Notes: Wildcats Open Big 12 Play at OU

March 20, 2014

Series Notes - OklahomaGet Acrobat Reader

K-State Athletics

K-State (13-7, 0-0 Big 12) at No. 30 Oklahoma (16-6, 0-0 Big 12)
L. Dale Mitchell Park – Norman, Okla.


Friday, March 21 – 6 PM CT
RHP Levi MaVorhis (3-1, 2.70) vs. RHP Corey Copping (2-0, 3.63) 

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN

PBP: Brian Smoller

Saturday, March 22 – 1 PM CT
LHP Jared Moore (4-1, 3.68) vs. LHP Adam Choplick (2-1, 3.86) 

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN

PBP: Brian Smoller

Sunday, March 23 – 1 PM CT
TBA vs. RHP Jake Elliott (2-2, 2.87) 

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN

PBP: Brian Smoller

K-State kicks off its Big 12 title defense with its first Big 12 series of the 2014 season in Norman, Okla. from March 21-23. The Wildcats are riding a 12-game winning streak entering the series while the Sooners have won five of their last six games heading into the opening of Big 12 play for both programs.

K-State finished its nine-game homestand with a sweep of Air Force in a two-game midweek series at Tointon Family Stadium. The Wildcats overwhelmed the Falcons by a score of 17-2 in game one as nine different K-State hitters drove in a run. Tanner DeVinny led the way with four RBI, three of which were driven in on a bases-loaded triple, while Shane Conlon used a bases-clearing triple to register three RBI. K-State had 17 hits, including seven extra-base hits. In game two, K-State notched its third shutout in the last five games and beat Air Force, 4-0. K-State starting pitcher Colton Kalmus led the way for the Wildcat pitching staff as the right-hander did not allow a hit in 3 2/3 innings pitched in his first career start. Landon Busch threw 2 1/3 innings in relief of Kalmus, allowing one of the two Air Force hits in the entire game. Shane Conlon drove in the game’s first run in the third inning, but a pair of two-out RBI singles by the Wildcats added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings.

K-State is 74-186-1 all-time against Oklahoma, including a 15-36 mark against the Sooners in Big 12 action. In 2013, K-State won the regular season series against Oklahoma, 2-1, in Manhattan, but lost to Oklahoma, 7-6 in 11 innings, in the Big 12 Championships. The Wildcats are 24-93-1 against the Sooners in Norman. K-State has not won a series at Oklahoma since 1971. Since 2010, the overall series is tied at 8-8.

K-State enters the weekend series riding a 12-game winning streak, which is tied for the second-longest winning streak in program history. The first time K-State won 12 games in a row was in 1908. The current winning streak is the longest winning streak since the Wildcats won a program record 16 games from February 24-March 24, 2006. K-State’s current winning streak started on February 28 against Grand Canyon in Abilene, Texas.

Over the last 12 games, K-State is batting .359, averaging 12.2 hits per game and 10 runs per game while the pitching staff has held its opponents to a .212 batting average against and posted a 2.17 ERA. The Wildcat offense has also registered a .502 slugging percentage - with the benefit of 44 extra-base hits - and a .458 OBP - helped by 60 walks and 26 hit by pitches. In the first eight games of the season, K-State batted .214, had a .254 slugging percentage and posted a 5.56 ERA.

Wednesday’s shutout of Air Force gave K-State three shutouts in the last five games. The three shutouts this season are already the most in a campaign for the Wildcats since 2008 when they had four. All seven of the Wildcats’ shutouts since 2012 have been at home.

Mitch Meyer has helped power the K-State surge in the last six games. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week is batting .545 (12-for-22) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and 11 RBI in the last six games. He also has a .615 OBP and 1.000 slugging percentage over the stretch. Meyer, with 11 of his 18 RBI this season coming in the last half-dozen games, leads the Wildcats in RBI as well as extra-base hits.

Clayton Dalrymple has also provided some offensive stability for the Wildcats in the last six games. The sophomore outfielder is batting .450 (9-for-20) with five RBI, five stolen bases and seven runs scored. He has drawn four walks to help him post a .560 OBP over the stretch. Dalrymple enters Friday having reached base in a career-high eight straight games.

Shane Conlon leads the team with an active on-base streak of 19 games, which is also a career-high. The junior first baseman has a .437 OBP over the course of the on-base streak. He has 24 hits, seven walks and seven hit by pitches to help him string together the streak. It is the longest on-base streak by a Wildcat since Ross Kivett reached base safely in 21 straight games from March 3-30, 2013.

Leadoff hitter Ross Kivett has drawn a team-best 12 walks in the last 12 games and posted a .544 OBP over the same stretch. Kivett, who has reached base safely in 18 straight games, has 16 walks on the entire season, tied for fifth-best in the Big 12, and a .478 OBP, fifth-best in the conference. Kivett also has 18 hits in the last 12 games, which are tied for the team-best over the stretch.

Kivett also has a team-best seven stolen bases in the last 12 games, helping K-State total 31 steals since Feb. 28. Eleven Wildcats have at least one steal in the 12-game stretch, including five each from Shane Conlon, RJ Santigate and Clayton Dalrymple. Kivett and Santigate are tied for fifth in the Big 12 with seven stolen bases this season while Conlon and Dalrymple are tied for ninth in the conference with five steals each. K-State, which had seven stolen bases in its first eight games this season, is second among Big 12 teams with 38 stolen bases on the year.

The K-State pitching staff has been improved over the last 12 games, from the starters to the bullpen. Since Feb. 28, Wildcat starting pitchers have a combined 2.65 ERA and a perfect 10-0 record. The bullpen, meanwhile, has allowed five earned runs over the stretch, helping it boast a 1.23 ERA in its last 36.2 innings pitched. Opposing hitters are batting .177 against the K-State bullpen in the last 12 games.

Since March 15 (four games), the K-State bullpen has allowed five hits in 15.1 innings pitched, good for a .100 batting average against.