K-State clinches spot in Big 12 baseball tourney

For the first time in school history, the Kansas State baseball team will play in the Big 12 tournament in back-to-back years.

Whether Kansas joins them depends on what happens Sunday.

The Wildcats clinched a spot again Saturday night by beating Kansas 5-4 in front of a season-high crowd of 1,844 at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan. K-State will be the No. 7 seed in the tournament that begins Wednesday in Oklahoma City. Missouri already is locked in to the tournament.

As for KU, the loss doesn’t mean the Jayhawks are done. If KU beats K-State in the series finale at 2 p.m. Sunday at K-State, the Jayhawks are in the tournament. If they lose and Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State, KU still makes it. But if the Jayhawks lose and the Sooners win, KU is out.

Oklahoma is 0-2 this weekend in its series against the Cowboys, including an 11-1 loss Saturday night. The series finale is at 4 p.m. Sunday in Oklahoma City.

K-State, 26-27 overall and 10-16 in the Big 12, put KU’s back against the wall by breaking a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth when senior Derek Bunker’s third hit of the game resulted in the go-ahead run batted in.

It capped quite a day for Bunker, the Manhattan native, who earlier in the day walked across the stage to receive his diploma and later made only his second start of the season and first since March 5.

Wildcats’ senior Daniel Edwards pitched the final 2 and two-thirds innings and didn’t allow a hit to earn the victory.KU, 30-26 and 9-17, has dropped six in a row to K-State.