Baseball Faces Road Test at Arizona State

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State baseball team will take its 14-2 record on the road this week as it travels to No. 18 Arizona State for two games at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.

 

The Wildcats have won five games in a row and 11 out of their last 12 heading into Tuesday night’s 9 p.m. CT matchup with the Sun Devils. After Tuesday night’s tilt, the two teams will then wrap up the midweek series at 9 p.m. CT on Wednesday.

 

Kansas State is coming off a three-game series sweep of North Dakota State at home and has continued to get strong pitching performances up and down the entire pitching staff. Junior Brad Hutt improved to 4-0 on the season after a complete-game shutout on Friday, which saw him face just two batters over the minimum in the Cats’ 7-0 blanking of the Bison. Hutt has been one of the top arms in the Big 12 Conference this season, as he ranks third in the league in ERA (1.52) and second in wins.

 

The bullpen has continued to be a strong point for this team as the unit is now 7-1 with a 1.65 ERA in 54.2 innings pitched this season. K-State relievers are 7-for-7 this season in saves and opponents are hitting just .216 off the Wildcat bullpen. Individually, six relievers have accumulated ERA’s under 2.00 so far, led by closer Daniel Edwards’ 0.00 ERA in six appearances. The junior is 2-0 this season with four saves, which ranks him third in this week’s Big 12 statistical leaders.

 

Offensively, Kansas State has picked things up over the last 10 games as the Wildcats have hit .325 as a team over that span to raise the season mark to .301. Individually, Byron Wiley has been consistent in the middle of the order and is currently hitting a team-best .431 and has the Big 12 Conference’s top on-base percentage at .554.

 

Nate Tenbrink, who is currently riding a team-best six-game hit streak, has started to come on at the plate after going 9-for-16 (.563) in his last five games, but his RBI numbers are more impressive. Of Tenbrink’s 12 total RBI this season, 11 have come with two outs and eight of those have come in the last five games.

 

Arizona State enters Tuesday’s game with a 13-7 overall record and is coming off a weekend in which it dropped two-of-three games to Long Beach State at home. The Sun Devils continue to be one of the top offensive clubs in the nation as they enter the K-State series with a .361 team batting average and 21 home runs.

 

Individually, Arizona State has seven everyday players who are hitting .330 or better, led by Brett Wallace’s .444 mark. Wallace also holds the team lead in RBI with 25, while Matt Spencer (.421) is close behind with 23 runs driven in and leads the team with four homers.

 

On the mound, the Sun Devils have put up a 4.19 team ERA through 20 games and have been led by Josh Satow and Mike Leake, who each have four wins. Satow leads the team in strikeouts with 35 in 38.0 innings pitched.

 

The Wildcats are expected to send right-hander Justin Murray (1-1, 5.60) to the mound on Tuesday, while Wednesday’s pitcher has not been announced. There will be live stats available for both games at k-statesports.com, while there will not be any live radio for either game.

 

k-statesports.com