Wildcats Continue Homestand with Long Island
Wildcats Continue Homestand with Long Island
March 10, 2011
Friday, March 11 - Sunday, March 13
Manhattan, Kan. /// Tointon Family Stadium (2,331)
K-STATE: Brad Hill
Alma Mater: Emporia State, 1984
Career Record: 657-261-3 (17th season)
Record at K-State: 239-170-3 (8th season)
LONG ISLAND: Don Maines
Alma Mater: East Stroudsburg, 1982
Record at LIU: 72-185-1 (6th season)
K-State All-Access (All four games)
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Coming off a four-game sweep last weekend over Western Illinois, Kansas State will try to continue its winning ways as the Wildcats host Long Island in a four-game series, Friday-Sunday, March 11-13, at Tointon Family Stadium. The series begins on Friday with a 3 p.m., first pitch before a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. The two teams will be back in action again on Sunday with another 12 p.m., first pitch to conclude the series.
A live webcast of the entire four-game set is available through K-State's multimedia channel, K-State All-Access at www.k-statesports.com, while free live audio of all four games is also available at www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com. Listeners in the Manhattan area can hear the games on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN throughout the weekend. Friday's contest will be joined-in-progress following the conclusion of the women's basketball Big 12 Championship game against Baylor. Parts or the entirety of the Saturday doubleheader will be broadcast on the station depending on the play of both the men's and women's basketball teams in the championship, while all of Sunday's contest can be heard on KMAN.
A Family 4-Pack special on Friday kicks off the weekend promotions at Tointon Family Stadium as fans can purchase four general admission chairback tickets that includes four vouchers for a hot dog and drink. Saturday is Team Day as youth teams from the area can submit their rosters to the K-State Athletics Fan Experience/Sales office to grant their team free admission into the doubleheader. Following the contest on Sunday, kids will have the chance to run the bases.
K-State enters the weekend series against LIU with a 9-2 record, the same mark it held through 11 games each of the past two seasons. Last Friday, Kansas State scored four times in the sixth inning and held off a late Western Illinois rally to win a 6-4 contest in front of a record home-opening crowd of 3,192. Junior starting pitcher Kyle Hunter picked up his first win of the season after allowing one earned run on seven hits with a career-high eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.
Saturday saw a similar game when K-State starter Matt Applegate pitched seven scoreless innings with four strikeouts and the top five hitters in the Wildcat lineup recorded one hit apiece en route to a 4-1 win.
Due to more favorable conditions on Sunday, the Wildcats and Leathernecks saved their doubleheader until the final day of the series instead of Saturday as originally scheduled, and K-State was able to sweep the twin-bill in two different fashions. The first game saw the Wildcats send 13 men to the plate in a nine-run third inning, while the K-State offense pounded out a season-high 15 hits on their way to a 14-7 win. Starting pitcher Justin Lindsey matched the efforts of Hunter and Applegate as he tossed five scoreless frames with three strikeouts.
Despite being down 3-0 in the series, the Leathernecks came out fighting in the final game, holding a 6-2 lead after a five-run fourth. But the Cats came back to tie the contest at six by pushing across two runs in the ninth. In the meantime, K-State closer James Allen threw five perfect frames with 10 strikeouts until Nick Martini delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 13th to complete the 7-6 come-from-behind victory.
DID YOU KNOW
• The Kansas State pitching staff held a 3.38 ERA and a .236 opponent batting average against Western Illinois last weekend. But among pitchers not making their first appearance of the year, the staff held a 2.07 ERA and a .214 opponent average.
• Prior to the 2009 season, Kansas State was 63 games under .500 in program history. After going 89-42-1 over the past two-plus seasons, the Wildcats are now 16 games under .500 all-time.
• If the Wildcats were to sweep Long Island this weekend, they will be on an eight-game winning streak, their longest since a nine-game winning streak in 2009.
• K-State has the third-most drafted players on its roster in the Big 12 with eight, behind only Texas (16) and Oklahoma St. (12).
• Nick Martini's 71-game streak of reaching base safely is the longest active streak in the nation. The streak has continued on a hit 63 times, while the junior has a .503 on-base percentage during the streak.
• Since his transition back to the bullpen last season, Evan Marshall has a 2.55 ERA and a .198 opponent batting average. He has also averaged 6.1 strikeouts per nine innings as opposed to 2.0 walks.
• James Allen already has three saves this season after nine a year ago. With 17 career saves, the junior ranks in the top 10 nationally and is third in K-State history.
• With 10 strikeouts last Sunday against Western Illinois, James Allen became the first Wildcat pitcher since 1986 to collect 10 or more punch outs in a relief appearance.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
With the four-game sweep over Western Illinois last week, Kansas State is off to another great start inside the friendly confines of Tointon Family Stadium. The Wildcats clinched their fifth home-opening victory in the last six seasons last Friday and has now started 4-0 at home for the second-straight season.
