MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State starter Blake Adams, along with reliever Blake Corsentino, limited No. 7 Texas to its lowest hit total of the season, as the Wildcats rolled to an 8-1 victory in clinching the weekend series Friday night at Tointon Family Stadium.
Adams stifled the Longhorns’ offense, allowing one hit over his first six innings of work and finishing with three hits against him. Corsentino took over to throw a perfect eighth and ninth innings, helping K-State (17-16, 3-8 Big 12) to its third series win over Texas (25-12, 5-6 Big 12) over their last four series played.
“We played good tonight. It was a good sound game,” head coach Pete Hughes said after the game. “No errors and we had a great offensive plan of attack. Really Blake Adams set the tone of the game. We had some energy today in pregame, which carried over from yesterday. Our goal was to get a lead, get the momentum first, expand the lead and then finish the game. And we did all of those things today.”
Adams finished with six strikeouts over his seven innings of work with just one run allowed. Texas, who entered Friday as the Big 12’s top-rated offense and in the top 10 nationally, managed just one run via a solo home run by Silas Ardoin in the seventh.
“I knew we needed another good start,” Adams said after his fourth win of the season. “I got into a rhythm early and kept them off balance. I was able to mix all four pitches for most of the game and really kept them off balance and trusted my defense, especially with the conditions we had today. The mindset was just attack hitters and let the defense do the work. That’s what we did and great to get the first (conference) series win.
“A lot of my stirkeouts were on my fastball, but I think it was due to being able to mix early in counts. I got a couple more strikeouts on the curveball, as well. But just being able to mix early opened up the fastball to be effective later in the count.”
Adams, who had made four relief appearances over the last two weekend series, made his seventh start of the season and first since March 25. The Arkansas transfer suffered two losses last weekend at Texas Tech out of the bullpen, including a walk-off defeat last Sunday at the hands of the Red Raiders.
“First of all, let me just say how proud I am of Blake Adams,” Hughes added on his starting pitcher. “Great for him, great for our team, just to stay with each other through tough times so you can put yourself in position to have success against a good team.
“You’ve got to be confident to come back after a heartbreak outing on Sunday (at Texas Tech) and come back on Friday and be dominant like that against one of the best offenses in the country.”
Adams retired the first six UT hitters he saw and 10 of 11 batters from innings three through six. He and Corsentino held the Longhorns hitless with runners on base (0-for-5).
The Wildcat offense staked Adams to an early 2-0 lead after Nick Goodwin was hit by a pitch, Josh Nicoloff singled and Justin Mitchell followed with an RBI double down the left field line in the second inning. Dominic Hughes chipped in a sacrifice fly to bring Nicoloff home.
The sides exchanged zeroes until Nicoloff roped a two-out RBI single in the sixth. Nicoloff led all players with three hits, going 3-for-3 with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored.
Dominic Johnson answered Ardoin’s seventh-inning homer with a two-run shot of his own in the home half. Johnson’s fifth bomb scored Kaelen Culpepper, who earlier singled to knock out UT starter Tristan Stevens.
Johnson was the first hitter that reliever Coy Cobb saw. Stevens was tagged for the loss after giving up four earned runs on eight hits and one strikeout.
The Cats tacked on three more in the eighth, getting an RBI fielder’s choice from Mitchell, an RBI single from Culpepper and a sacrifice fly from Johnson.
K-State peppered the Longhorns’ bullpen to the tune of four runs on four hits over 1 2/3 innings.
Eight Wildcat hitters registered a base hit while combining to strike out just twice.
K-State hit .500 with runners in scoring position and .467 with men on base in improving its home record improved to 13-3 and claiming its first Big 12 series victory of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mitchell ripped an RBI double down the left field line after Goodwin and Nicoloff each reached base in the second. Hughes then followed with a sacrifice fly, as the Cats jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings.
In the top half of the next inning, the first two Texas hitters reached base after Adams had retired the first six Longhorns he faced. Daly dropped a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Adams escaped the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
The game remained a 2-0 contest until Nicoloff delivered a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Salinas, who led off the inning with a walk, scored on the single while Goodwin singled with two gone ahead of Nicoloff.
K-State answered Texas’ only run, which came on a solo shot from Ardoin in the seventh, with a two-run shot from Johnson in the bottom half.
The Cats tacked on three more in the eighth, finishing with four runs on four hits against the Texas bullpen.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- K-State scored eight runs on 12 hits without an error and left six on base.
- Texas scored one run on three hits, committed two error and stranded four baserunners.
- K-State held Texas to its lowest hit total on the season.
- Adams allowed one hit through his first six innings.
- Corsentino retired all six he faced in relief.
- Dominic Johnson blasted a two-run home run in the seventh and finished with a team-high three RBI.
- Nicoloff led all players with his 3-for-3 performance.
- Mitchell drove in two runs, including an RBI double in the second inning.
- Culpepper and Goodwin both turned in two-hit efforts.
- Eight Wildcats recorded a base hit.
- Ardoin’s solo home run represented UT’s lone run.
- Stevens suffered the loss after allowing four earned runs on four hits over 6 1/3 innings.
- The Texas bullpen combined to allow four runs on four hits over 1 2/3 innings.
- K-State hit .467 with runners on base and .500 with runners in scoring position.
- Texas was hitless with runners in scoring position (0-for-3) and with men on base (0-for-5).
- The series victory marks Hughes’ fifth over a ranked opponent and third against a top-10 team while at K-State.
- K-State has won three of the last four series against Texas.
- The Wildcats have won four of the last five games between the teams in Manhattan.
- The Cats improve to 13-3 at home.
- Texas leads the all-time series 60-22-1 (50-22-1 Big 12).
- K-State is 11-23 at home against the Longhorns.
- The Cats are 3-9 against ranked teams this season and 3-6 against the top 10.
- Texas marks the fourth straight weekend opponent ranked in the nation’s top 20 and the third consecutive in the top 10.
K-State and Texas conclude the series Saturday at 4 p.m. The game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and the ESPN app. Radio coverage can be heard on the K-State Sports Radio Network and Sirius XM Channel 375. Free, live audio is also available at K-StateSports.com/Watch.