the Wildcats’ strikeout king.
âI think he could have sealed his fate in July. That’s how good he was,â laughed Hughes in reference to the upcoming MLB Draft.
âThis is definitely the outing where I had the best of all my pitches,â said Wicks, in what is likely his last start at Tointon Family Stadium. âI felt like I could throw all four shots for a strike tonight, which I think was the difference. Just being more consistent in the area with the cursor and more consistent in the area with the curved ball. Having the change. tonight was also important. “
Kamron willman The two-out RBI single at the bottom of the second responded to Rodgers’ two-take RBI single in the top half of the frame. Willman brought home Thompson, who reached after being hit by a pitch, to tie the score at one run apiece.
Thompson and Spurlin went back to back with two strikeouts in TCU fourth starter Russell Smith. Thompson connected to his 12e bomb of the year and Spurlin his fourth. It was the third time K-State has made a consecutive comeback this season.
K-State again immediately responded to a TCU (35-15, 16-6 Big 12) in the fifth. Rodgers, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, brought the Frogs into a run after making a 0-2 home run single to score Phillips Sikes.
Zach Kokoska single, stole the second and ran home on a single from Caleb Littlejim and a commissioning error, pushing the Wildcat back to two points.
The Wildcat four points went to Smith, who left the game after 4 2/3 innings. Smith gave up six hits to go with six strikeouts with his record dipping to 6-3.
Torres’ scoreless streak now sits 17 innings after his second career save. The southpaw hasn’t yielded a run in his last nine relief appearances, with 24 strikeouts and two walks in that streak.
Three of K-State’s four points come with two strikeouts, as the Wildcats reached .364 (4 for 11) with two eliminated. Wicks and Torres limited the Frogs to 0.182 (2 for 11) with two strikeouts.
Spurlin and Thompson produced the Wildcats’ only multi-hit games on Thursday, both registering a pair of hits. The duo’s circuits were the only extra-basic successes of the cats in the competition.
TCU relievers Jacob Meador and River Ridings combined to throw 3 1/3 frames without a goal. Each hit two with Meador not allowing a shot on two frames.
The Wildcats and Horned Frogs continue the three-game set starting Friday night at 6 p.m. The game will air on Big 12 Now on ESPN + and the ESPN app. Radio coverage will be available on News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM) with live and free audio streaming at K-StateSports.com/watch.
INSIDE THE SCORE BOX
- K-State scored four runs on eight hits with one error and six left on base.
- TCU scored two runs on six hits with three errors and five left on base.
- Thompson and Spurlin hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning.
- It was the third time this season that the Wildcat teammates have faced each other.
- Thompson has completed 12 home runs this season and 21 in his K-State career.
- Spurlin has four home runs this year and 13 in his K-State career.
- Spurlin and Thompson each had two-successful performances.
- Willman also drove in a race for the Cats.
- Wicks (6-3) set a season record of 7 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs and five hits with a pair of steps and seven strikeouts.
- Torres had his first stoppage of the season, working the last 1 1/3 innings and allowing just one hit with four strikeouts.
- Torres extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings (nine appearances).
- The Cats were 4 for 11 with two outs and 2 for 7 with runners in goal position.
- K-State has its first 30-game winning season since 2013.
- The Cats are 23-6 at home this season.
- Thompson made his 234th straight start and is second in K-State history.
- The Cats now have 80 home runs on the season, adding to their single season home run record.
- K-State has several homers in 18 games this season.
- Wicks improved his single-season strikeout record to 109.
- Wicks is now second in career strikeouts at 221. He needs three more to break Andy Replogle’s record at 223 from 1973 to 1975.
- Wicks has at least five strikeouts in 12 of his 14 starts this year.
- TCU leads the 20-10 all-time series (15-7 Big 12).
- K-State has a 7-6 advantage over TCU in games played in Manhattan.
- K-State’s pitching staff have a total of 474 strikeouts, most often in a single season.