Baseball Heads to Lone Star State

Games 9-11
Kansas State (7-1) vs. St. John’s (0-6)
March 2 1 p.m.

Kansas State (7-1) at Lamar (8-3)
March 3 2 p.m.

Kansas State (7-1) vs. Cal-Santa Barbara (3-5)
March 4 11 a.m.

Vincent Beck Stadium (3,500) Beaumont, Texas

Radio:
None

Internet:
Live stats of all three games will be available at
k-statesports.com.

Series:
KSU vs. St. John’s: 1-0 all-time; 1-0 at neutral site
KSU vs. Lamar: 4-3 all-time; 4-3 on the road
KSU vs. UCSB: First meeting

Watch For: KSU Bullpen
K-State relievers so far this season are 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA in 22.2 innings of work. The bullpen tossed 10.1 shutout innings last weekend in Tampa over the four-game tournament.

Kansas State hits the road for the third consecutive week as the Wildcats head to the Lone Star State this weekend for the Lamar Classic in Beaumont, Texas. The Wildcats are coming off an impressive 4-0 weekend in Tampa, Fla., which saw the Cats down Seton Hall, Ohio State twice and James Madison to move to 7-1 on the young season. K-State continues to get strong pitching performances from top to bottom and has gotten clutch offensive production late in games during the first eight games of the season. On the mound, K-State has seen its starting pitcher go six-plus innings in seven of eight starts and the bullpen has generated a 0.79 ERA in 22-plus innings this season, including a 10.1 scoreless streak last weekend in Tampa. The Wildcats will face a St. John’s team on Friday that has lost numerous close games this season, while host Lamar continues to compete for an NCAA Regional bid year in and year out in the Southland Conference. Cal-Santa Barbara will bring a solid pitching staff to Beaumont, one that has accumulated a 3.70 team ERA this season against the likes of Cal, Hawaii and San Jose State. Kansas State will face St. John’s Friday at 1 p.m, before facing the homestanding Cardinals Saturday at 2 p.m. The Wildcats will wrap up their 11-game road trip Sunday at 11 a.m. against Cal-Santa Barbara. Live stats of all three Wildcat games, played at Vincent Beck Stadium, will be available at www.k-statesports.com.

 Noteworthy
Since 2004, Kansas State is 74-17 in non-conference games and 40-11 in the month of March.
Under Brad Hill, Kansas State is 58-30 when its starting pitcher goes six-plus innings.
The Wildcats also are 73-8 under Hill when out-hitting their opponent.
The Cats are also 64-19-1 under Hill when recording 10 or more hits.
Over the last three seasons, K-State is 81-5 when leading after seven innings and 62-21-2 when scoring first.
Fourteen of the Wildcats’ 37 total RBI this season have come with two outs.
Shortstop Eli Rumler currently ranks second in K-State history in career hit-by-pitches with 24.
Rumler also ranks eighth in school history with 12 career sacrifice bunts.
Defensively, Rumler also ranks eighth in school history with 310 career assists.
Pitcher Chase Bayuk is now 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA over his last eight starts, dating back to last season.
K-State’s bullpen this season is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA in 22.2 innings of work.
Last weekend, the bullpen tossed 10.1 shutout innings in Tampa with 12 strikeouts.
K-State relievers are also 6-for-6 in save opportunities and have retired 14-of-17 first batters.
K-State starting pitchers have struck out 33 batters in 48 combined innings this season.
The K-State pitching staff has compiled a 2.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season.
K-State has outscored its opponent, 16-4, in the final three innings this season.
The Wildcats are a perfect 6-0 this season when playing at a neutral site.
K-State is 5-0 this season when out-hitting its opponent.
The Cats are 4-0 when leading after six innings, 5-0 when leading after seven and 7-0 after eight.
K-State is 7-0 when scoring three or more runs this season.

Scouting St. John’s
St. John’s heads into the weekend with an 0-6 mark but has played close games all season against the likes of Texas Tech, Dallas Baptist, Washington and East Carolina. The Red Storm has been led by Sam Deluca and Daniel Rose at the plate, as both enter this weekend’s tournament with a .385 batting average. St. John’s is hitting .262 as a team and has totaled nine stolen bases in six games. On the mound, St. John’s has accumulated a 4.75 team ERA with 35 strikeouts and 21 walks in 55.0 innings thus far. Individually, reliever Justin Gutsie has been stellar over 6.2 innings with 11 strikeouts, one walk and a 0.00 ERA. Six different pitchers, two of which are starters, have ERA’s under 2.00 through six games.

