Wildcat Baseball Through the Years
Wildcat Baseball Through the Years
April 10, 1897: Kansas Agricultural College played and won its first game in Fort Riley, Kan. Head coach H.W. Wagner led the Aggies to a 4-3 win over Fort Riley. The following is an account of the first game as told by the April 14, 1897 edition of the K.A.C. Students’ Herald.
The baseball team crossed bats with the Fort Riley team at Fort Riley, April 10, in the first game of the season. The game resulted in a victory for the college team, the score standing at the close of the ninth innning 4 to 3 in favor of the K.A.C. The game in detail was as follows: first inning, first half, Crooch in the box, Davis catching for Fort Riley. Noble at the bat sent a fly to third and was put out on first. Second half Hank Wagner in the box, Doc Wagner catching for the college. Consiudine at the bat sent a ball to the pitcher who makes a wild throw to first and Consiudine scores a run. Fann sent a fly to center field and was caught out. Mearns made first on an error by third. Hayward was put out on first and Mearns on third. In the second and third innings neither side scored. In the second half of the fourth inning Mearns scored an earned run, the score then standing Fort Riley 2, K.A.C. 0. In the fifth inning Menke and Poston each scored a run for the college team and Davis scored for the Fort Riley team. In the sixth innning Ashbrook went out on first; Cheadle scored on an error by first. Green made first; Poston made first and Green made second on an error by left field. Menke sent a fly to third and was caught out. H. Wagner struck out leaving Green and Poston on bases. Farm and Mearns both went out on fouls which Doc Wagner nailed hansomely, the inning closed with the score standing Fort Riley 3, K.A.C. 0. In the seventh inning, Doc Wagner was put out on first. Noble went out on a foul; Dial made a base hit and scored a run, Cheadle sent a fly to the pitcher and was caught out leaving Ashbrook on base. Fort Riley made no score. In the eighth and ninth innings neither side scored, the result was K.A.C. 4, Riley 3. Both teams played well, both have had the same difficulties in regard to practice, Saturday’s game was the first time that either nine had played together. The college team had by far the best battery. The college team was rather weak at the bat but this will soon be remedied by practice.
May 1, 1897: In the ninth inning of the game against Chapman High School, K.A.C. second basemen Whitelock stepped to the plate. According to the K.A.C. Students’ Herald, “When Whitelock stepped to the plate in the ninth inning there was a look of determination on his face and when the ball crossed the plate he met it squarely sending it into the deep right field for a home run.” This was the first home run in the school’s short four-game history.
April 6, 1905: The Chicago Cubs made a stop in Manhattan to face Kansas State. The team, which included the Cubs’ most famous double play combination of all-time, Tinker, Evans and Chance, was on their way back to Chicago after completing spring training in Arizona and stopped off to play the Aggies. No box score remains, but the Cubs did win, 13-0.
May 2, 1905: Kansas State played its first extra-inning affair in school history, as the Aggies won it, 6-5, over Friends University of Wichita, Kan.
April 17, 1906: Arthur Furey pitched the first no-hitter in Kansas State baseball history in a 13-0 win over the College of Emporia. Three days later, Carl Mallon matched Furey’s feat in the team’s next outing with a no-hitter against Ottawa University.
Accounts in newpapers reported: “The game was played on a muddy field and there was a rabbit chase across the diamond.”
1907: Legendary coach Mike Ahearn, who coached nearly every sporting team at Kansas State during his tenure and later served as the school’s first athletics director, led the Wildcats to a 19-4 overall record en route to the Topeka Conference title. This baseball championship is believed to be the first by a varsity sport in K-State history.
June 6, 1908: Kansas State played its first-ever doubleheader on this date and sweeps archrival Kansas, 2-1 and 1-0. H.S. Baird pitched both games of the doubleheader.
1911: Legendary coach Mike Ahearn retires as Kansas State’s most successful baseball coach in history with a .734 winning percentage. In eight seasons as the head coach, he led the Wildcats to victory 93 times and suffered only 33 defeats.
1928: Kansas State concluded the season with a 10-2 Missouri Valley Conference record to finish atop the standings. Led by Captain Guy Huey, the Wildcats finished the season with an 11-3 overall record and won their first baseball title in 20 years.
1930: Kansas State finished 9-3 in the Big Six Conference and tied for first place.
