Baseball Hosts Central Michigan

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State baseball team wraps up a stretch of playing 13 games in 17 days this weekend as Central Michigan visits Tointon Stadium for a three-game series beginning Friday at 3 p.m. First pitch for Saturday’s game is set for 2 p.m., while Sunday’s finale has been moved up to an 11 a.m. start.

 

The Wildcats (14-4) are coming off back-to-back losses for the first time this season after suffering 9-6 and 6-2 setbacks at No. 18 Arizona State on Tuesday and Wednesday. K-State returns to the friendly confines of Tointon Stadium this weekend where it is a perfect 5-0 this season after sweeping BYU and North Dakota State last week in a combined five games.

 

Kansas State has been a strong team on the mound this season as the Cats head into the weekend fifth in the league in ERA at 3.24. Starters Brad Hutt (4-0) and Chase Bayuk are currently among the Big 12 leaders in ERA, wins and opponent batting average, while Hutt is coming off an impressive complete-game shutout of North Dakota State last weekend in which he faced two batters over the minimum. Hutt currently ranks third in the league in ERA at 1.52, and is tied for third in the league with four wins while Bayuk is fourth in ERA at 1.71.

 

The Wildcat bullpen has also been a bright spot this season as relievers are entering the Central Michigan series with a 7-2 record and a 2.47 ERA in 62.0 innings pitched. Daniel Edwards (four saves, 0.00 ERA), Todd Vogel (0.77 ERA), A.J. Morris (1.69 ERA) and Trevor Hurley (1.86 ERA) have all been solid in relief this season for the Wildcats.

 

Offensively, Kansas State enters the weekend with a .294 team batting average which ranks sixth in the league this week. The Cats have been led so far this season by sophomore Byron Wiley, who enters the weekend series with Central Michigan ranked sixth in the league in hitting at .422, sixth in walks with 15 and first in on-base percentage with a .549 mark. Wiley also is currently riding a team-best seven-game hitting streak. Senior Eli Rumler also enters the weekend ranked 15th in the league in hitting at .361.

 

Central Michigan (7-7) will close out a season-opening 17-game road trip this weekend in Manhattan as the Chippewas have played .500 baseball so far but have dropped several close contests. CMU has been solid on the mound this season and enters the weekend series with a 3.82 team ERA. Josh Collmenter, who is expected to get the starting nod on Friday, has been solid so far, going 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA with 27 strikeouts and just six walks in 27.2 innings this season.

 

Offensively, Central Michigan has been led by Tyler Stovall, who is hitting a blistering .500 (20-for-40) on the season with one homer and 12 RBI.

 

The two teams have only met twice on the diamond entering the weekend with each team winning once at a neutral site in 1996. K-State won the first meeting, 7-5, while Central Michigan bounced back for a 10-3 win a few days later in Jacksonville, Fla.

 

The Wildcats are expected to send Hutt to the mound on Friday, opposite right-hander Josh Collmenter. Live stats of all three games will be available at k-statesports.com, while the games will also be broadcast live on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at k-statesports.com.

 

 

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