Wildcats Look to Bounce Back in San Diego
Wildcats Look to Bounce Back in San Diego
Feb. 22, 2012
Thursday, February 23 - Sunday, February 26
San Diego, Calif. /// Tony Gwynn Stadium (3,000) /// Cunningham Stadium (1,200)
K-STATE: Brad Hill
Alma Mater: Emporia State, 1984
Career Record: 685-286-3 (18th season)
Record at K-State: 267-195-3 (9th season)
SAN DIEGO STATE: Tony Gwynn
Record at SDSU: 265-281 (10th season)
Record at USD: 442-316-3 (14th season)
Rob Voelker (pxp) and Ryan Lackey (color)
SportsRadio 1350 KMAN
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Coming off a season-opening series loss at CSU Bakersfield last weekend, Kansas State will look to rebound as the Wildcats play four games in four days at the San Diego Tournament, Thursday through Sunday, February 23-26. K-State begins the event with an 8 p.m. (CT), game on Thursday at Tony Gwynn Stadium, while it will have a quick turnaround on Friday as the Wildcats play at the University of San Diego on Friday at 12 p.m. The Wildcats then return to Tony Gwynn Stadium for their final two games of a seven-game road trip, taking on the Aztecs again in a 4 p.m., contest on Saturday before facing 19th-ranked Oregon State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Thursday, Saturday and Sunday contests will be broadcast in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN with Rob Voelker and Ryan Lackey on the call. Free live audio of all four games is available at www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com. Thursday's contest at San Diego State will be televised nationally on The Mtn., and Friday's game at San Diego will be available on K-StateHD.TV.
Kansas State took the first game of the CSUB series, 7-5, in 11 innings on Saturday thanks to a Ross Kivett two-RBI triple in the 11th. The Wildcats led by as many as four at 5-1 with a two-run homer by Wade Hinkle and a three-run shot by Mike Kindel, but the Roadrunners tied the game in the ninth inning to force extras. On Sunday, CSU Bakersfield put up six runs in the fourth inning and held on the rest of the way for a 7-3 win. Monday was more of the same as CSUB scored three runs in both the first and third innings en route to an 8-1 win.
Sophomore Jared King led the Wildcats offensively last weekend by going 4-for-12 with two doubles and a RBI. Another sophomore, Blair DeBord, tallied three hits and two RBI, while Hinkle and Kindel also had three hits in the three-game series.
The Wildcats are scheduled to start Kayvon Bahramzadeh on Thursday, Matt Applegate on Friday and Joe Flattery on Saturday, while K-State is currently undecided on a Sunday starter against Oregon State. Bahramzadeh is starting his first game of the season after the right-hander came out of the bullpen on Sunday to allow two runs on five hits in 2.2 innings. However, Bahramzadeh registered perhaps the best outing of his freshman season at San Diego State in 2009.
Applegate, another right-hander, was the most successful K-State starter last weekend when he surrendered just four runs - two of which scored after he left the game - on seven hits in 7.1 innings of work last Saturday. Flattery struggled in his first Division I outing last Sunday as the left-hander gave up five runs on five hits in 3.1 innings of work.
DID YOU KNOW
• K-State has recorded its top three win totals in program history over the past three seasons.
• Brad Hill entered 2012 sixth in the nation among active coaches with a .706 career winning percentage.
• The Wildcats recorded two home runs in Saturday's season opener, the most since also hitting two in 2009.
• K-State was 29-3 last year when leading after seven innings. The Cats are 213-16 when leading after seven frames during Brad Hill's eight-plus years in Manhattan, including a 1-0 mark in 2012.
• The Wildcats were 5-9 in their first 14 games decided by one run in 2011, but finished the year 6-3 in their final nine one-run games.
• Three of the top four team stolen base numbers in school history have come in the last three seasons, including last year in which the Cats swiped 123 bags to rank third.
• The six lowest team ERAs in the aluminum bat era (1977) have come in the last six seasons, including a third-place mark in 2011 (4.26).
• K-State had the second-lowest opponent batting average in school history last year at .269, the best mark since a school-record .263 average in 1995.
• Matt Applegate is third among active Big 12 pitchers in career strikeouts (125) and innings pitched (155.1).
This weekend's event in San Diego is the end of a 10-day, seven-game road trip in California. The Wildcats opened up the season at CSU Bakersfield, going 1-2 as they won the season opener in extra innings before dropping the next two contests. K-State is used to life on the road early in the season as it had an eight-game continuous road trip at the Russmat Invitational and the Bright House Invitational in Florida in 2010.
K-STATE AND THE GOLDEN STATE
Trips to the Golden State were few and far between for K-State prior to the 2008 season, but K-State is in the midst of its sixth trip to the state in the last five seasons and its fourth since the start of 2011. K-State lost one game apiece to Cal and Santa Clara in 2008, but made up for it in the 2009 version of the San Diego Tournament by going 3-1 with wins over Nevada, Pacific and San Diego State. The Wildcats also narrowly missed out on a win at No. 11 San Diego that season. Then, last year, the Wildcats were perfect in two regular season trips west with a three-game sweep at Pacific and a two-game sweep at CSU Bakersfield before going 0-2 in the NCAA Fullerton Regional.
Kansas State holds a 19-20 record when playing in California, but the Wildcats have excelled in the state lately as they are 9-5 since 2009.