1933: Kansas State and Oklahoma ended the season as co-champions of the Big Six Conference. KSU finished the season with a 9-3 overall record and 3-2 in Big Six play.
1933: Elden Auker becomes Kansas State’s first major leaguer when he broke in with the Detroit Tigers. Auker would spent the next 10 years in the big leagues with the Tigers, the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Browns. He would post a career 4.42 ERA and 130-101 record with 126 complete games and 14 shutouts. He would post his best season in 1935, as he finished with an 18-7 record.
1940: The namesake of Kansas State’s baseball stadium, Frank Myers spent just one season as a baseball coach, guiding the Wildcats to an 11-5 overall mark with co-head coach Dougal Russell. In 1967, the field was dedicated in his name. In 2002, the field was re-named Frank Myers Field at Tointon Family Stadium.
May 6, 1941: Kansas State played its first home night game. Oklahoma beat the Wildcats, 3-2, at Griffith Park in Manhattan.
1952: Earl Woods became the first African- American baseball player in Big Seven Conference history. The father of professional golfer Tiger Woods, Earl was forced to stay in all-black hotels and away from his teammates on road trips.
1958: Kansas State outfielder Paul Bader became the first player in history to be selected to the All-Big Eight team.
1961: After playing for years at Griffith Park in Downtown Manhattan, Kansas State finally got its own ballpark, as the university opened Frank Myers Field in 1961. The Wildcats celebrated the opening with an
11-0 shutout of Iowa State.
April 22, 1969: Freshman pitcher Mark Arnold hurled the only perfect game in Kansas State history. He retired 27 straight Ottawa batters to earn the 3-0 victory.
1973: Although there seems to have been All-Americans before the 1973 season, freshman pitcher Andy Replogle was the first Kansas State player in recorded history to be selected to an All-American team. Replogle would later play two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1978-79.
1974: Kansas State set a school record by winning 14 Big Eight games against only seven losses. The Wildcats finished second in the league race.
1976: Former Wildcat Bobby Randall, who coached at both Iowa State and Kansas in the Big 12 , began his six-year major league career with the Minnesota Twins. He would post a career .257 average with 154 runs scored and 91 RBIs in his days as a Twin.
March 18, 1976: Ted Power set a single-game record with 19 strikeouts against Wayne State. Power, who still holds the single-season mark with 99 strikeouts, spent 13 years in the Major Leagues, playing for the Dodgers, Reds, Royals, Cardinals, Pirates and Indians.
1978: Twenty years after Earl Woods broke the color barrier as a player in the Big Eight Conference, Dave Baker becomes the first African American baseball coach at a Big Eight institution. Baker would guide the Wildcats to 137 wins from 1978 to 1983.
May 7, 1983: By posting a 3-2 victory over Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, Kansas State qualified for the Big Eight Postseason Tournament for the first time since 1977. The trip to Oklahoma City would be a quick one for Kansas State, as the Wildcats dropped games to Oklahoma and Kansas.
April 26, 1990: A record-crowd of 6,155 packed Frank Myers Field to watch defending national champion Wichita State defeat the homestanding Wildcats, 8-5.
May, 1990: Kansas State’s head coach Mike Clark is named the Big Eight Coach of the Year after leading the Wildcats to a second-place finish in the league race. He is the first and only coach to earn such an honor.
March 21, 1991: Mike Clark won his 139th game as Kansas State’s head coach with an 18-7 victory over his alma mater, Missouri Western, at Frank Myers Field, surpassing Phil Wilson (138) for K-State’s career lead in coaching victories.
May 18, 1992: Shortstop Craig Wilson became the first-ever Wildcat to be named Big Eight Player of the Year. The holder of numerous school records, Wilson was named a first team All-American in 1992 by Baseball America after leading the team with a .416 batting average, 54 runs scored, 62 RBIs and eight home runs. Wilson was later named to the 1992 Olympic Team which captured the bronze medal.
April 30, 1997: Designated hitter Scott Poepard hits two home runs in Kansas State’s 11-1 victory over Bethany and became K-State’s career home run leader with 31.
1998: After the final game of the season a ground breaking ceremony was held to begin the renovation of Frank Myers Field. The press box and grand stands were torn down and a new playing surface was installed. Every facet of the stadium would be improved by the 2002 season in the $3.1 million dollar renovation, including a new press box with luxury suites, a 3,150-square-foot lockerroom complete with team and training rooms.
