Baseball Hosts Oklahoma in Key Series

Games 38-40

K-State (24-13, 5-7) vs. Oklahoma (25-14, 5-7)
April 20 6:30 p.m.
April 21 2 p.m
April 22 1 p.m

Tointon Stadium (2,331) Manhattan, Kan.

Radio:
Friday’s game will be a K-State Sports Network broadcast with Wyatt Thompson, Brian Smoller and Matt Walters calling the action. The final two games will be broadcast live on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN in Manhattan and online at k-statesports.com with Walters and Smoller calling the action.

Internet:
Live stats of all three games will be available at k-statesports.com.

Series:
Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 170-63-1, while K-State is 41-72 all-time in Manhattan and 6-25 against the Sooners in Big 12 play.

Watch For: Chase Bayuk
Junior starting pitcher Chase Bayuk is coming off a solid win on the mound at Oklahoma State which led to Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors. Bayuk scattered seven hits and retired 12 in a row at one point as he held the league’s top offense to just one run in a 7-1 Wildcat win.

Kansas State welcomes the Oklahoma Sooners to Tointon Stadium this weekend as the two teams face off in a key Big 12 Conference series. Both teams enter the weekend with 5-7 records in conference play and are currently tied for sixth place in the league standings. The series will begin Friday night with a 6:30 p.m. game one while the two teams will meet again Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The series will conclude Sunday with a 1 p.m. finale at Tointon Stadium. Friday night’s game will be a K-State Sports Network radio broadcast while Saturday and Sunday’s games will be aired live on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN in Manhattan and online at k-statesports.com. Kansas State is coming off a 1-2 weekend last week at No. 15 Oklahoma State and a 13-7 midweek win over Central Christian at Tointon Stadium. The Sooners dropped two-of-three to Nebraska at home last weekend and then fell, 11-4, Tuesday to TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. The Wildcats have exploded at the plate in their last four games as the squad has pounded out 54 hits over that span. K-State, in its last four games, has collected 14, 14, 10 and 16 hits against the Cowboys and Tigers of Central Christian. Drew Biery and Adam Muenster have caught fire over that span as Biery is hitting .600 (9-for-15) and Muenster .563 (9-for-16) in their last four games. Kansas State got solid starting outings from both Brad Hutt and Chase Bayuk last weekend in Stillwater as Bayuk garnered Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors after holding the Cowboy offense to just one run on seven hits in a 7-1 Wildcat win.


 Noteworthy
Under Brad Hill, Kansas State is 66-32 when its starting pitcher goes six-plus innings.
The Wildcats also are 83-12 under Hill when out-hitting their opponent.
The Cats are also 73-21-1 under Hill when recording 10 or more hits.
Over the last three-plus seasons, K-State is 92-5 when leading after seven innings and 74-24-2 when scoring first.
K-State is leading the Big 12 in fielding percentage at .984 in conference-only games.
K-State is 16-4 this season when giving up three or less walks in a game.
K-State relievers are 13-for-14 in save opportunities and have retired 60-of-86 first batters.
K-State has outscored its opponent, 59-15, in the eighth and ninth innings this season.
K-State is 19-4 this season when out-hitting its opponent.
The Cats are 16-0 when leading after six innings, 17-0 when leading after seven and 22-1 after eight.
K-State is 24-9 when scoring three or more runs this season.
K-State is hitting .362 as a team in its last four games.
Adam Muenster is 9-for-16 in his last three games and is 10-for-18 in his last four.
Drew Biery is 9-for-15 with five runs and four RBI in his last four games.
Byron Wiley has hit safely in 20 of his last 24 games and has reached base safely in 32 of 34 games played.
Rob Vaughn is hitting .383 with two homers and 14 RBI in his last 14 games.
Eli Rumler is tied for fifth in school history with 14 career sacrifice bunts.
Defensively, Rumler also ranks seventh in school history with 371 career assists.
Pitcher Justin Murray has a 2-0 record with a save and a 1.80 ERA in 15.0 innings as a reliever this season.
Closer Daniel Edwards has 12 career saves, which is tied for second-best in school history
Edwards has yielded just two runs in his last 24.1 innings of work and has 37 K’s in that span.
Edwards has recorded a win or a save in 12 of his last 15 appearances.

Scouting Oklahoma
Oklahoma heads to Manhattan this weekend with a similar record to the Wildcats at 25-14 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play. The Sooners are coming off a 1-2 weekend at home against Nebraska and also dropped an 11-4 midweek decision to TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. So far this season, Oklahoma has hit .293 overall on the season and .254 in Big 12 play. Aaron Reza (.339) and Joe Dunigan (.336) have led the way offensively and Dunigan has led the squad in Big 12 play with a .349 average with two homers. Five everyday players are hitting .306 or better on the season and the Sooners have been successful on the basepaths, stealing 59 bases so far this season. On the mound, starters Stephen Porlier and Heath Taylor have been the most productive as Porlier is among the Big 12 leaders in strikeouts with 68, while Taylor leads the team with six wins.

