Notes: Wildcats Travel to Omaha to Face Creighton

March 27, 2014

Series Notes - CreightonGet Acrobat Reader

K-State Athletics

K-State (15-9, 1-2 Big 12) at Creighton (11-7-1, 0-0 BIG EAST)
TD Ameritrade Park - Omaha, Neb.

Friday, March 28 - 6:30 PM CT
RHP Levi MaVorhis (3-2, 3.32) vs. RHP Matt Warren (4-0, 3.00)

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN
PBP: Matt Walters

Saturday, March 29 - 2 PM CT
LHP Jared Moore (4-1, 3.44) vs. RHP Austin Groth (1-1, 3.15) 

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN
PBP: Matt Walters

Sunday, March 30 - 1 PM CT
RHP Nate Griep (2-0, 1.42) vs. TBA

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN
PBP: Matt Walters

K-State hits the road for the first three games of a four-game road swing to the Omaha, Nebraska area. The Wildcats will square off against Creighton in a three-game series from March 28-30 at TD Ameritrade Park in Downtown Omaha. K-State has won two straight games and 14 of its last 16 contests going into the series while Creighton dropped its last game, 11-0, against Kansas on March 26.

K-State broke out for nine runs in the first three innings of its 12-6 win over Nebraska at Tointon Family Stadium on March 26. Led by Ross Kivett, who hit for the cycle, K-State totaled 16 hits in the win, half of which were recorded by the first three batters of the lineup (Kivett, Shane Conlon and Austin Fisher). Kivett quickly tied the game in the bottom of  the first with a leadoff home run before the Wildcats poured on six runs in the second. Back-to-back triples by Kivett and Conlon helped score the first three runs of the second before an RBI single from Fisher and a two-run single by Blair DeBord made it 7-1 K-State. DeBord had two hits in the inning, giving him a season-high three in the game. K-State starting pitcher Colton Kalmus earned the win after allowing two runs, one earned, in five innings pitched. Nebraska's starting pitcher Ben Miller took the loss. The left-hander surrendered six runs on six hits in 1 1/3 innings.

K-State leads the all-time series against Creighton, 47-37-1. The Wildcats won the last meeting, 6-3, on April 30, 2013 in Omaha. Creighton, however, has won three of the last four meetings as the Bluejays won three straight between April 1, 2009 and April 12, 2011. Under head coach Brad Hill, K-State is 5-7 against Creighton, including 2-4 in Omaha. K-State has not won back-to-back meetings against Creighton since March 28, 2001-February 18, 2003 (4 games).

On March 26, senior Ross Kivett became the first Wildcat to hit for the cycle in nearly 17 years. The centerfielder joined Heath Schesser (April 30, 1997) and Craig Wilson (February 29, 1992) as the only three Wildcats to hit for the cycle since 1992. Kivett hit a home run in the first, a triple in the second, a double in the third and a single in the sixth to finish the night 4-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored. Both Kivett and Schesser hit for the cycle in reverse order, going home run, triple, double, and single. Kivett is the 15th player in Big 12 history to hit for the cycle.

With Wednesday's four hits, Ross Kivett moved up several of K-State's career lists. The senior enters the Creighton series with 239 career hits, placing him in a tie for seventh in program history with Adam Muenster (2007-10). His triple in the second inning gives him 11 career triples, good for a four-way tie for seventh in program history. His sixth-inning single was his 188th career single, placing him a tie for first all-time in K-State history with Craig Wilson. In addition to hits, singles, and triples, Kivett ranks in K-State's top career lists for games, games started, at-bats, stolen bases and hit by pitch.

Wednesday's cycle also helped Kivett extend his on-base streak to a team-best 22 games. The 22-game on-base streak is also a career-high. It is the longest such streak by a Wildcat since Jared King reached base in 22 consecutive games in 2012. This marks the third time in Kivett's career he has put together a 20-or-more-game on-base streak. Kivett has a .495 OBP over his last 22 games, including reaching base seven times in his last 10 plate appearances.

RJ Santigate is also in the midst of a double-digit game on-base streak. The senior third baseman has reached base safely in 16 straight games, matching his career-high set in 2013. In his last 16 games, Santigate has a .435 OBP to go along with his .390 batting average, 13 RBI, six walks, and five stolen bases.

Benefitted by Ross Kivett and RJ Santigate's on-base streaks, K-State is tops in the Big 12 with a team OBP of .408. The next closest Big 12 team to K-State in OBP is Kansas with a .387 clip. Four players, Shane Conlon, Austin Fisher, Santigate and Kivett, have played in all 24 K-State games and each have posted an OBP of .400 or higher. Kivett leads the team with a .482 OBP while Fisher is second with a .459 clip. Conlon (.411) and Santigate (.408) are third and fourth, respectively. Entering the week, K-State was 14th in the country with a .404 OBP.

K-State is also second among Big 12 teams with a .305 team batting average, trailing Kansas' .306 hitting clip. The Wildcats have 243 hits this season, including 120 in the last nine games (13.3 hits per game). The Wildcats have double-digit hits in seven of their last nine contests and 13 total double-digit hit games this season. Through 24 games this season, K-State is averaging 10.1 hits per contest.

Shane Conlon had his team-best 11th multi-hit game on Wednesday vs. Nebraska, as he went 2-for-5. Conlon has six multi-hit efforts in the last nine contests.

K-State did not score first on Wednesday at home against Nebraska, but it did score in the first inning. In the last 16 games, K-State has scored first 14 times and plated runs in the first inning 12 times. In its last 16 games, K-State is 14-2. For the season, K-State has scored first against its opponent 18 times in 24 games while also scoring runs in the first inning 15 times in 24 games. The Wildcats are 12-6 this season when they score first.

K-State starting pitchers have allowed one earned run in the last three games and have recorded a 1.86 ERA (11er, 53.0ip) in the last nine contests. For the season, Wildcat starting pitchers have a 2.97 ERA and .257 batting average against. The group of six different pitchers has also combined to average 1.7 walks per nine innings this season.