1999: After delays, renovation was slowed and the playing surface of Frank Myers Field was not complete. The 1999 Wildcats would play a 55-game schedule without a home field, thus meaning 44 games were played outside the city limits of Manhattan, Kan. On the year, the team travelled 17,500 miles and played at 19 different sites.
1999: Sophomore Kasey Weishaar finished with a single-season record .429 batting average. Over the 55-game season, Weishaat never went more than seven at-bats without a hit. For his outstanding season, Weishaar was selected to the All-Big 12 first team.
2000: Kansas State celebrated the 100th year of Wildcat baseball during the 2000 season. In celebration of the centennial of the sport, university officials had an All-Century Celebration Weekend on May 5-7 during the three-game series with Kansas. The celebration weekend included a golf outing for former lettermen at Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan and a cookout for friends and family prior to Friday’s game. The university also named 21 players to the All-Century team and introduced them individually prior to Saturday’s game. The players were formally honored at the All-Century Dinner that evening.
March 18, 2002: Head coach Mike Clark became the first K-State coach in any team sport to post 400 wins, earning his 400th win in the Wildcats’ 8-7 win over UW-Milwaukee. He would earn career win No. 700 against at Texas Tech on April 7. He is the fourth-longest tenured coach in school history.
May 12, 2002: After winning the first two games against Missouri, a rainout on Sunday gave the Wildcats their first trip to the Big 12 Tournament after three years of heartbreaking close calls. In its first postseason trip since the 1996 season, Kansas State proved its medal against the best, overcoming a 12-inning loss to nationally-ranked Texas Tech in the opening game to post back-to-back upsets of nationally-ranked Baylor and the Red Raiders before losing to eventual tournament runner-up Nebraska in the semfinals. With the win over Texas Tech, K-State achieved a 30-win season for the ninth time in school history and for the first time since 1997.
June 3, 2003: After an ultra-successful nine-year stint as the head coach at Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, Mo., Brad Hill was named the 20th head baseball coach at Kansas State. The winningest Division II coach in the nation, Hill guided the Mules to an impressive 418-91 (.821) overall record during his nine-year tenure. The seven-time Central Region Coach of the Year, Hill led the school to the NCAA Tournament each of his nine seasons, including seven trips to the College World Series and a national title.
April 3, 2005: Kansas State rallied for two runs in the seventh and one more in the ninth and withstood a Texas rally in the ninth as the Wildcats knocked off the top-ranked and eventual national champion-Longhorns, 5-3, in the final game of a three-game series before 5,150 fans at Disch-Falk Field. The win was the first-ever for the Wildcats over a top-ranked team and the first over Texas in 17 tries.
May 21-25, 2008: Kansas State, playing in just its second-ever Big 12 Championship, traveled to Bricktown Ballpark winners of its last three games. The Wildcats kept the momentum going as they defeated No. 6 Oklahoma State, 3-2, to open the tournament, but then lost to No. 7 Nebraska, 5-2. On Saturday, Nebraska dropped its game to Oklahoma State, which meant K-State needed to defeat Baylor to advance. The Cats, down 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, scored a pair of runs and held on down the stretch to move on to the program’s first title game appearance.
May 29-June 1, 2009: Kansas State recorded its most successful season in school history by winning a program-record 43 games and earned a spot in its first ever NCAA Regional. K-State also set a school-record with 14 Big 12 victories and finished fourth in the conference, its highest league finish since 1995. With the ultra-successful season, the Wildcats were ticketed to Reckling Park on the campus of Rice University for its first ever regional. The Wildcats won its first regional game, a 16-8 victory over Xavier. Kansas State then faced host school and No. 6 ranked Rice in what could be labeled the biggest win in program history when the Wildcats topped the Owls, 7-6, to advance to the regional final. And although the Cats dropped the next to games to end the season, the Wildcats can look back at the 2009 campaign as the one that reset the bar in terms on success in baseball at Kansas State.
2009: Head coach Brad Hill earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors, becoming the first Kansas State coach since Mike Clark in 1990 to be named conference coach of the year. Hill guided Kansas State to a 43-win season, including 14 conference victories to finish fourth in the league, all school bests. The Wildcats also earned their highest ranking in school history as they were No. 10 in the Baseball America Top 25 earlier in the season. Junior right-handed pitcher A.J. Morris was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and was the school's first ever consensus All-American after setting the school record with 14 victories and the seventh-lowest ERA at 2.09.