K-State Punches Ticket NCAA Super Regional

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – K-State’s pitching staff of Ty RuhlCole WisenbakerBlake Dean and JJ Slack tossed eight scoreless innings to help the Wildcats advance to their second Super Regional in program history with a 7-2 victory over SEMO Sunday night in the regional championship of the 2024 NCAA Fayetteville Regional at Baum-Walker Stadium.

The Wildcats (35-24), travel to Charlottesville, Va., to take on No. 18 Virginia in the best 2-of-3 Super Regional for the right to advance to the 2024 College World Series, while the Redhawks ended their season 36-27. More information about the Super Regional will be released later this week.

“Relentless, that’s a great word to describe this team,” said head coach Pete Hughes following K-State’s first regional title win since 2013. “It’s been that way all year long. They took on one of the most demanding travel schedules and they did it with a smile on their face. Just a great group of kids. They love playing with that KS on their chest and playing for that community.”

“Every coach and every player in the dugout came here to win regionals, Super Regionals and raise the standard of Kansas State baseball. It’s just been a pleasure to work for this community and this athletic department,” added Hughes.

Five Wildcats were named to the Fayetteville Regional all-tournament team with Kaelen Culpepper, who went 7-for-12 (.583) with two home runs and seven RBI, was named the Fayetteville Regional’s most valuable player. Culpepper was joined by Jaden Parsons (third base), Chuck Ingram (outfield), Jackson Wentworth (starting pitcher), and Tyson Neighbors (relief pitcher) on the regional’s all-tournament team.

“It means a lot, I’m glad I was able to perform at a high level to help our team win,” Culpepper said. “I wasn’t really coming here just to win awards, I wanted to win a regional, and that’s exactly what we did.”

The all-tournament team honorees were selected in a vote of the regional’s sports information directors and members of the media.

Ruhl logged four scoreless innings against a team that averaged 8.7 runs per game heading into the regional finale. The redshirt-junior from Cairo, Neb., scattered just two hits in his outing with five strikeouts and three walks.

Wisenbaker earned his fourth victory in relief, after holding the Redhawks to two hits in his three innings of work (4-0). The Houston, Texas native has allowed just three runs in his last 11 outings, combing for 18 1/3 scoreless innings in the stretch.

Six players hit in the regional title game for K-State led by three-hit days from outfielders Brendan Jones and Chuck Ingram. Jones, who went 3-for-5, drove in a game-high three runs batted in while David Bishop followed with two.

Overall, the Cats finished the weekend hitting .333 (35-for-105) in the regional tournament and outscored opponents 33-12 with seven home runs. Ingram led the Wildcat offense, going 7-for-11 (.636) with two home runs, six RBI and five runs scored.

K-State’s pitching staff boasted a 4.00 ERA with 27 strikeouts against 17 walks and held teams to a .248 average, while opponents compiled an 11.52 ERA.

After walking the first batter he faced in just his sixth start of the season, Ruhl locked in and retired 10 consecutive Redhawks to help build momentum in the Cats’ dugout.

K-State sent nine to the plate in the second and hammered four hits for four runs to back Ruhl.

Heyman issued a walk to English before the freshman advanced to second on a hit into left field by Ingram.  A wild pitch moved the duo into scoring position, until back-to-back singles from Bishop and Danniel Rivera handed K-State the 2-0 lead.

A grounder to second from Raphael Pelletier and a hit through the right side by Jones doubled the Cats’ lead, forcing SEMO to make its first pitching change of the game.

The Wildcats added three in the third, highlighted by a two-run single from Jones.

Wisenbaker relieved Ruhl in the fifth and inherited runners on first and second, but the sophomore left-hander forced a grounder to the infield for a routine 4-6-3 double play and lineout to preserve the shutout.

After seven scoreless innings, SEMO jumped on the board in the eighth with a two-run homer from Bryce Cannon.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Redhawks were issued a pair of walks with no outs to force K-State to make its final call to the bullpen and bring left-hander JJ Slack into the game. The graduate used 14 pitches to retire SEMO in order and secure the regional title win.


  • K-State scored seven runs on 12 hits with one error committed and left nine runners on base.
  • SEMO was held to two runs on seven hits, committed no errors, and stranded 12 on base.
  • Six different players hit in the game, with four hitting multiple.
  • Jones and Ingram each turned in three-hit days.
  • K-State scored seven runs in a two-inning span over the second and third innings.
  • Jones drove in a game-high three RBI followed by Bishop with two.
  • Wisenbaker (4-0) was awarded the victory, logging three scoreless innings and allowing two hits.
  •  Ruhl held SEMO to two hits in his four-inning start with five strikeouts.
  • Heyman (5-4) received the loss, allowing four runs (four earned) on five hits in his 1 1/3 innings of work.
  • The Cats hit .304 (7-for-23) with runners on base and went 5-for-13 (.385) with runners in scoring position.
  • SEMO went 3-for-19 (.158) with men on base and went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.


  • K-State punched its ticket to the Super Regionals for the second time in school history (2013).
  • The Wildcats lead the all-time series 4-1 against SEMO, that includes a four-game winning streak.
  • Five players were named to the all-tournament team (Culpepper, Ingram, Parsons, Wentworth, Neighbors).
  • Culpepper was named the Fayetteville Regional’s MVP.
  • As of Sunday, K-State and West Virginia are the only members of the Big 12 Conference to advance to the Super Regionals.
  • Overall, the Cats hit .333 (35-for-105) in the regional tournament and outscored opponents 33-12 with seven home runs during the regional.
  • K-State improved to 5-3 in neutral games.
  • The Cats are 10-8 overall in the NCAA Tournament, and 9-6 in regional games.

How to follow the ‘Cats: Stay up to date on K-State baseball online at www.kstatesports.com and on the team’s social media channels on Facebook, X formally known as Twitter and Instagram.