Baseball Begins Big 12 Championship

The Bat Cats (26-28, 10-14 Big 12) enter today's Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship as the No. 6 seed and are set to take on third-seeded Oklahoma (32-25, 13-11 Big 12) at 4 p.m., this afternoon at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 
"This tournament is kind of a fun deal because it doesn't matter how good you are, anybody can get hot at the right time," explained Wildcat junior catcher Alex Bee. "If we show up ready to play, I think we have a good shot at anybody down there."
During the regular season, the Wildcats won at least one game per series against eight of the nine other Big 12 teams, including an impressive series victory over this week's No. 1 seed, TCU. So this team knows it can get the job done. 
Plus, the Wildcats have only continued to grow and improve as K-State enters this afternoon's game coming off a series win at Kansas where it used a solid offensive effort to outscore the Jayhawks, 23-13, this past weekend.
"We're playing really well right now," said catcher Tyler Moore. "Our offense is getting hot, and I think we have a good chance to do some good things. We played (Oklahoma) not too long ago, so we know what they're all about. We know their pitching staff, and we know how to pitch to their hitters. I think we have a pretty good advantage going in." 
Only 10 days ago, K-State faced Oklahoma at Tointon Family Stadium. Despite winning the opening game, 5-0, the Wildcats dropped the next two games by scores of 5-3 and 4-3, respectively.
"I think we have a chip on our shoulders," continued Moore with the close Oklahoma series loss still fresh on his mind. "We just have to come out and play our game. We're as hot as anybody right now. We just have to know we can do it."
Oklahoma enters this afternoon's matchup after being swept by TCU in Norman. Though the Sooners started the conference season on a high note, the team has lost seven of its last 10 games and will be using this weekend's Big 12 Championship to get back on track. 
"Obviously Oklahoma had a rough go over the weekend, so maybe we'll catch them at the right time, but they have a good club," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "They have some talented guys, and they're trying to make an (NCAA) Regional. They're on the outside looking in, so they need some wins in this tournament."
K-State has seen its fair share of ups and downs this season. But with postseason play underway, the team is excited to put the past behind and start this new, blank chapter of the 2015 season.  
"It means a lot," said senior infielder Carter Yagi about earning a spot in the Big 12 Championship. "It was our goal from the start to get back to Big 12 tournament and have a chance at postseason play. I think we're playing pretty well right now, so this is important to our team. Our chemistry is still strong, and I think it's going to be important to just keep doing what we've done all year. We competed, played hard and never took a day off, and things turned out our way."
For more information about tonight's game, please click here.
Wednesday, May 20
Game 1: No. 5 Texas vs. No. 4 Texas Tech (FCS) - 9:00 a.m.
Game 2: No. 8 Baylor vs. No. 1 TCU (FCS) - 12:30 p.m.
Game 3: No. 6 K-State vs. No. 3 Oklahoma (FCS) - 4:00 p.m.
Game 4: No. 7 West Virginia vs. No. 2 Oklahoma State (FCS) - 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 21
Game 5: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser (FCS) - 9:00 a.m.
Game 6: Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser (FCS) - 12:30 p.m.
Game 7: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner (FCS) - 4:00 p.m.
Game 8: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner (FCS) - 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 22
Game 9: Game 7 Loser vs. Game 5 Winner (FCS) - 3:15 p.m.
Game 10: Game 8 Loser vs. Game 6 Winner (FCS) - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 23
Game 11: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner (FCS) - 9:00 a.m.
Game 12: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner (FCS) - 12:30 p.m.
*Game 13: If Necessary (FCS) - 4:00 p.m.
**Game 14: If Necessary*** (FCS) - 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 24
Game 15: Championship Game (FOX Sports 1) - Noon
Times listed in Central.
Division One: Seeds 4 vs. 5, 1 vs. 8
Division Two: Seeds 3 vs. 6, 2 vs. 7
*Game 13 will be necessary if the winner of Game 9 also wins Game 11.
**Game 14 will be necessary if the winner of Game 10 also wins Game 12.
***If Game 13 is unnecessary, Game 14 will be played at 4:30 p.m. rather than 7:30 p.m.
Shane Conlon became the second Wildcat ever to earn All-Big 12 First Team honors twice in a career as the redshirt senior, who was a unanimous selection, and Nate Griep, who was named All-Big 12 Second Team, highlighted a group of seven Wildcats to pick up postseason honors announced by the conference office.
Along with Conlon and Griep's Big 12 accolades, senior Max Brown and newcomers Corey Fischer, Tyler Moore and Tyler Wolfe were named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention while freshman pitcher Bryce Ward was selected to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
In addition to being the second Wildcat to ever earn All-Big 12 First Team honors twice -- joined by Pat Maloney (2001-02) -- Conlon is the 10th player in K-State's overall history to earn all-conference first team honors two times. Eight players were selected to the All-Big Eight First Team from 1958 to 1996.
A fifth-year senior, Conlon paced the Wildcats with a .308 batting average, 57 hits and a .401 on-base percentage during the regular season. Within his second-highest hit total of his career, Conlon notched his 200th career hit on May 5 at Wichita State, becoming the 18th player in program history to reach that milestone.
To continue reading, please click here
After helping lead K-State to its third-straight series win at KU, Nate Griep and Tyler Wolfe were named the Big 12 Pitcher and Newcomer of the Week, respectively, for the period ending May 17, the conference office announced.
Griep, who was also last week's pitcher of the week after throwing a three-hit shutout against Oklahoma on May 8, held the Jayhawks scoreless in his seven innings of work on May 15. He also matched his career-high in strikeouts with eight in K-State's 11-0 win, the Wildcats' largest shutout in the all-time series vs. KU.
Wolfe, meanwhile, had a multi-hit and multi-RBI effort in each of the three games of the series as he was the conference's top hitter with a .571 batting average (8-for-14) while also driving in six runs.
For Wolfe, it was his third newcomer of the week award and second in the last three weeks. The Des Moines Area Community College transfer is K-State's top hitter in Big 12 action, batting .366 (30-for-82) in all 24 games. Wolfe is the first newcomer to lead the Wildcats in batting average in conference-only games since Jon Davis in 2012.
To continue reading about Griep and Wolfe and their recent conference awards, please click here.

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