The success at home has carried over from the past few years as K-State has won at least 20 home games in four of the last six seasons, while it holds a 49-13 (.790) record over the past two-plus years. K-State's home record is even more impressive in non-conference games as the Cats are 33-2 (.943) since 2009, including a perfect 18-0 mark two years ago.
K-State's play against non-conference opponents over the past two seasons has fueled the Wildcats to quick starts. After going 9-2 in the first seven games of 2011, Kansas State is 169-56 (.751) in non-conference games under head coach Brad Hill, including a 61-19 (.763) mark since 2009.
In regular season non-conference games, the Cats have been even tougher as they are 161-45 (.782) over the past seven-plus years and a combined 55-12 (.821) over the past two-plus seasons.
LONG ISLAND AT A GLANCE
Long Island enters the weekend matchup against Kansas State with a 3-4 record after earning a three-game sweep at Maryland-Eastern Shore last weekend. The Blackbirds routed UMES last Friday by the tune of 13-3 before taking both games of a doubleheader by counts of 6-5 and 12-7.
LIU is led offensively by junior catcher Tyler Jones, who is hitting 12-for-24 with a pair of doubles, one triple and 11 RBI through seven games. Behind him at .389 (7-for-18) is freshman outfielder Pete Leonello, who also has two doubles and one triple. Juniors Julian Castro and Derek Stupski, along with freshman Diego Perez have one home run apiece.
Long Island is scheduled to start two left-handers and two right-handers in the four games against the Wildcats as Matt McCormick will start on Friday, Adam Sauter and Justin Topa will start the doubleheader games on Saturday before Brad Reimer gets the nod on Sunday.
McCormick, a left-hander, has no record and a 22.50 ERA, having allowed five runs on four hits in two total innings over three outings, including one start. Sauter, another left-hander, is 1-1 on the year with a 3.29 ERA after surrendering one earned run on seven hits in a win last weekend at UMES. Topa, who is also 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA, followed Sauter's lead against the Hawks as the righty also grabbed the win after a strong seven innings of work.
Reimer, who is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA, took a no decision last week at Maryland-Eastern Shore in a game the Blackbirds eventually won.
THE LONG ISLAND SERIES
Prior to this weekend's four-game series, Kansas State and Long Island have met just one other time on the diamond. K-State took the only matchup between the two schools nearly 20 years ago by a score of 15-5, on March 12, 1992, in Gainesville, Fla. Wildcat All-American Craig Wilson was 3-for-4 with four RBI in that contest, while Scott McFall was 4-for-5 with three runs scored.
The Wildcats will also look to remain undefeated against teams from the Northeast Conference this weekend as they currently hold 1-0 records against Long Island, Central Connecticut State and Wagner, and are 4-0 against Saint Francis, which eliminated its baseball program in 2006.
TOP THREE STARTERS ON FIRE
Kansas State's top three starting pitchers - Kyle Hunter, Matt Applegate and Justin Lindsey - registered three straight quality outings last weekend against Western Illinois. The trio combined for a 3-0 record and a 0.89 ERA against the Leathernecks, surrendering just two earned runs in a combined 20.1 innings of work. They also struck out 15 batters as opposed to five walks and held WIU to a .203 batting average.
The success of Hunter, Applegate and Lindsey last weekend is a continuation from their hot starts to begin the year. In a combined eight outings, the three starters hold a 5-1 record and a 2.54 ERA, while limiting opponents to a .241 average. The numbers are even more impressive when you take out Applegate's start against a hot-hitting Western Kentucky team as the trio is 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA and a .220 opponent batting average.
RELIEVERS RISE TO THE OCCASION
The core of Kansas State's bullpen - Evan Marshall, Kayvon Bahramzadeh and James Allen - has been equally impressive as the Wildcat starters. The three relievers, which has a combined 13 appearances, has teamed to go 4-0 with a 2.22 ERA and four saves, while they have a 33-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio and have limited opponents to a .170 average.
The effectiveness of Marshall, Bahramzadeh and Allen is even better if you take out the contest against California, which scored 29 runs on 39 hits in its three games at the Baseball at the Beach tournament. Outside of the game against Cal, the trio holds a 1.40 ERA and a .137 opponent batting average.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
Kansas State had one of its better weekends on the base paths against Western Illinois as the Wildcats were a perfect 15-of-15 in stolen base attempts and were only picked off twice after nine in the first seven games. The 15 steals by K-State were the most in any series or tournament in two years. In 2009, K-State stole 16 bases in 18 attempts in three games at Houston before going 22-for-25 and 20-for-24 in four-game series against Niagara and Butler, respectively.
Jason King, the Wildcats' 6-0, 213-pound third baseman, led the charge with five steals, while Jared King, Nick Martini and Matt Giller recorded two apiece.
The last time K-State was perfect in at least 10 stolen base attempts in a series was last year against Chicago State when the Cats were 11-for-11.