Notes: Wildcats Head to Florida to Open Season

Game Notes - Snowbird Classic Get Acrobat Reader

K-State Opens Season with Snowbird Classic in Florida
Location: Port Charlotte, Fla.

Friday, Feb. 13 - 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT
Probable Pitchers: RHP Nate Griep vs. RHP Tyler Peyton
Stadium: Charlotte Sports Park
Series: K-State leads, 12-7
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP - Mike Hammett)
Online Audio: Here or
Live Stats: Here

Saturday, Feb. 14 - 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT 
Probable Pitchers: RHP Levi MaVorhis vs. TBA
Stadium: North Charlotte Regional Park
Series: First meeting
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP - Mike Hammett)
Online Audio: Here or
Live Stats: Here

George Mason
Saturday, Feb. 14 - 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT
Probable Pitchers: RHP Mark Biesma vs. RHP John Williams
Stadium: North Charlotte Regional Park
Series: K-State leads, 1-0
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP - Mike Hammett)
Online Audio: Here or
Live Stats: Here

Saint Louis
Sunday, Feb. 15 - 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT (Note: this has been changed from the original listed time of 10 a.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: RHP Corey Fischer vs. RHP Connor Lehmann
Stadium: North Charlotte Regional Park
Series: K-State leads, 2-0
Radio: News Radio 1350 KMAN (PBP - Mike Hammett)
Online Audio: Here or
Live Stats: Here

K-State, coming off a 25-30 campaign in 2014, will start its 2015 season with a trip to Port Charlotte, Florida ... The Wildcats will open the season against Iowa on February 13 at Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays ... On February 14, K-State will take on Pittsburgh and George Mason at North Charlotte Regional Park while on February 15, the Wildcats' season-opening trip comes to a close against Saint Louis also at North Charlotte Regional Park.

K-State will feature 14 returning letterwinners and 22 newcomers on the active roster entering 2015 ... The Wildcats, who had 19 letterwinners from last year's team move on from the program, have their highest amount of newcomers on a team since 2005 (Brad Hill's second season as head coach) when K-State had 25 newcomers (plus 8 returners).

With the departure of hitting coach Mike Clement to Ole Miss after the end of last season, K-State saw Andy Sawyers return to Manhattan when he was hired in July as the associate head coach/offensive coordinator ... Sawyers, who spent the last four seasons at Texas A&M, was the Wildcat hitting coach in 2009 and 2010 ... The Wildcats featured some of their top offenses in program history under Sawyers ... In 2009, when K-State made its first ever NCAA Regional, the Wildcats hit .317 (5th highest in team history) while scoring 458 runs (4th) and stealing 149 bases (1st) ... In 2010, K-State hit .323 (3rd), scored 448 runs (5th) and stole 120 bases (4th).

Among the 14 returners, three are seniors: 1B Shane Conlon, OF Max Brown and INF Carter Yagi ... Also, among the nine position players who started at least 30 games in 2014, three are returning: Conlon (50 starts), Yagi (32) and OF Clayton Dalrymple (34) ... Brown played in 43 games last  year, including 25 starts (17 over K-State's final 19 games) ... In terms of hitting, 31% of last year's hits and RBIs are returning as well as 42% of the stolen bases ... As for pitching, the staff returns 48% of its wins, 55% of the starts, 40% of the innings pitched and 38% of the strikeouts.

OF Max Brown had an impressive run to end the 2014 season,  hitting .404 (19-for-47) with 6 RBIs, 8 stolen bases and 9 walks over his final 16 games ... Over that same stretch, he had a .509 OBP and .532 SLG ... For the season, Brown hit .330 - which was the third-best average among all Wildcats - along with a .415 OBP and .457 SLG ... Brown reached base safely in six-straight games to end the season, including 8 times in his last 9 plate appearances ... Brown gained international experience this past November when he played for Team New Zealand this past November as part of the IBAF U21 World Cup in Taiwan.

