NACOGDOCHES, Texas (Kansas State Athletics) – K-State baseball continued its best start in 12 years when the Wildcats (3-0) defeated the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin (0-3), 14-8, on Sunday afternoon to clinch the opening weekend series.

“It was a good battle,” said fifth-year head coach Pete Hughes.” I thought we handled adversity pretty well today. It was unfortunate that we didn’t play better defense for Jackson Wentworth, but our bullpen came through with three very good debut outings. Cater, Buss and Wisenbaker were the difference in the game.

With the game tied, 8-8, in the seventh, sophomore Kaelen Culpepper launched his sixth collegiate home run to help the Cats grab the game three win while the bullpen limited the Jacks to just two runs over seven complete innings.

After the Jacks retired the leadoff batter, K-State loaded the bases in the first inning to bring Roberto Pena up to bat where the senior hit up the middle to score Dom Hughes and Nick Goodwin.

SFA took advantage of an error at second before a double by Peyton Parker placed runners in scoring position. Biggs, who was 4-for-9 in the series, registered an RBI single until a wild pitch evened the score at 2-all. Another error by the Cats defense handed the Jacks a one-run lead, 3-2.

The Wildcats quickly loaded the bases for the second straight inning, taking a 4-3 lead after a pair of runs were walked in before a fielder’s choice in the infield posted the fifth run of the inning. SFA answered with three runs with back-to-back doubles before Parker hit a solo shot into left to take back the lead, 6-5.

With one out, it took one swing for Brendan Jones to level the score at 6-all as the sophomore roped a double into center field to score Kyan Lodice from second.

K-State’s defense shutdown the Jacks 1-2-3 in the fourth with the help of a pair of strikeouts from Corey Cater. In his K-State debut, the senior right-hander caught his first batter looking before forcing a groundout to second until he retired the third batter for his second strikeout.

The Wildcats captured a fifth inning lead with Jones’ second double of day, plating a pair of runs to make it an 8-6 ball game.

Alex Rogers ended SFA’s drought with his second homer in the series before a fielder’s choice up the middle brought in the tying run.

K-State took control of the game in the seventh after posting four unanswered runs to the scoreboard with Culpepper’s sixth career home run. With bases loaded, Goodwin drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to right leaving runners on first and second to bring Culpepper to the plate. The Memphis, Tenn., product launched a ball deep and over the left field fence into the Jacks tailgate area to clear the bases.

The Cats bats stayed hot when Lodice and Jones recorded back-to-back singles to add another insurance run to the board before Goodwin tallied the final run with a sac fly into left.

With a 14-8 lead, K-State locked in for the final half of the game. A groundout to short put the Wildcats just two outs away when freshman Cole Wisenbaker struck out two straight batters to clinch the series.


  • K-State scored 14 runs (12 earned) on 12 hits with two errors and 13 left on base
  • Brendon Jones recorded three hits for the second straight game, went 3-for-5 at the plate and match Kaelen Culpepper with a game-high four RBI
  • Roberto Pena and Jones each registered three hits in game three
  • Freshman Cole Wisenbaker earned his first collegiate victory, threw 3 2/3 shutout innings with three strikeouts and three hits
  • Jackson Wentworth earned the start combing for 5 1/3 innings with freshman Corey Cater and Mason Buss
  • K-State pitchers allowed eight runs (six earned) on 11 hits, with seven strikeouts, three walks and three wild pitches


  • The Wildcats clinched their first series since May 13-15, 2022 against Baylor, winning the series 2-1
  • K-State moves to 3-0 to lead off the season marking the best program start since 2011 with a sweep over Pacific, first 3-0 start under Hughes
  • K-State extended its win streak out to 5-1 over SFA and remains undefeated in Nacogdoches, 4-0
  • Head coach Pete Hughes recorded his 101st victory with K-State and 753nd overall
  • K-State had three pitchers make their collegiate debuts on Saturday, two were true freshman
  • The Wildcats have outscored the Jacks 28-10 during the four game series

The series finale against Stephen F. Austin is set for at 3 p.m. CT on Monday which will be streamed on ESPN+ while fans can also follow live stats or tune-in and listen on