Notes: K-State Wraps Up Homestand vs. Air Force

March 17, 2014

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K-State Athletics

Air Force (4-13, 1-5 MWC) vs. K-State (11-7, 0-0 Big 12)
Tointon Family Stadium – Manhattan, Kan.

Tuesday, March 18 – 6:30 PM CT
LHP Trevor Monaghan (0-1, 9.82) vs. RHP Nate Griep (0-0, 1.59)

Watch it on:
FOX Sports Midwest
PBP: Brian Smoller
Analyst: Mike Clark

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN
PBP: Matt Walters, John Kurtz

Wednesday, March 19 – 3 PM CT
RHP Steven Trojan (1-3, 5.54) vs. RHP Colton Kalmus (0-1, 9.95)

Watch it on:
FOX College Sports
PBP: Brian Smoller
Analyst: Mike Clark

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN
PBP: Matt Walters, John Kurtz


K-State completes its nine-game homestand with a two-game midweek series against Air Force of the Mountain West Conference. The Wildcats enter the pair of games on a 10-game winning streak while Air Force has lost seven straight games, including being swept by Omaha in a three-game set last weekend.

K-State swept its second straight weekend series by beating Northern Colorado three times from March 14-16. The Wildcats outscored the Bears, 45-3, over the course of the series, including 35-3 in a doubleheader on Saturday. On Friday, Levi MaVorhis pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out eight - to match his career-high - while not issuing any walks with his 85 pitches, to help lead K-State to a 10-0 win. On Saturday, K-State’s offense used 20 hits and 33 total baserunners to beat Northern Colorado, 24-3, in game one. Ross Kivett led K-State with four hits while Mitch Meyer had a game-high four RBI. In game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Wildcats shut out Northern Colorado for the second time in an 11-0 victory. K-State starting pitcher Landon Busch led the way by holding Northern Colorado to three hits in five innings pitched while the Wildcat bullpen surrendered one hit in four combined innings. K-State had 16 hits as eight of the nine starting position players each had at least one base hit, led by three apiece from RJ Santigate and Mitch Meyer.

K-State is 11-3 all-time against Air Force, but the two programs have not met since 1999. The Wildcats beat the Falcons, 9-1, in the last meeting on February 21, 1999 in Manhattan. K-State won the first seven meetings in the all-time series. Of the 14 matchups in the series, 13 took place from 1996-1999. K-State was 10-3 over that four-year stretch.

K-State enters Tuesday with a 10-game winning streak, its longest winning streak since setting the program record of 16 consecutive wins from February 24-March 24, 2006. The 10-game winning streak is tied for the fourth-longest winning streak ever in program history and is only the fifth time since 1906 that the Wildcats have won 10 or more games in a row.

K-State has won seven straight home games this season, its longest home winning streak in a single season since a 13-home game winning streak set from March 20-April 27, 2013. It also marks the first time K-State has started its home schedule with seven consecutive wins since 2009, when the Wildcats went 12-0 to start its home slate of games.

With the addition of this year’s seven home wins, K-State has won 18 straight games against nonconference opponents at Tointon Family Stadium. It is the longest winning streak against nonconference teams at home since the Wildcats won 24 consecutive games from April 23, 2008-March 14, 2010. The current 18-game winning streak started on March 20, 2013 vs. Minnesota (4-3).

K-State has shaken off its 1-7 start to this season and will enter the Air Force series with an 11-7 record. In 2013, K-State also had an 11-7 record in its first 18 games before it finished the season winning 34 of its final 46 games. In both 2011 and 2012, the Wildcats were 12-6 in their first 18 games.

K-State scored 45 runs and allowed three runs in the three-game series against Northern Colorado. The 45 runs were the most scored by the Wildcats in a three-game series since March 4-6, 2005 against St. Francis when they plated 51 runs. It took until the 10th game this season before K-State had tallied its 45th run on the year. K-State averaged 3.5 runs in its first eight games this season, but in the last 10 games, the Wildcats are averaging  9.9 runs per game - nearly three times its early season average. K-State’s 127 runs for the entire season are fourth-most in the Big 12.

K-State is coming off a four-game stretch last week that it batted .401, reached base at a .492 clip and slugged .556 as a team - all bests in the Big 12. K-State’s 51 runs last week were 20 more than the next closest Big 12 team (Oklahoma State, 31). Meanwhile, the Wildcat pitching staff posted the best team ERA of any Big 12 team for last week, 1.25.

In last week’s four games, junior Mitch Meyer paced K-State with a .538 batting average (7-for-13), two home runs and nine RBI, en route to being named Big 12 Player of the Week. In his current five-game hitting streak, Meyer is batting .563 (9-for-16) with two doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI and three walks. He also has a .619 OBP in his last five games.

In addition to Mitch Meyer, six other Wildcats batted .364 or higher in last week’s four games (min. 2.5 AB/team game). Clayton Dalrymple (.462) had the second-highest average, followed by Ross Kivett (.444), Austin Fisher (.438), Shane Conlon (.385), RJ Santigate (.385) and Tanner DeVinny (.364). 

The K-State starting pitching corps is 8-0 with a 2.73 ERA during the Wildcats’ current 10-game winning streak. The group of four pitchers, Levi MaVorhis, Jared Moore, Landon Busch and Nate Griep, have combined for 46 strikeouts and nine walks in 62 2/3 innings pitched. MaVorhis and Busch have also turned in complete games.

K-State shut out Northern Colorado twice in last weekend’s three-game series. It was the first time the Wildcats have blanked an opponent twice in a series since 2006 when they shut out North Dakota State 11-0 and 9-0 on March 17 and 18, respectively. With two shutouts this season, it marks the fifth straight season that K-State has posted two shutouts in a campaign. The last time the Wildcats had more than two shutouts in a season was 2008 (5).