The Series
Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 170-63-1, while K-State is 41-72 all-time in Manhattan and 6-25 against the Sooners in Big 12 play. The Sooners took two-of-three games last season in Norman, while Kansas State took one-of-three two years ago in three tightly-contested games in at Tointon Stadium.

Out of the Pen
Thirty-seven games into the 2007 season, K-State has seen its pitching staff put up solid numbers, especially the bullpen. K-State’s relievers are 12-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 138.0 innings of work, a number that went up steadily after the tough series at No. 9 Texas. In those 138.0 innings, pitchers have given up 126 hits and 58 earned runs while striking out 119 batters. Opponents are hitting just .245 against all Wildcat relievers this season. Six relievers have accumulated ERA’s of 5.00 or lower, four of which are 1.93 or lower in 87 total appearances.

Saving the Day
K-State relievers have picked up 13 saves so far this season out of 24 total wins and are 13-of-14 in those save opportunities. Daniel Edwards, who earned All-Tournament honors in Tampa with two saves, leads the team and the Big 12 Conference with nine total this season. His 12 career saves are also the second-most in school history and he needs six more to move into a tie for first. Sophomore Trevor Hurley has also picked up two saves, while Jason Linn and Justin Murray have also notched saves.

Start Your Engines
K-State continues to get solid pitching performances from its starters as 17 have gone six-plus innings in starts this season, including Brad Hutt who has lasted 6.0 innings in eight of nine starts. Hutt is 6-2 with a 2.59 ERA and has won eight of his last 12 starts on the mound, dating back to last season.

Flashing Some Leather
Kansas State has set new school records in fielding percentage in each of the last two seasons and this year’s squad is on track to make a run at a third. So far through 37 games, the Wildcats are fielding at a .975 clip, which ranks third in the Big 12 Conference. In Big 12-only games, Kansas State leads the league with a .984 fielding percentage. The Wildcats are 17-9 this season when committing one or no errors in a game and have committed one or no errors in 22 of their last 28 games.

Edwards Among the Nation’s Top Closers
Junior closer Daniel Edwards has settled in nicely this season as the Wildcats’ new closer and has recently been added to the watch list for the 2007 Stopper of the Year Award. Edwards has been brilliant so far with nine saves in 10 chances and also has picked up two wins. In 14 appearances this season, Edwards is 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA with nine saves. The junior has struck out 34 batters in 21.1 innings while opponents are hitting just .120 against him. Dating back to last season, Edwards has recorded a save or a win in 12 of his last 15 appearances and has yielded two runs in his last 24.1 innings.

Daniel Climbing the Save Charts
Daniel Edwards’ nine saves this season are the second-most in single-season school history and he needs just two more to move into a tie for first. For his career, Edwards now has 12 saves, which are tied for the second-most in school history and he needs six more to tie the school record of 18, set by David Johnson. Edwards also ranks fourth in school history in career relief appearances with 48.

The Big Bopper
Sophomore outfielder Byron Wiley has provided some power to the middle of the order and has been the most consistent Wildcat at the plate this season. Wiley enters the week among the Big 12’s best in several offensive categories, including on-base percentage (1st), batting (5th) and walks (5th). The Tomball, Texas, native leads the Wildcats in 12 different offensive categories and has had multiple hits in 14 games, while recording three or more hits on seven different occasions and reaching base safely in 32 of 35 games played. Wiley also has hit safely in 20 of his last 24 games.

Give Me Vaughn
Sophomore Rob Vaughn has picked up things considerably at the plate, which began with a career day in K-State’s 11-9 win over No. 9 Texas in Austin. The Humble, Texas, native went 4-for-4 with a grand slam and four RBI in Sunday’s game in his hometown state. Over the last 14 games, Vaughn is 13-for-34 (.383) with two homers, five doubles and 14 RBI and has hit safely in 10 of his last 14 games.

Muenster is on Fire
Redshirt freshman Adam Muenster has caught fire at the plate as of late and has seen his current batting average rise to .275. In his last three games, Muenster is hitting .563 (9-for-16) with five runs scored and two RBI. Muenster has recorded multiple in each of his last three games, including a career-best four-hit game at Oklahoma State on April 15.

Justin From the Pen
Sophomore Justin Murray has been solid in relief as of late after earning four starts earlier this season. Murray, a local product of Manhattan High, has picked up two wins and a save in his last seven outings, with five of them coming in league play. As a reliever this season, Murray is 2-0 with a save and a 1.80 ERA in 15.0 innings and has picked up wins at No. 9 Texas and at home against Texas Tech.

Trevor Deals
Sophomore Trevor Hurley enters this weekend’s action with a 1-1 overall record with a 2.55 ERA and two saves on the season and has been a steady arm out of the pen lately. So far this season, Hurley has recorded multiple strikeouts in nine of 11 outings, has yielded no runs in seven appearances and earned his first win of the season with 3.2 solid innings of relief against Texas Tech. Hurley also has inherited seven runners with just two of them scoring and has retired nine of the 10 first-batters he has faced in relief. Hurley earned his first career start on Wednesday against Central Christian and yielded just one hit with three K’s in 2.0 innings.

