Cats Begin Brief Homestand with Missouri State
Cats Begin Brief Homestand with Missouri State
April 18, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Manhattan, Kan. /// Tointoin Family Stadium (2,331)
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State will play its fourth game in as many days Tuesday as the Wildcats host Missouri State in a 6 p.m., contest at Tointon Family Stadium. The game represents the first time the two teams will meet since 2006, while it is the Bears’ first trip to Manhattan since 1992. The game can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN with Brian Smoller and Matt Walters on the call. Free live audio is also available online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com, while a live webcast can be seen on Kansas State’s multimedia channel K-State All-Access at www.k-statesports.com.
The Missouri State game is K-State’s third contest against a Missouri Valley Conference foe over the past two weeks as the Wildcats split two midweek games last week, losing at Creighton last Tuesday, 7-6, before coming home to defeat Wichita State the next evening by a final count of 5-2.
The Wildcats will be looking to rebound after dropping a Big 12 series at Nebraska last weekend. Nebraska scored single runs in three separate innings and its bullpen threw three shutout frames for a 3-2 in the series opener on Saturday afternoon. Kansas State was able to come back on Sunday to even the series with a 3-2 victory of its own. Freshman outfielder Jared King broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the eighth with a solo home run - his second of the season - over the wall in right field. Closer James Allen threw 2.2 shutout innings with two strikeouts to earn his first win since March 6. The victory was also the 250th in head coach Brad Hill’s tenure in Manhattan.
The rubber match saw Nebraska hold a 4-2 lead through seven innings, but the Wildcats scored once in the eighth inning on a RBI single by Nick Martini and tied the game in the ninth on a two-out infield single by Tanner Witt. But Nebraska also received an infield single plus a walk to begin the bottom half before a one-out walk-off single to win, 5-4.
Martini leads the K-State offense with a .320 batting average, while he also paces the squad with 12 stolen bases. The junior saw his NCAA record streak of consecutive games reaching base safely end on Sunday at 93, but he has still reached base safely (by virtue of a hit, walk or hit-by-pitch) in 144 of his 155 games. The day after the streak came to an end, Martini went 2-for-4 with three RBI, including two on his first home run of the season. Freshman infielder/designated hitter Ross Kivett is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, which marks the third-straight season the Cats have a freshman with a hitting streak of eight or more games after Martini and Blair DeBord had nine-game streaks in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
The Wildcats are expected to start junior right-hander Justin Lindsey on Tuesday. The junior holds a 3-1 record and a 3.80 ERA, allowing nine earned runs on 17 hits with 11 walks and 14 strikeouts in seven appearance, including six starts, which spans 21.1 innings. His last start was at Creighton when he was in line for the win after allowing two runs on four hits in five innings. The Bluejays eventually came back to win the game on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth.
DID YOU KNOW
• Kansas State’s Sunday victory over Nebraska was the 250th for head coach Brad Hill during his tenure in Manhattan. He is just the second coach in school history to hit the 250-win plateau after Mike Clark tallied 435 victories from 1987-2003.
• Tuesday’s contest is the fourth-straight day Kansas State will play a game. It is the first time since 2003 (at Baylor and vs. Wichita State, 5/3-6) the Cats will play more than three-straight days after beginning conference action.
• The Wildcats have 262 strikeouts this year and are on pace for 419, which would rank third in school history.
• K-State has the third-most drafted players on its roster in the Big 12 with eight, behind only Texas (16) and Oklahoma St. (12).
• Jason and Jared King is the only set of brothers nationally to homer in the same game this season as they hit a solo- and two-run home run, respectively, in a win over No. 5 Texas A&M on April 3.
• Nick Martini’s streak of consecutive games reaching base came to an end on Sunday at 93. He recorded a hit in 76 of the games during the streak, while the junior held a .493 on-base percentage and a .387 batting average during that span.
• James Allen set a new career high with 10 saves this season. With 24 career saves, the junior is just two away from tying both the school’s single-season (12; 2008) and career (26; 2005-08) marks held by Daniel Edwards.
• Freshman infielder Ross Kivett is currently riding a team-high eight-game hitting streak. During that span, Kivett is hitting .417 (10-for-24) with a RBI, a walk, a hit-by-pitch and three runs scored.
MISSOURI STATE AT A GLANCE
Missouri State is coming off a series win last weekend at Southern Illinois. The Bears won the first game of the series, 11-4, and split a doubleheader on Sunday, dropping game one, 11-1 in seven innings before taking the series with a 5-4 victory in the second game. Senior outfielder Aaron Conway leads the Bears offensively with a .389 average, while he has tallied 12 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 24 RBI. Junior Brent Seifert leads the team in both home runs (7) and RBI (28).
Right-hander Pierce Johnson is expected to make his eighth start of the season on Tuesday night. In nine appearances this season, the sophomore is 3-3 with a 6.18 ERA, while he has struck out 38 batters as opposed to 16 walks. Johnson’s last start was last week at No. 16 Arkansas as he took a tough-luck loss, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in seven innings.
THE MISSOURI STATE SERIES
In a series that has been tightly contested since the first game in 1984, Kansas State holds a 10-9 advantage over the Bears. Of the 29 games, 11 have been decided by three runs or less, including three one-run contests. The last meeting between the two clubs came nearly four years ago as Missouri State won a 7-6 game at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan., on April 26, 2006.
Kansas State holds a 5-3 edge over the Bears in games played in Manhattan. The last time the two teams squared off in the Little Apple was 1992 when Missouri State won a 6-2 ballgame. K-State’s last win over the Bears was in St. Louis, Mo., on March 12, 1993, in an 11-5 contest, while the Cats’ last victory over MSU in Manhattan was a 5-2 win on on May 5, 1992.