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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

K-State baseball splits Northeastern trip in RPI race

Mallory Schroeder
Shortstop Kaelen Culpepper readies his bat against Wichita State. Against Northeastern, he scored the game-winning run in the 11th inning.

In a season of chasing a higher Rating Power Index (RPI) ranking, Kansas State baseball traveled midweek to the New England area to face two top 55 teams in RPI. The Wildcats split its games, falling to the UConn Huskies and defeating the Northeastern Huskies in a shootout 9-8.

The Wednesday win against Northeastern calmed down a tough stretch after losing four straight, suffering a sweep against Oklahoma before losing to UCONN 4-0. The sweep to the No. 22 RPI-ranked Sooners, UConn — ranked No. 52 in RPI — provided K-State its sixth loss in eight games, moving the Wildcats’ RPI rank from 38 to 43.

In a low-offensive first game, UConn secured six hits compared to K-State’s four as six different Huskie pitchers took the mound.

Taking the field at 1 p.m. Wednesday, the offense bounced back in a hurry. Second baseman Brady Day started the scoring off in the 1st inning, knocking a home run over the Northeastern Huskie outfield. Day followed that up in the 2nd with a two-run single to go up 3-0. 

K-State went up as much as 7-0 as starting pitcher Josh Wintroub pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts before Northeastern scored a run in each the 6th and 7th inning to bring it to 7-2. Shortstop Kaelen Culpepper drove in K-State’s eighth run in the 8th, but Northeastern wasn’t done.

The Huskies mustered another run down 8-2 with a four-run 8th inning and two more in the 9th to send the game to extra innings. 

Pitcher Jackson Wentworth pitched two scoreless extra innings as Culpepper scored the final run on a wild pitch.

The Wildcats win may prove crucial once postseason deliberation begins, grabbing a victory over Northeastern and its 34th-ranked RPI.

The RPI battle continues as the Wildcats begin a three-game home series against No. 15 Oklahoma State, the 24th-ranked team in RPI, at 6 p.m. Friday.

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About the Contributor
Luke Lazarczyk
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
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