K-State's R.J. Santigate fields a ground ball against Bakersfield at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas on April 21, 2014. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
May 9, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
K-State Baseball (24-25, 4-14 Big 12) returns home to Tointon Family Stadium for a three-game series against the No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (35-13, 13-5 Big 12) beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m.
"It's good to be back in Kansas and play here again," said senior pitcher Jared Moore. "We had a tough couple of weeks. Just to be able to come back and play in a place we play well at, that's going to be good for us."
After spending the past two weeks on the road, K-State is happy to be home where it has played some if its best baseball of the season. Yet while in 2014 K-State is an impressive 15-4 at Tointon Family Stadium, Oklahoma State will be no easy task as it currently sits in first place in the Big 12.
"They've got some really good arms, but I mean, in the Big 12, who doesn't, right?" said K-State senior Ross Kivett. "We're going to have to really play defense. We haven't played the best defense this whole year, and I'm really looking forward to seeing if we can put together three games in a row and at least keep that energy and fight for all three games."
Despite facing back-to-back series losses to both West Virginia and TCU, K-State returns home off of a 10-4 win over Wichita State on Tuesday evening.
At the Shocker's Eck Stadium, K-State tallied 15 hits, with Kivett and senior RJ Santigate, junior Shane Conlon, and freshman Tyler Stover leading the way as the group combined for 10 of the evening's hits.
"That game really helped us out," began senior RJ Santigate. "We had hitters going and our pitchers had some good innings; it got our confidence level up going into this weekend."
The win over the Shockers broke a six-game losing streak for K-State, and the team now hopes to continue its success into both this weekend and next as the Wildcats will face back-to-back Big 12 foes at home.
"Playing in Manhattan is something I've always looked forward to being from here and being at K-State," said senior catcher Blair DeBord, "but I also think our players just really enjoy playing here. We've had a really great fan turnout even though we've had kind of a struggling year. People have come out and really cheered hard and that's been a lot of fun."
After this weekend's matchup with Oklahoma State, K-State returns to its home mound next Friday, May 16, to close out its Big 12 regular season play with a three-game series against Texas.
A FUN FILLED WEEKEND IN TOINTON
This weekend's series is one filled with fun for Wildcat fans!
Don't forget to bring your special four-legged friend tomorrow afternoon as K-State baseball is celebrating Bark in the Park, an event for dogs of all ages. The first pitch is set for 2 p.m. and the first 200 dogs will receive a free Frisbee.
"We see the dogs be fore the game," laughed DeBord. "You look at them, some are cute, you're like 'Oh, I wish I had that dog,' but then when you get into the game you don't really notice it - but at the start of the game you really do. We don't get to bring dogs, but I would love to bring Bentley, my family's beagle."
After Bark in the Park on Saturday, on Sunday afternoon Wildcat fans can celebrate Mother's Day at Tointon by taking pictures with mom in K-State's free photo booth. Sunday's first pitch is set for 1 p.m.
EVAN MARSHALL CALLED UP
Former Wildcat pitcher Evan Marshall was called up by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday. The day of firsts was filled with his first MLB appearance, his first big-league strikeout, and his first Major League win. He threw 1 1/3 shutout innings to help the Diamondbacks beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-5.
"I'm very, very proud of him obviously, it's well deserved and he was a guy you can just kind of see, you knew he was someone who was going to have a chance at doing it," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "He had a tough, tough mentality. He was a kid that wanted the ball in all situations. I'm just very proud of him and obviously he's represented well already."
To watch highlights of Marshall's big league debut, click here.