Cats Close Homestand with Series vs. Western Carolina
Cats Close Homestand with Series vs. Western Carolina
Game Notes (PDF)
AT THE PLATE
Wrapping up its season-long 12-game homestand, K-State will host Western Carolina (6-10) for a three-game series March 18-20 ... The Wildcats are 7-2 over the first nine games of the homestand, with series wins over UAPB and Milwaukee ... The Catamounts have spent the last two weekends on the road, being swept by then-No. 13 Georgia Tech March 4-6 and then losing two of three against Indiana last weekend ... While K-State has won nine of its last 11 games, Western Carolina has a 5-5 record over its last 10 contests after starting the season 1-5 ... K-State and Western Carolina have never met prior to this weekend.
LAST TIME OUT
K-State split its two-game midweek series against Stephen F. Austin, losing game one, 6-5, before trumping the Lumberjacks, 11-5, in the finale on Wednesday ... On Tuesday, K-State took a 4-1 lead after the third inning, but a four-run fourth by SFA gave it a lead it never relinquished ... The Wildcats stranded 12 runners in the opener, tying a season-high, while they went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position ... They had the go-ahead run on base or at the plate in each of the last three innings ... On Wednesday, K-State raced out to a 4-0 lead after the first two innings before taking a 9-0 advantage into the eighth where SFA scored its five runs ... Tyler Wolfe had a career-high four RBI in the finale while he was also one of five Wildcats with multiple hits ... Jake Wodtke, Jake Scudder and Quintin Crandall each had three hits to give the Wildcats 15 total ... Logan Wiley earned the win after he held SFA scoreless in four innings.
INSIDE THE WESTERN CAROLINA SERIES
This will be the first meeting between K-State and Western Carolina ... The last time the Wildcats played a team from the Southern Conference was 2013 when they lost to Elon, 4-3, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and The Citadel, 10-8, in Charleston, South Carolina ... K-State is 1-3 all-time against the Southern Conference.
HOME, SWEET HOME
Over the first nine games of the season-long 12-game homestand, K-State is 7-2 ... The Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 81-53, over the stretch ... K-State has scored seven or more runs in six games and tallied nine or more hits seven times ... Offensively, K-State is hitting .326 to its opponents’ .244 clip ... The Wildcat pitching staff has a 5.67 ERA (51er, 81.0ip) while other teams have a 7.30 ERA.
K-State has won seven straight non-conference weekend series at home, including the first two this season ... The span started with a sweep of Bethune-Cookman March 22-23, 2013 ... Over the streak, the Wildcats have won series against Bethune-Cookman, Iowa, Northern Colorado, Santa Clara, Missouri State, UAPB and Milwaukee.
AGAINST THE NON-CON
K-State has won 36 of its last 43 non-conference home games (.837 win %), a stretch that dates back to March 20, 2013.
The Wildcat pitching staff enters the weekend leading the Big 12 in strikeouts with 144 ... In addition to being the best in the Big 12, the Wildcats’ 8.64 K/9 innings is the 50th-best mark in Division I ... Last year, K-State had 112 strikeouts in its first 17 games (119 in first 20 games) ... Over the last five games, K-State has 52 strikeouts in 45 innings ... In that same stretch, the Wildcats also have double-digit strikeouts in three times, giving them seven such games this season (most since having 15 in 2012).
NEW BUT FAMILIAR ACE
Levi MaVorhis will move into the No. 1 starter role this weekend after being the “Sunday starter” for the first four weekends ... MaVorhis was K-State’s No. 1 starter in 2014 and for four Big 12 series in 2013 ... The senior, who leads the team with three wins, 30 strikeouts and 23.0 innings pitched, is coming off a March 13 outing against Milwaukee in which he struck out a career-high 12 and walked none in a scoreless seven innings ... The 12 strikeouts were the most by a Wildcat pitcher since Matt Applegate had 12 on May 14, 2011 ... MaVorhis also became the first K-State pitcher to have 10+ strikeouts and no walks in an appearance since Adam Cowart on February 26, 2005 (10 K, 0 BB) ... MaVorhis became the seventh K-State hurler since 2000 to have 12+ strikeouts in a game - and the only one of that group to not walk any batters.
KNOW YOUR ROL
Josh Rolette enters the weekend with a .321 batting average, a clip powered by him going 9-for-20 (.450) over his last five games ... Over that same stretch, the freshman has a walk, two doubles and three RBI ... He has accumulated three multi-hit games over the last five games, giving him five total on the season ... Rolette is second on the team in OBP and third in batting average (min. 2.5 AB/team game).
Rolette heads a group of six K-State freshmen who are batting a combined .288 (38-for-132) ... In addition Rolette, freshmen Brooks Zimmerman (.333; 11-for-33) and Michael Smith (.333; 4-for-12) are batting above .300 with more than 10 at-bats ... K-State has used six freshman hitters this season, the most for the program since 2011 (6) ... Zimmerman is 8-for-18 (.444) over his last six games ... Smith has also reached base safely in 8 of his 16 plate appearances.
Jake Wodtke, who went 3-for-5 on Wednesday against Stephen F. Austin, is one of three Big 12 hitters with a batting average over .400 ... The redshirt junior is third in the conference with a .406 clip ... In addition to being tops in the conference in batting average, Wodtke is first in runs (20), second in hits (26), fourth in OBP (.487) and tied for fourth in RBI (17).
Over the last 11 games - a stretch in which K-State has gone 9-2 - the Wildcats are averaging 10 runs per game (110 runs total) while batting .334 ... In the first six games of the year, K-State averaged 3.3 runs ... In the nine wins over the span, K-State is averaging a margin of victory of 7.2 runs.