Notes: Cats Look to Bounce Back with Midweeks

April 7, 2014

Midweek Notes - WSU, NUGet Acrobat Reader

K-State Athletics

K-State (18-13, 2-4 Big 12) vs. Wichita State (16-14, 2-4 MVC)
Tointon Family Stadium – Manhattan, Kan.

Tuesday, April 8 – 6:30 PM CT
RHP Colton Kalmus (2-1, 4.24) vs. LHP Drew Palmer (0-1, 2.45)

Watch it on:
Cox Kansas 22, Time Warner Cable Sports Channel (Kansas City)
PBP: Brian Smoller
Analyst: Mike Clark
*Game is also available to stream on K-StateHD.TV outside the state of Kansas

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

$1 Concessions (popcorn, pretzels and Kit Kat candy)


K-State (18-13, 2-4 Big 12) at Nebraska (19-13, 4-2 Big Ten)
Hawks Field – Lincoln, Neb. 

Wednesday, April 9 – 5 pm CT
LHP Landon Busch (2-1, 4.18) vs. LHP Kyle Kubat (2-1, 5.25)

Hear it on:
News Radio 1350 KMAN
PBP: Matt Walters, Brian Smoller

After a series loss against KU at Tointon Family Stadium over the weekend, K-State welcomes another in-state rival to Manhattan as it faces Wichita State in the first of two midweek games for the Wildcats this week. The contest against Wichita State, the first of two meetings between the two programs this season, is set for a 6:30 pm first pitch on Tuesday, April 8. On Wednesday, April 9, K-State travels to Lincoln, Neb. to face Nebraska for the second of three games against the Cornhuskers this season. K-State beat Nebraska at home earlier this year, 12-6. First pitch for the April 9 game is at 5 pm at Hawks Field.

K-State dropped its first season series to KU since 2006 when the Wildcats fell in the final two games of the three-game set at Tointon Family Stadium. The Wildcats beat the Jayhawks, 10-0, in the series opener on Friday, backed by Levi MaVorhis’ three-hit shutout. The shutout was K-State’s largest against KU since April 11, 1969. On Saturday, K-State scored two runs in the eighth inning, but KU’s 6-1 advantage through seven innings was too much for the Wildcats in a 6-3 loss. In the series finale, Nate Griep allowed two runs in eight-plus innings, but K-State went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and was held to one run by KU’s Frank Duncan in a complete-game effort to lose, 2-1.

K-State is 34-51 all-time against Wichita State, with the Wildcats winning the last three meetings - all in 2013. K-State has won nine of the last 12 matchups against Wichita State, a stretch that started with a 3-2 victory over the Shockers on April 29, 2008. K-State head coach Brad Hill has a career record of 13-8 against Wichita State. From 1978-2004, K-State went 8-43 in the all-time series. Since 2005, K-State is 13-6. The Wildcats have won five of the last six matchups in Manhattan. 

K-State is 107-166 all-time against Nebraska. With the addition of the 12-6 win over the Cornhuskers on March 26 earlier this year, the Wildcats have won four straight against Nebraska. In each of K-State’s last four wins against Nebraska, it has scored nine or more runs and is outscoring the Cornhuskers, 44-25. The Wildcats are 39-87 against Nebraska in Lincoln as they have lost four of the last six meetings at Hawks Field. K-State head coach Brad Hill is 15-19 against Nebraska in his career.

Freshman Tanner DeVinny was named the Big 12’s Co-Newcomer of the Week for the period ending April 6, sharing the honor with Oklahoma’s Sheldon Neuse. DeVinny, a native of Lucas, Texas, hit .600 (6-for-10) in three games last week, adding in two walks, two doubles, a home run and three RBI. He led all Big 12 freshmen and was second among all conference players in batting average and OBP (.714) while he paced the Big 12 in slugging percentage (1.100). This marks the fourth straight week and fifth time in the last six weeks that K-State has garnered a Big 12 weekly award. DeVinny and Nate Griep (March 24) have been named Newcomer of the Week this season.

Tanner DeVinny enters the week in the midst of a 15-game hitting streak, which is the freshman’s career-high and the longest by a Wildcat this season. It is the longest hitting streak since Austin Fisher had a hit in 18 straight games from April 13-May 17, 2013. During the 15-game hitting streak, DeVinny is batting .415 (22-for-53) with four doubles, a triple, a home run and 21 RBI. DeVinny enters this week currrently tied with Fisher for the best batting average on the team this season (.350). His batting average is also sixth-best among Big 12 players while his team-high 29 RBI are tied for fifth-best in the conference.

DeVinny also owns a 16-game on-base streak, the fourth-longest by a Wildcat this season. Since March 9, DeVinny has a .522 OBP, with the help of nine walks and five hit by pitches. DeVinny’s .455 OBP this season is the best on K-State entering Tuesday against Wichita State.

K-State starting pitchers threw 22 2/3 out of the possible 27 innings over the weekend against KU, led by a complete game from Levi MaVorhis on Friday and eight-plus innings by Nate Griep on Sunday. For the entire season, K-State starting pitchers have thrown 171 1/3 of the Wildcats’ 271 innings (78%). K-State starting pitchers have also combined for a 2.99 ERA, including a 2.19 ERA (6er, 24.2ip) in the last four games. K-State’s four complete games this season are its most in a single year since 2009 when it had six (five by A.J. Morris). 

Blair DeBord had four hits in the three games over the weekend against KU, helping him extend his hitting streak to a season-high five games. DeBord has a hit in seven of his last eight games, a stretch that started on March 26 against Nebraska when he had a season-high three hits. In his last eight games, DeBord is hitting .419 (13-for-31) with three doubles, seven RBI and a .500 OBP. In his career against Wichita State and Nebraska, DeBord is batting a combined .390 (23-for-59). 

K-State owns the best team batting average (.300) and OBP (.403) among Big 12 teams this season. Two Wildcats (Tanner DeVinny, Austin Fisher) are among the conference’s top 10 in batting average while three (DeVinny, Fisher and Ross Kivett) are in the top 10 for OBP.

Last weekend’s series against KU was the highest attended series in Tointon Family Stadium history as the three games combined for 10,490 fans. Saturday’s game drew 3,847, which is the fifth-highest single-game attendance in the stadium’s history. The largest crowd in Tointon Family Stadium history is 4,745 set on March 30, 2010 vs. Wichita State. The three games during this year’s KU series rank among the stadium’s top-12 in highest attendance, with Sunday’s falling in at No. 9 (3,470) and Friday’s at No. 12 (3,173). K-State has averaged 2,840 fans in 12 home dates this season, which is the 18th-highest attendance in Division I and third-highest among Big 12 schools (Texas #7, TCU #13).