K-State Prepped for Final Tune-up Before Big 12 Play


GAME PREVIEW
MARCH 21, 2017

Tointon Family Stadium
Manhattan, KS

NR
OMAHA
MAVERICKS
2-17 (0-3 Summit League)
ROSTER | STATS | SCHEDULE

NR
K-STATE
WILDCATS
14-6 (0-0 Big 12)
ROSTER | STATS | SCHEDULE | NOTES

K-STATEHD.TV/FOX COLLEGE SPORTS

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State baseball team is set for its final mid-week matchup before beginning Big 12 play as Omaha visits Tointon Family Stadium on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.  

K-State (14-6) and Omaha (2-17, 0-3 Summit League) meet for the second time in seven days at Tointon after the Mavericks’ 5-2 win last Wednesday.

The Wildcats are coming off a home series victory against Iowa over the weekend after taking two of three from the Hawkeyes. The Cats will send freshman Caleb Littlejim (0-0) to the mound while the Mavs will give senior Austin Groth (0-0) the nod.

Ticket promotions include buy-one-get-one free general admission tickets and select concessions. Tickets are available through the K-State ticket office by calling 1-800-221-CATS (2287) or by clicking here.

The Tuesday night game will be broadcast worldwide on K-StateHD.TV an FOX College Sports. Fans can listen to Matt Walters and John Kurtz call the action live on 1350 AM, 93.3 FM and streaming free on k-statesports.com.

A LOOK AT K-STATE

Kansas State (14-6) wraps up a 13-game homestand with a Tuesday night game with Omaha before beginning Big 12 play at Texas on Friday ... K-State took two of three games from Iowa at Tointon Family Stadium over the weekend ... Two of the three games went to extra innings - both of which the Wildcats came from behind to tie the game ... Saturday’s come-from-behind win was the Cats’ third victory when trailing after eight innings ... K-State erased a seven-run deficit Sunday before falling in extras, 12-11 ... Quintin Crandall, Jake Scudder and Steve Serratore are all tied atop the Big 12’s home run list with five bombs this season.

A LOOK AT OMAHA

Omaha (2-17, 0-3 Summit League) comes to Manhattan for its second game in seven days in the Little Apple ... UNO opened league play over the weekend at home and were swept by South Dakota State ... On March 15, the Mavericks stole a 5-2 win for their second victory of the season ... In the Wednesday night matchup, Omaha held K-State to two runs on four hits, only one of which was for extra bases ... It was the Mavs’ first-ever win in Manhattan.

A LOOK AT THE SERIES

K-State owns a 9-2 lead all-time over Omaha, dating back to 1976 ... K-State is 8-1 overall at home against the Mavericks, with the one loss coming on March 15 (5-2) ... This is the sixth straight year the Wildcats and Mavericks have met.

LAST TIME AROUND

In the season’s first meeting, Omaha defeated K-State, 5-2, for its first-ever win in Manhattan ... Wildcat starter Colton Kalmus struck out a career-high eight batters in just 3.0 innings and allowed five hits and three earned ... K-State had just one extra-base hit in the game - an RBI double from Josh Rolette ... The Wildcat bullpen threw 6.0 innings and allowed just one run on one hit the rest of the way ... Each team used six pitchers in the game.

THREE HORSEMEN

For the fifth straight weekend, K-State started RHP Justin Heskett, LHP Parker Rigler and RHP Brogan Heinen ... Each starter has thrown at least 25.0 IP, led by Rigler with 31.0 ... All three have sub-4.00 ERAs and Rigler and Heskett are under 3.00 ... The trio has either thrown or contributed in a team shutout this season ... Rigler has a no-hitter and Heinen has started two team shutouts ... Rigler leads the team with 20 strikeouts while Heinen has 18 and Heskett has 16 ... Rigler has three consecutive quality starts while Heskett is coming off his first of the season (7.0 IP, 0 ER) ... The streak of three straight quality starts (6.0 IP or more, 3 ER or fewer) is the longest of Rigler’s career (6 QS last season).

OFFENSIVE OUTBREAK

After 15 home runs in a five-game span, the K-State offense had gone six straight games without a long ball heading into Sunday’s game against Iowa ... The Cats broke out with their second four-homer output of the season, led by Grant Reuben with his first-career two-home run game ... Reuben and Quintin Crandall went back-to-back for the second time this season ... Steve Serratore had a home run as part of his first-career five-hit day ... As a team, K-State leads the Big 12 with 24 homers.

THREE-HEADED MONSTER

The trio of Quintin Crandall, Jake Scudder and Steve Serratore are all tied atop the conference’s home run list with five homers apiece ... Crandall and Serratore each hit a long ball Sunday against Iowa ... Sunday, Serratore was a double short of the cycle and was 5-for-5 with five RBI ... It was the senior outfielder’s second five-RBI game of the season and now leads the club with 24 runs batted in ... Serratore had four career homers entering 2017 while Crandall had two last season.

CLUTCH VICTORIES

K-State’s 5-4 victory Saturday improved its record to 7-0 in one-run games this season ... After Sunday’s extra-inning loss to Iowa, K-State is now 7-1 in one-run games ... In 2016, the Cats were just 3-10 in games decided by one run ... Saturday, the Wildcats came back from a 4-2 hole in the eighth inning to earn a 10-inning victory ... It was the Cats’ third win this season when trailing after eight innings ... K-State was 0-26 when trailing after eight last season. 

EXTRA! EXTRA!

K-State and Iowa played consecutive extra-inning games Saturday and Sunday ... It was the first such games for the Cats this season (1-1) ... Sunday, K-State erased a season-high seven-run deficit to force the game to extra frames before falling in the 10th ... It was the first one-run loss of the season for K-State.

NATIONAL RANKS

Senior reliever Nick Jones is second in the country with his 15 appearances this season ... His four wins are ranked ninth ... Senior Jordan Floyd’s six saves are seventh-best in the nation ... As a team, K-State’s four shutouts rank ninth in the NCAA ... The Cats’ 24 home runs are No. 14 nationally ... Josh Ethier’s six sacrifice bunts are fifth-best in the country.

BIG 12 RANKS

Crandall, Scudder and Serratore are tied for the Big 12 lead with five homers each ... Freshman Cameron Thompson’s 33 base hits are the league’s best ... Thompson and Jake Wodtke are tied for second in the conference with seven stolen bases apiece ... As a team, K-State leads the conference in home runs (24) and in slugging (.470) and are second in stolen bases (24) and third in runs (139).

CAN’T GET HIM OUT

Freshman Will Brennan has been the Cats’ best hitter over the last 12 games ... The left-handed outfielder is hitting .400 (12-for-30) over the last dozen games and had a string of six straight at-bats with a base hit ... In 49 at-bats this season, Brennan has only struck out twice ... His 24.5-to-1 at-bat-to-strikeout ratio is second-best in the Big 12 and ranks 13th in the nation among qualified hitters.

IMPACT FRESHMAN

Freshman leadoff man Cameron Thompson leads the Cats with his .363 average, 33 base hits and seven stolen bases this season ... Thompson hit his first career home run vs. Northwestern State Wednesday ... Thompson has recorded multiple hits in 11 of 20 games this season, including a pair of four-hit games.

APPROACHING 435

K-State head coach Brad Hill has 430 career victories as the Wildcat skipper ... Hill is just five victories away from matching Mike Clark’s program record of 435 wins ... Last season, Hill became just the second Wildcat coach to eclipse the 400-win plateau.