Eli’s Coming
Senior Eli Rumler, one of two seniors on this year’s squad, has surpassed the 100 career starts mark this season and has had a great first half of the season both offensively and defensively. Currently, Rumler holds the K-State career hit-by-pitches records with 31, and defensively, Rumler ranks seventh in career assists with 371 and needs 29 more to move into sixth. Rumler also has 14 career sacrifice bunts, which ties for fifth in school history. Rumler also has seen his batting average rise 40 points from last season as the senior hit .258 last season and heads into this weekend’s action with a .294 mark through 37 games.

Nate Has Been Solid of Late
Sophomore Nate Tenbrink has come up with several key two-out hits this season, including a three-run homer in the eighth inning of the Cal-Santa Barbara game. Tenbrink had entered the at-bat in a 1-for-27 drought but came through with a clutch hit to send the game into extra innings. Tenbrink also had a two-out, two-run single in a win over BYU and has since raised his batting average over 170 points to his current .276 mark. Over his last 25 games, Tenbrink leads the team with a .350 batting average, has collected 11 extra-base hits and has driven in 20 runs, 11 of which have come with two outs.

Friday Night Lights
Junior right-hander Brad Hutt has been solid as the Friday starter for the Wildcats. Hutt tossed 6.2 shutout innings against Penn State in the opener, giving the Wildcats their first season-opening shutout since the 1998 season, and followed with seven strong innings in Tampa in a win over Seton Hall. Hutt is 6-2 this season, ranks sixth in the league in ERA at 2.59 and has gone six-plus innings in eight of nine starts. Dating back to last season, Hutt has won eight of his last 12 starts and has lasted six-plus innings in all eight of the  wins.

Two-Way Tyler
Freshman Tyler Ruch has made an instant impact for the Wildcats as a true freshman, and not in just one capacity. Ruch has been very effective out of the bullpen as a situational reliever, but also has started games at first base, the outfield and seen several pinch-hit appearances. On the mound, Ruch has compiled a 4.15 ERA in 11 appearances and earned his first win on February 24 against Ohio State after 1.1 solid innings. Ruch has also been effective with first batters as 10 of the 11 first hitters he has faced in relief have been retired. At the plate, Ruch is currently hitting .275 on the season and leads the team in pinch-hitting with a .500 mark (2-for-4) with one run driven in. Ruch also hit his first career homer in a 7-6 loss to Missouri, a game in which he was also credited with the loss on the mound.

Hill Tops Century Mark
Kansas State head coach Brad Hill picked up his 100th win as head coach of the Wildcat program against North Dakota State on March 10. In three-plus seasons, Hill is 111-88-2 at Kansas State and is 529-179-2 overall as a head coach in 12-plus seasons. Hill needs just 19 more wins to pass Bob Brasher as the fourth-winningest coach in KSU history. In fact, Hill currently needs just 28 more wins to move all the way up to second place on the chart and pass Phil Wilson for second place.

Young Faces, Key Roles
Kansas State, with 24 total underclassmen on its squad this season, has seen many of those newcomers make an immediate impact on the field. Six freshmen position players have seen action so far this season, while four freshmen pitchers have seen time on the mound. At the sophomore level, six position players have played key roles this season while four second-year pitchers have logged innings.

Youth is Served
Kansas State fields one of the youngest teams in the Big 12 Conference this season, and with 34 players on the roster, 24 of those are underclassmen (13 freshmen and 11 sophomores). Nebraska and Baylor are the only two teams in the league that are comparable with 26 and 25, respectively. In terms of experience, the Wildcats boast two seniors, which are the fewest of any Big 12 team, and eight juniors to total 10 upperclassmen, which are the fewest in the Big 12 Conference.

Bulking Up RPI
Kansas State has bulked up its non-conference schedule in 2007 as it prepares for tough three-game stretches in league play down the road. In fact, the Wildcats currently have the 42nd-toughest schedule in the country according to Boyd’s World and head into this weekend’s action with 19 games against teams that are ranked in this week’s Top 25. And, speaking of Boyd’s World, Kansas State checks in at No. 32 this week in the RPI ratings, which is fifth among Big 12 teams behind Texas A&M (6), Texas (8), Oklahoma (18) and Nebraska (29).

Wildcat Baseball on the Tube
Kansas State will have three of its 2007 baseball games air regionally on television as both the Big 12 Conference and the Kansas State Athletic Department announced their baseball television packages. The Big 12 has announced its six-game league package with Fox Sports Net and the May 5 Wildcat game at Kansas was one of the selections. First pitch for the game is set for 3 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence with the entire Big 12 region gaining television access. K-State also had its Saturday game against Texas Tech and its Tuesday night game against Kansas televised on Fox Sports Net.