Scouting Lamar
Lamar is coming off a two-game midweek sweep of LeMoyne and enters the weekend with an 8-3 overall mark. The Cardinals dropped early games to Oklahoma State, Illinois-Chicago and Holy Cross, but have won seven in a row heading into the weekend. Lamar is hitting a blistering .385 as a team and has four players who are hitting over the .400 mark, led by Collin DeLome’s .475 mark. On the mound, Lamar has a 3.91 team ERA and has been led by Brian Sisk’s 2-0 mark. Sisk enters the weekend with a 0.00 ERA and has struck out 17 batters in 19.0 innings. As a staff, Lamar has struck out 71 batters while walking just 22 in 76.0 innings.

Scouting Cal-Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara heads into the weekend with a 3-5 overall record and is coming off back-to-back losses to Cal last weekend. The Gauchos have been solid on the mound so far this season as they enter the weekend with a 3.70 team ERA in 73.0 innings of work. Three different pitchers have recorded wins on the mound, while Steve Morlock leads the staff with 15 strikeouts. UCSB is hitting .249 as a team but has had solid performances so far from Chris Fox (.478) and Mike Zuanich (.400) through the first eight games of the season.

The Series
Kansas State is 1-0 all-time against St. John’s as the Wildcats knocked off the Red Storm, 10-8, back in 1993 in two teams only meeting in Fresno, Calif. The Wildcats are 4-3 all-time against Lamar with all seven games being played in Beaumont. The Cats have won three straight in the series, dating back to a four-game series in 1986 that saw K-State win the final three games of a four-game series. Lamar won two-of-three games in the first series back in 1967 to then-Lamar Tech. K-State and Cal-Santa Barbara have never met on the baseball diamond until this weekend in Beaumont.

Relief Efforts
Eight games into the 2007 season, K-State has seen its pitching staff put up gaudy numbers, especially the bullpen. The staff heads into the weekend with a 2.79 team ERA, which is third-best in the Big 12 Conference this week. More impressively, K-State’s relievers are 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA in 22.2 innings of work. In those 22.2 innings, pitchers have given up 16 hits and just two runs while striking out 20 batters. Opponents are hitting just .203 against all Wildcat relievers this season. Last weekend at the Buckeye Classic, the Wildcat bullpen was nearly perfect after tossing 10.1 shutout innings over the four-game stretch. In Tampa, the bullpen struck out 10 batters while walking just two and retired seven of the nine first batters they faced.

Saving The Day
K-State relievers have picked up six saves so far this season out of seven total wins and are a perfect 6-of-6 in those save opportunities. Daniel Edwards, who earned All-Tournament honors last weekend in Tampa with two saves, leads the team and is among the Big 12 leaders with three total this season. Sophomore Trevor Hurley has also picked up two saves, while Jason Linn closed out a close win in the season opener. Edwards has earned saves in all three appearances this season and has struck out six batters in his 4.2 innings of shutout work. Hurley has notched a hold and two saves in three appearances and also has yet to yield a run.

Start It Up
K-State continues to get solid pitching performances from its starters as six of the seven starters have gone six-plus innings in each of their starts this season. Brad Hutt is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA and has lasted 6.2 and 7.0 innings in his two starts, while Chase Bayuk has gone 6.0 in each of his two starts and Justin Murray 6.2 and 6.0 in his two. On the year, K-State starters are 4-1 with a 3.72 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched.

Defense, Defense
Kansas State has set new school records in fielding percentage in each of the last two seasons and this year’s squad is on track to make a run at a third. So far through eight games, the Wildcats are fielding at a .972 clip, which ranks third in the Big 12. The Cats have been strong up the middle as just three errors have been committed on 76 total chances at the shortstop and second base positions. Also, the Wildcats are 4-1 this season when committing one or no errors in a game.

Put It In Neutral
Neutral sites have been good to the Wildcats so far this season as Kansas State is a perfect 6-0 when playing on a neutral field this year. The Cats won twice against Penn State in Shreveport before sweeping four games against Seton Hall, Ohio State and James Madison at the Yankee Player Development Complex in Tampa.

Friday Night Lights
Junior right-hander Brad Hutt came up big on the mound as a sophomore and has continued that trend in 2007. Hutt, who was a two-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Week selection last season, tossed 6.2 shutout innings against Penn State in the opener, giving the Wildcats their first season-opening shutout since the 1998 season, and followed with seven strong innings in Tampa in a win over Seton Hall. Hutt, who was an All-Tournament selection in Tampa, is 2-0 this season and ranks second in the league in ERA at 1.32.