In his first season at the Division I level, INF Carter Yagi managed to strike out just four times in his 115 at-bats (133 plate appearances) last year ... The strikeout every 29.0 at-bats was the third-best K/AB ratio among all hitters in Division I ... His 4 strikeouts were also the fewest ever by a K-State hitter that registered at least 100 at-bats since 1957.

For the first time since 2009, K-State will not feature an All-Big 12 performer among its returners entering the season ... Last season's lone K-State All-Big 12 selection, Ross Kivett (Second Team, Utility), was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the sixth round of the 2014 MLB Draft ... This year's team, though, does feature two former All-Big 12 Freshman Team selections in RHPs Levi MaVorhis (2013) and Nate Williams (2012) ... The last time K-State did not feature any returning All-Big 12 honorees, the 2009 team went on to post a 43-18-1 record (14-11-1 Big 12) and collected seven All-Big 12 selections (five honorable mentions).

Under head coach Brad Hill, K-State is 7-4 all-time in season openers ... Despite last year's season-opening loss at Cal Poly, K-State is 5-1 in season openers since 2009 ... This year marks the 12th-straight season K-State opens its season away from Manhattan (Last: 2003 vs. Western Illinois) ... All-time, K-State is 66-39 (.629) in season openers, including 26-29 (.473) in road or neutral contests.

Despite donning a new uniform this season, several Wildcats have played together prior to their time at K-State ... INF/RHP Tyler Wolfe and C Steve Serratore were teammates over the last two seasons at Des Moines Area CC ... OF/C Danny Krause, OF Keith Browning and RHP Corey Fischer spent the last two seasons together as members of the Madison (WI) College team ... C Tyler Moore and RHP Mark Biesma played at the same high school, Mill Valley in Shawnee, Kansas ... Serratore and LHP Jackson Douglas also attended the same high school, Mayo High, in Rochester, Minnesota.

K-State's trip to Port Charlotte, Fla. is its longest road trip of the season in terms of distance traveled (about 1,299 miles one way) ... The Wildcats have not played in Florida since 2010 when they played eight games in Winter Haven and DeLand from Feb. 27-March 7 ... K-State went 7-1 during its Florida trip in 2010 ... The Wildcats are 34-24 all-time in Florida ... The first time K-State played in Florida was in 1912 against the Chilloco Indian School in Gainesville.

K-State is a combined 12-7 all-time against its four opponents scheduled for the Florida trip ... The Wildcats are 9-7 vs. Iowa and hold a current five-game winning streak against the Hawkeyes ... This will mark the second time that K-State and Iowa have met at a neutral site in series history (2/16/97 in Arlington, TX; K-State won, 9-6) ... K-State and Pittsburgh have never met ... The Wildcats are 1-0 vs. George Mason, with the one win being on 2/17/13 in Charleston, S.C. ... K-State and Saint Louis have met twice before, with both meetings taking place in 1989 ... The Wildcats are 2-0 all-time against Saint Louis.

Redshirt sophomore Nate Griep will open the 2015 season as K-State's No. 1 starter ... The right-hander spent most of the 2014 Big 12 schedule as the No. 3 starter ... This marks the second-straight year K-State will have a sophomore start in the season opener ... Junior Levi MaVorhis, who started last year's season opener at Cal Poly, will start Saturday morning's game vs. Pittsburgh ... In 2014, MaVorhis led all K-State pitchers in wins (6), starts (13), innings pitched (84.1), strikeouts (48), complete games (2) and shutouts (2) ... MaVorhis has thrown a combined 139.0 innings over the last 2 years, which are the most innings thrown by a Wildcat over a freshman and sophomore season since Eric Yanz (1994-95) ... Senior Mark Biesma will make his K-State debut on Saturday vs. George Mason ... The Washburn transfer made 34 appearances (28 starts) for the Ichabods over the last three seasons ... Junior Corey Fischer will also make his K-State debut this weekend when he takes the bump on Sunday vs. Saint Louis ... The Madison College transfer appeared in 21 games, 18 starts, for the Wolfpack over the last two seasons, going a combined 11-4 with a 2.54 ERA, 94 strikeouts and 40 walks.