SOLID AGAINST NON-CON
K-State's play against non-conference opponents over the past three seasons has fueled the Wildcats to quick starts. Kansas State is 187-67 (.736) in non-conference games under head coach Brad Hill, including a 77-30 (.719) mark over the past three seasons. In regular season non-conference games, the Cats have been even tougher as they are 176-52 (.771) over the past eight years and a combined 69-19 (.784) since the beginning of 2009.
SAN DIEGO STATE AT A GLANCE
San Diego State has struggled to begin the season as the Aztecs are 1-3. SDSU began the season with a series loss against Washington by scores of 7-3 and 12-9 before earning a 10-9 win on Sunday. The Aztecs then dropped a Tuesday contest at UC Riverside, 7-1. SDSU is led offensively by sophomore Cody Smith, who has six hits and six RBI in four games. Freshman Ryan Muno and sophomore Brad Haynal have also collected six hits and two RBI.
The Aztecs are scheduled to start left-hander Cole Swanson on Thursday and right-hander TJ Kendzora on Saturday. Both pitchers had a no decision last week. Swanson allowed one run on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six innings last week against Washington. Kendzora also went six innings on Sunday, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts.
SAN DIEGO AT A GLANCE
San Diego opened 2012 with a three-game series loss at Sam Houston State. The Toreros won the season-opening contest, 5-3, but dropped consecutive decisions by counts of 3-2 and 10-3. Infielder Kris Bryant went 5-for-9 in the series against the Bearkats, while Bryan Haar and Dillon Checkal each recorded two RBI.
USD is scheduled to start junior right-hander Calvin Drummond against the Wildcats on Friday. Drummond started the season for the Toreros last Friday and earned the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
OREGON STATE AT A GLANCE
Oregon State went 3-1 in a four-game weekend series at UC Santa Barbara. The Beavers won the first game of the season, 7-3, and split a doubleheader on Saturday by winning the first game, 3-2, before the Gauchos earned a 13-12 win in the nightcap in 12 innings. Oregon State came back with an 8-6 win on Sunday. The Beavers are paced offensively by Ryan Barnes, who was 6-for-16 with two RBI in the series. Michael Conforto led all Beaver hitters with four RBI.
OSU has yet to name a starter for Sunday's game, but the Beavers could go with Riley Wilkerson, who started the fourth and final game of their series at UC Santa Barbara. In that game, Wilkerson allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in four innings of work.
THE SAN DIEGO STATE SERIES
The Wildcats and Aztecs are tied in the all-time series at one game apiece. San Diego State opened up the series history with a 10-7 win on Feb. 6, 1999, in Peoria, Ariz. The Wildcats then faced SDSU in the San Diego Tournament in 2009, taking a 5-4 victory in 10 innings when Adam Muenster drove in a run on a single in the 10th before current Wildcat starter Matt Applegate pitched a scoreless bottom half. K-State is 27-20-1 all-time against current members of the Mountain West.
THE SAN DIEGO SERIES
K-State will be looking for its first win against San Diego as the Toreros lead the all-time series, 2-0. USD picked up a 31-15 win over the Wildcats on Feb. 17, 2000. Then, in 2009, K-State led 1-0 at San Diego until the Toreros tied the game with an unearned run in the seventh and Victor Sanchez hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. The Wildcats hold an 8-6 record all-time against current members of the Big West.
THE OREGON STATE SERIES
Sunday marks the first meeting between K-State and Oregon State since 2000 when the two teams played twice in Albuquerque, N.M. OSU leads the all-time series, 3-2, as the Wildcats and Beavers split the two games in 2000. The series history began in 1971 when OSU took a 10-9 decision in Riverside, Calif., while the two teams split a pair of games in Peoria, Ariz., in 1999. Against current members of the Pac-12, Kansas State holds a 12-23 mark.
The Wildcats have been on a streak of low team ERAs over the past several years, and that was evident again last season. Since the introduction of the aluminum bat in 1977, the Wildcats have had their six lowest team ERAs over the last six seasons, including a 4.26 mark last year to rank third in school history.
However, there was a big difference between the K-State starters and relievers in terms on ERA against CSU Bakersfield. During the opening weekend, the Wildcat starting pitchers - Matt Applegate, Joe Flattery and Gerardo Esquivel - combined to allow 13 earned runs in 12.2 innings, which equates to a 9.24 ERA. On the flip side, the eight K-State relievers last weekend surrendered only three earned runs in 14.1 innings, good for a 1.88 ERA.
BACK WHERE IT BEGAN
Thursday's starting pitcher Kayvon Bahramzadeh will be taking a mound that is very familiar to him and jump-started his rookie campaign. As a freshman in 2009, Bahramzadeh earned his first career start at San Diego State and performed well, allowing just one run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts. K-State eventually won the game in 10 innings, 5-4. That start was a springboard for Bahramzadeh early in his career as he went on to throw a complete game with five strikeouts the next weekend before striking out seven in seven innings the start after that.
SENIOR STARTING IT OFF
Senior Matt Applegate began the season as K-State's No. 1 starter and did not disappoint last week against CSU Bakersfield. The right-hander lasted 7.1 innings, the longest by a Wildcat in head coach Brad Hill's nine season openers. He allowed four runs on seven hits in the contest, but two of the runs scored after he left the game. He ended up with a no decision as CSUB came back to tie the contest, but the Wildcats eventually won in extra innings.
Applegate, who currently ranks third among active Big 12 pitchers in career strikeouts (125) and innings pitched (155.1), is tied for 10th in school history in career appearances (59), while he needs 35 punch outs to enter the school's career top 10 for strikeouts.