Bayuk Back For More
Junior left-hander Chase Bayuk came on strong at the end of the season as one of the Cats’ weekend starters and, after his first two starts of the 2007 season, is now 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA over his last eight starts. Bayuk has now only yielded five total runs in his last four starts and seven in his last five. In fact, Bayuk’s last loss on the mound came 10 starts ago when the Cats fell to Nebraska on April 2 of last year.

Justin Time
Sophomore pitcher Justin Murray had a solid freshman campaign as a long reliever during Big 12 play and so far this season has turned in two solid starting performances for the Cats. Last week against James Madison, Murray struck out a career-best seven batters against a potent James Madison lineup and also worked against a 30-mph wind blowing out. Murray scattered nine hits over 6.2 innings on the day and heads into this weekend’s action as the team leader in strikeouts with 12.

Lord Byron
Sophomore outfielder Byron Wiley has provided some power to the middle of the order and had a solid weekend in Florida last week. In four games at the Yankee Player Development Complex, Wiley hit .455 with two homers and five RBI while reaching base safely 12 times with six walks and one hit batsman. Wiley enters the week tops in the Big 12 in on-base percentage at .541, while ranking seventh in walks with nine and 12th in batting average at .370. Wiley’s two homers came in an 11-4 win over James Madison on 2/25.

Eli’s Coming
Senior Eli Rumler, one of two seniors on this year’s squad, made his 104th career start last weekend and is closing in on the record books in three more categories. Currently, Rumler is second in career hit-by-pitches with 24 and needs just two more to set the new school record. Defensively, Rumler ranks eighth in career assists with 310 and needs eight more to move into seventh. Rumler also has 12 career sacrifice bunts, which ranks eighth in school history. Rumler also had a nice weekend at the plate in Tampa after going 5-for-13 with four doubles and a homer en route to All-Tournament honors.

Great Scott, Batman
The second base position has been a production spot on the field for the Wildcats through eight games this season. After Brett Scott and Eddie Vasquez combined to go 7-for-13 (.538) in Shreveport during the opening weekend, Scott went 4-for-12 in Tampa, while Vasquez was 1-for-3. Scott and Vasquez each have six hits on the year and both have fielded at a perfect 1.00 clip this season on 42 total chances. Scott has driven in three runs and stolen two bases, while Vasquez has scored three times.

Playing Sega
Redshirt freshman catcher Daniel Dellasega earned his first career start two weeks ago in Shreveport and went 2-for-4 at the plate in a win over Penn State. Then, last weekend, Dellasega with 3-for-4 in his second career start in a win over Ohio State. On the season, Dellasega is 5-for-8 (.625) with one run scored in his two starts as the battery mate of lefty pitcher Chase Bayuk.

Young Faces, Key Roles
Kansas State, with 24 total underclassmen on its squad this season, has seen many of those newcomers make an immediate impact on the field. Six freshmen position players have seen action so far this season, while three freshmen pitchers have seen time on the mound. At the sophomore level, six position players have played key roles this season while four second-year pitchers have logged innings.

Youth Is Served
Kansas State fields one of the youngest teams in the Big 12 Conference this season, and with 34 players on the roster, 24 of those are underclassmen (13 freshmen and 11 sophomores). Nebraska and Baylor are the only two teams in the league that are comparable with 26 and 25, respectively. In terms of experience, the Wildcats boast two seniors, which are the fewest of any Big 12 team, and eight juniors to total 10 upperclassmen, which are the fewest in the Big 12 Conference.

Bulking Up
Kansas State has bulked up its non-conference schedule in 2007 as it prepares for tough three-game stretches in league play down the road. In fact, the Wildcats currently have the 48th-toughest schedule in the country according to Boyd’s World and heads into this weekend’s action with 16 games against teams that are ranked in this week’s Top 25.

Wildcat Baseball on the Tube
Kansas State will have three of its 2007 baseball games air regionally on television as both the Big 12 Conference and the Kansas State Athletic Department announced their baseball television packages. The Big 12 has announced its six-game league package with Fox Sports Net and the May 5 Wildcat game at Kansas was one of the selections. First pitch for the game is set for 3 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence with the entire Big 12 region gaining television access. K-State also announced two more home games, the March 31 tilt with Texas Tech and the April 3 game against Kansas, will be televised locally on Fox Sports Midwest. The game against Kansas, which is slated as a non-conference game, is set to begin at 7 p.m., while the Saturday game with the Red Raiders is set for a 2 p.m. first pitch at Tointon Stadium.