Notes: Wildcats Return to Road for Series at Texas Tech

April 11, 2014

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K-State Athletics

K-State (20-13, 2-4 Big 12) at Texas Tech (25-11, 5-7 Big 12)
Rip Griffin Park – Lubbock, Texas

Friday, April 11 – 6:30 PM CT
RHP Levi MaVorhis (4-3, 2.75) vs. RHP Dominic Moreno (1-5, 3.29)

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


Saturday, April 12 – 3 PM CT
LHP Jared Moore (5-2, 4.43) vs. TBA

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


Sunday, April 13 – 1 PM CT
RHP Nate Griep (3-1, 1.79) vs. LHP Chris Sadberry (3-1, 2.36)

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


After a pair of midweek games, K-State returns to Big 12 action for a three-game set at Texas Tech from Friday, April 11-Sunday, April 13. The conference series will be the third of the season for K-State, which has a 2-4 record in the Big 12. For Texas Tech, it will be its fifth Big 12 series as the Red Raiders are 5-7 against conference opponents. Texas Tech is 4-4 in its last eight games while the Wildcats are 5-4 in their last nine contests.

K-State won both of its midweek games this week, including a 3-2 win over Wichita State in Manhattan on Tuesday and a 10-6 victory at Nebraska on Wednesday. Against the Shockers, Jake Matthys threw a four-inning save for K-State as the offense relied upon its three runs scored through the first three innings. Matthys did not allow a run in his four innings while he struck out five and walked two. At Nebraska, K-State scored six runs in the second inning, its second time this season scoring six runs in a single inning against the Cornhuskers, to help power its four-run win. The Wildcats sent 12 batters to the plate in the second, and collected four hits, five walks and a hit by pitch to plate the six runs. Shane Conlon had three RBI in the game, including two in the last three innings on sacrifice flies to help provide important insurance runs for the Wildcats. Austin Fisher also had three RBI against Nebraska, including two with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Nebraska brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but Jake Whaley earned his first save by striking out the only batter he faced to end the game.

K-State is 25-28-1 all-time against Texas Tech, including 8-15-1 in Lubbock. The Wildcats have won four straight games against the Red Raiders, outscoring Texas Tech, 37-12, over the four-game stretch. K-State has won 10 of its last 11 meetings against Texas Tech, a stretch that started with a 10-6 win in Lubbock on April 3, 2010. In the last nine games in Lubbock, the Wildcats are 5-4 against Texas Tech. K-State head coach Brad Hill is 18-12-1 against Texas Tech in his career.

K-State is looking for its first Big 12 series win of the season. In 2013, K-State was 6-2 in conference series.

K-State enters the weekend boasting the Big 12’s top offense. The Wildcats are the only team in the conference batting above .300 (.301) as well as the only team with an OBP higher than .400 (.405). The Wildcats are 21st in the country with a .301 team batting average and 11th in the nation with a .405 OBP. K-State is also averaging 6.7 runs per game this season, the best average in the BIg 12 and 23rd best in NCAA Division I.

K-State has helped bring its team batting average and OBP above the .300 and .400 marks, respectively, by using a stretch of its last 18 games. Since March 14, the Wildcats are hitting .334 (211-for-631) with 42 extra-base hits, 140 runs scored (7.8 runs per game), and a .435 OBP.

Also in its last 18 games, K-State has drawn 91 walks and struck out 83 times. The Wildcats are third among Big 12 teams with 154 walks, and their 178 strikeouts are fourth-most in the Big 12. In its last game on Wednesday at Nebraska, K-State had nine walks, which was the third time in the last five games that the Wildcats had seven or more walks in a game.

K-State has been hit 33 times in its last 18 games, bringing its season total of hit by pitches to 58. In the last season and a half, K-State has been hit by a pitch 154 times. Last season’s 96 hit by pitches were the second-most in program history while this season’s 58 hit by pitches need three more to crack the program’s all-time top 10 for hit by pitches in a single season. The 10th-most hit by pitches by a K-State team in program history stands at 61 times, set in 2001. Three different Wildcats - Blair DeBord (37), Ross Kivett (29) and Shane Conlon (26) - are among the program’s top 10 in career hit by pitches. DeBord is tied for second in program history while Kivett and Conlon are tied for fifth and eighth, respectively.

K-State starting pitchers have turned in a combined 10 quality starts this season, including two last weekend against Kansas. Levi MaVorhis leads the team with four quality starts this year, and Nate Griep is second with three. In 2013, the Wildcats had 13 quality starts in 64 games. K-State starting pitchers have combined to post a 3.06 ERA and 17-7 record this season.

In six Big 12 games this season, K-State starting pitchers are 2-3 despite a 2.41 ERA (11er, 41.0ip). Conference opponents are hitting .271 against Wildcat starters.

Blair DeBord extended his hitting streak to a season-high seven games on Wednesday at Nebraska after he went 1-for-5. In his last seven games, the senior is batting .385 (10-for-26) with two doubles and four RBI. He is also the owner of a 14-game on-base streak, which is three games away from tying his career-high set last season. 

In his last three games, Ross Kivett is batting .500 (5-for-10) with two doubles, two RBI and three walks. In his three games prior to the recent stretch, Kivett went 1-for-16 with one walk. For the season, Kivett is among the Big 12’s top five in runs (33, 2nd), OBP (.459), hits (44, T-4th), stolen bases (10, T-4th) and doubles (10, 5th). 

K-State enters the Texas Tech series with six different players having driven in 20 or more runs this season: Tanner DeVinny, 26; Ross Kivett, 24; Mitch Meyer, 23; Austin Fisher, 21; Shane Conlon, 21; RJ Santigate, 20. The Wildcats are the only Big 12 team to have six different players with 20 or more RBI this season. K-State is tied with Texas Tech for the lead among Big 12 teams with 205 RBI this season.