Notes: Cats Continue Homestand, Host Stephen F. Austin

SERIES PREVIEW
MARCH 15-16, 2016

Tointon Family Stadium
Manhattan, KS

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
LUMBERJACKS
8-8 (0-0 Southland)
ROSTER | STATS | SCHEDULE

K-STATE
WILDCATS
10-5 (0-0 Big 12)
ROSTER | STATS | SCHEDULE

GM 1: TUESDAY MARCH 15, 6:35 pm
TV: K-STATEHD.TV on FCS-Central
GAME STARTERS:

SFA: LHP ERIC POLIVKA (0-1, 15.12 ERA)
KST: RHP JACOB RUDER (0-0, 2.35 ERA)

$2 TUESDAY - $2 WATER, $2 POPCORN
GM 2: WENESDAY MARCH 16, 3 pm
TV: K-STATEHD.TV
GAME STARTERS:

SFA: TBD
KST: RHP LOGAN WILEY (0-0, 7.11 ERA)

Game Notes (PDF)

AT THE PLATE
Winners in eight of its last nine games, K-State continues its 12-game homestand with a two-game midweek series against Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday and Wednesday at Tointon Family Stadium ... Tuesday’s game is set for a 6:35 p.m. first pitch while Wednesday is at 3:05 p.m. ... K-State is coming off a series win over Milwaukee, a set in which the Wildcats allowed 14 runs in the opener but then held the Panthers to one run over the last two games ... The Lumberjacks (8-8) have lost four straight entering the series in Manhattan, including being swept in a three-game set by Central Arkansas last weekend ... K-State is 6-1 at home this year while Stephen F. Austin is 5-7 in road/neutral games ... This week’s two games will wrap up the Lumberjacks’ nine-game road trip.

LAST TIME OUT
K-State won its seventh straight non-conference weekend series at home after bouncing back from a series opener loss to Milwaukee by capturing the last two games ... The Wildcats fell to the Panthers, 14-1, on Friday - K-State’s largest non-conference home loss since 1980 ... In game two, pitchers Parker Rigler (6.1 IP), Jacob Ruder (1.2 IP) and Lucas Benenati (1.0 IP) limited Milwaukee to two hits in a 3-1 win ... The two hits allowed were the fewest by the Wildcats since 2014 ... In the finale, Levi MaVorhis struck out 12 - the most by a Wildcat pitcher since 2011 - while not issuing any walks and the K-State offense exploded for five runs in the seventh to win, 7-0 ... It was K-State’s second shutout of the year and first at home since May 8, 2015 vs. Oklahoma (5-0) ... The Wildcats surrendered just six hits over the final two games of the series while the offense had 19.

INSIDE THE STEPHEN F. AUSTIN SERIES
K-State won the only previous matchup against Stephen F. Austin, a 3-2 decision in Nacogdoches on March 17, 2015 ... K-State fell behind 1-0 in the second after a solo home run by Dan O’Neill but a three-run sixth inning, keyed by a two-run triple from Steve Serratore followed by a squeeze bunt executed by Tyler Moore made it 3-1 ... SFA’s Kyle Thornell hit a solo homer in the seventh to cut it to 3-2, but Bryce Ward and Brandon Erickson held the Lumberjacks scoreless over the last two innings to preserve the win ... The two teams were set to play a two-game series at the home of the Lumberjacks last season but game two was cancelled due to rain.

NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK
For the third week in a row, a Wildcat was honored with a Big 12 weekly award as Josh Rolette was named the conference’s Newcomer of the Week for the period ending March 13 ... The freshman out of Shawnee, Oklahoma hit .500 (7-for-14) with two doubles and three RBI in four games ... He was 7-for-11 in the Milwaukee series and had a career-high three hits in the set’s finale ... Rolette is the first K-State freshman to earn the Newcomer of the Week honor since Sam Chadick on April 27, 2015.

HEATING UP
Since February 27, Josh Rolette is batting .481 (13-for-27) with five doubles and six RBI in eight games ... The freshman has reached base safely in all eight games as well ... He has five multi-hit efforts over the stretch, including three straight entering the SFA series.

OVER .400
Rolette is one of three Wildcats hitting over .400 since February 27 (last nine K-State games) ... He is joined by Jake Wodtke (.429; 15-for-35) and Tyler Moore (.414; 12-for-29) ... The trio has also produced 32 of K-State’s 79 RBI over the same stretch, with Wodtke leading the way with 14 ... Moore has 12 and Rolette has six.

AS OF LATE
K-State has jumped out to its best 15-game start to a season since 2013 (10-5) thanks to an 8-1 stretch since February 27 ... Over the last nine games, the Wildcats have outscored their opponents, 94-48 ... K-State is also hitting .341 over the span, with nine or more hits in eight games.

STREAKING
Steve Serratore had a hit in all three games during the Milwaukee series, stretching his hitting streak to nine games - tied for the longest by a Wildcat this season (Last: Clayton Dalrymple) ... The last K-State batter to have a hitting streak of 10 games or longer was Dalrymple from February 28-March 2, 2015 ... Serratore is hitting .300 (9-for-30) with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI over the stretch ... The current nine-game hitting streak bested his previous career-high of seven set last season.

SECOND YEAR IN A ROW WITH 15
Steve Serratore has also reached base safely in all 15 games this season, giving him the longest on-base streak by a Wildcat ... This is the second year in a row he has reached base safely in the first 15 games of the season - which is also his career-high for an on-base streak ... Serratore is one of seven Wildcats this season with an OBP of .400+ (min. 10 ABs).

FRESH BATS
Brooks Zimmerman, who is 6-for-10 in his last four games, hit his first career home run last Saturday against Milwaukee ... He became the second K-State freshman to hit a home run this season, joining Michael Smith ... This is the first time K-State has had two freshmen hit homers in the same season since 2011 (Jared King, Mitch Meyer).

POWER SUPPLY
K-State has eight home runs this season, already matching its total from all of 2015 ... Six different Wildcats have at least one home run, the most for K-State in a campaign since 2014 (7) ... The last time K-State had eight or more home runs in its first 15 games was 2013 (9).

K MART
With the help of Levi MaVorhis’ career-high 12 strikeouts on Sunday, K-State struck out a total of 14 against Milwaukee - its most in a game since February 17, 2013 vs. George Mason (15) ... The Wildcats fanned 35 in the Milwaukee series, giving them 127 on the season, which are the most in the Big 12 ... K-State is averaging 8.66 K/9 innings, also tops in the Big 12 and 53rd in Division I ... The Wildcats have 10 or more strikeouts in six different games this season, its most since 2012 (15).

BELOW THE MENDOZA LINE
Despite allowing 14 hits last Friday against Milwaukee, K-State pitchers have held opponents to a .193 batting average against over the last four games (32 hits in 45.0 innings).