K-State Looks to Rebound at USF

Feb. 18, 2014

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K-State Athletics

The K-State baseball team was swept in a three-game series at Cal Poly from Feb. 14-16, being outscored 18-3 in the set.

This is the first ever meeting between K-State and San Francisco. The Wildcats have faced severeal teams from San Francisco’s conference, the West Coast Conference, in program history, going 6-9 against the WCC.

3 Things To Know:

• Making his first career start today

• Made 15 appearances as a freshman in 2013

• Suffered the loss in K-State’s 2014 season opener at Cal Poly on Feb. 14

Busch will make his first career start today against San Francisco. The sophomore made 15 appearances as a true freshman in 2013 and already appeared in one game earlier this season.

The Brookings, S.D. native threw 1/3 of an inning in the Wildcats’ season opener on Feb. 14 at Cal Poly. Busch suffered the loss after being charged for three runs, all earned, in the sixth inning. He entered at the top of the inning but surrendered two hits, had a balk and issued an intentional walk before being removed from the game.

Busch’s career-high for innings pitched in a game is 3.0, set on March 22, 2013 vs. Bethune-Cookman. Busch tossed three perfect innings in the game, picking up his first and only career save during K-State’s 12-0 win. Busch has thrown two or more innings in five of his 16 career appearances, including twice in his last three outings dating back to May 31, 2013 vs. Wichita State.

Busch proved himself to be one of K-State’s reliable bullpen arms in 2013. He held opponents to a .197 batting average against, including a .100 average against in Big 12 regular season play. Busch did not allow his first base hit against until his ninth career game on April 6 vs. Texas Tech. In his first 10 appearances in 2013, Busch surrendered just one hit before allowing 12 hits over his final five games of the year.

In regular season nonconference action last season, Busch posted a 3.86 ERA (4er, 9.1ip). All four of his runs allowed, though, came in one outing at Nebraska on April 24. In his first seven nonconference games in 2013, Busch did not allow a run or hit in 9.0 IP.

For the first time since 2008, K-State has started its season 0-3. The Wildcats lost a game at California and Santa Clara before losing to Arkansas State in Beaumont, Texas in 2008. It is the third time under head coach Brad Hill that K-State has dropped its first three games in a campaign, with it happening in 2005, 2008 and now 2014. The Wildcats have never started a season 0-4 under Hill.

The Wildcats were also swept in a season-opening series for the first time since 1981 when K-State was swept by Oral Roberts. K-State was not swept in 2013 and had not been swept in a three-game series since April 27-29, 2012 vs. Oklahoma State. The last time K-State was swept in a road series was April 20-22, 2012 at Missouri.

The K-State offense has compiled just three runs in the first three games of the year, the lowest total by any Big 12 team so far this year. It is the lowest run total for a three-game stretch by a K-State team since 2004. The Wildcats scored three runs over three games from April 27-May 1, 2004. Last season, K-State averaged 6.4 runs per game and scored two runs or less in eight games. This season, K-State is averaging 1.0 run per game and scored two runs or less in each of the three contests.

Austin Fisher leads all K-State players with a .545 OBP this season. The junior has reached base safely at least twice in each of the first three games, including going 1-for-2 with a walk in the last game on Sunday. Fisher currently owns K-State’s longest active on-base streak, which sits at four games and started in last year’s final game in the Corvallis Super Regional.

K-State has used six freshman pitchers so far this season, including four true freshmen and two redshirt freshmen. The Wildcats are one of three DI teams that used six or more freshmen hurlers during the opening weekend, joining Stanford (6) and Rutgers (9). Of the 12 pitchers used this past weekend by K-State, seven had never pitched at the Division I level. In addition to the six freshmen, junior college transfer Jake Whaley pitched, tossing 1 1/3 innings on Feb. 15.

In addition to new K-State pitchers, a couple K-State hitters made their debuts as Wildcats. After making his debut on Feb. 15, Tyler Stover collected his first collegiate hit on Feb. 16 with a pinch-hit single. Taylor Anderson was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat as a Wildcat. Tanner DeVinny registered his first career hit, an infield single, on Feb. 15. DeVinny also notched his first career RBI with the base hit.

The K-State starting pitchers have compiled a 4.15 ERA (6er, 13.0ip) in the first three games of the year. Friday starter Levi MaVorhis did not allow a run in five innings on Feb. 14 while the pitching staff’s lone senior, Jared Moore, limited Cal Poly to three runs in 5 1/3 innings on Feb. 15. The Wildcat pitching staff has a 4.88 ERA in the first three games of the season.

Carter Yagi has reached base safely in the last two games,  going 0-for-3 with a walk on Feb. 15 and 1-for-4 on Feb. 16. The junior transfer from the College of Southern Idaho has batted in the No. 2 and No. 9 spots in the K-State lineup, playing centerfield on Feb. 15 and second base on Feb. 16. He has also scored one of K-State’s three runs this season.

For the third time in the last four seasons, K-State is starting its season in California. The Wildcats began the 2011 season at Pacific (Stockton, Calif.) and the 2012 season at Bakersfield. Since 2011, K-State is 8-8 in games played in the state of California. However, during this year’s season-opening, eight-game road trip to the Golden State, K-State has never played inside any of the three stadiums in which it will visit, including Benedetti Diamond in San Francisco.