K-State senior Justin Heskett turned in his first career complete game Tuesday night, shutting down the Wichita State Shockers over the final eight innings while the Wildcat offense scored seven unanswered runs in a 7-3 victory at Eck Stadium.
“It’s bittersweet because it’s my last go,” Heskett said after what was perhaps his last start in a Wildcat uniform. “But I’m just happy I could do that. I decided in about the fifth that I could finish it and I wasn’t going to back down from that.”
Heskett used a career-high 132 pitches to get through nine innings and did not allow a run after a three-run first, limiting Wichita State (32-18-1) to three hits after the opening frame. The Chowchilla, California, product struck out four in his career-long outing.
“It wasn’t any particular pitch, it was just location,” added Heskett. “They were hitting it to our gloves, I only had a few strikeouts, and we played really good defense. Good team performance.”
Heskett allowed just one hit over a four-inning stretch, second through the sixth, and had three different innings with six or fewer pitches.
Offensively, K-State (21-30) had four players record multi-hit games, led by leadoff hitter Will Brennan who went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs batted in. It marked Brennan’s 40th career game with multiple hits in his 100th game played.
Kyle Barfield, Hanz Harker and Drew Mount each had two hits on the night. Harker had two RBI while Mount had a pair of doubles. Barfield doubled and scored.
The Wildcats scored five runs over a three-inning span to erase the Shockers’ early 3-0, adding single runs in both the eighth and ninth innings for their third straight win overall. The Cats outhit WSU, 12-6, with six extra-base hits.
The first three Shocker hitters reached base in the bottom of the first, including an RBI double from Alec Bohm off Heskett. WSU also got a two-out, two-run single from Mason O’Brien for an early 3-0 lead.
Harker and Mount each recorded RBI doubles in the third to trim the Shockers’ lead to one run at 3-2. Brennan sparked the inning with a leadoff single.
K-State took the lead in the fourth when John Sorensen led off the inning with a triple and then came home on a single by Dylan Watts. Watts would later score on a sacrifice fly lifted by Cameron Thompson, giving the Cats a 4-3 lead.
Brennan extended K-State’s lead to two runs with an infield single with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth, scoring TK McWhertor.
The Wildcats added two insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings, each via sacrifice flies. Brennan scored in the eighth on Harker’s sacrifice and Brennan brought in his second run of the game in the ninth with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly that scored Barfield.
Wichita State used seven pitchers in the game, none going more than three innings. Connor Lungwitz was tagged for the loss after giving up two runs on two hits without recording an out.
Bohm and Greyson Jenista each had two hits for WSU.