K-State Hosts Oklahoma State This Weekend
K-State Hosts Oklahoma State This Weekend
April 26, 2012
Friday, April 27 - Sunday, April 29
Manhattan, Kan. /// Tointon Family Stadium (2,331)
|2012 PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE|
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Following extra-inning games on both Tuesday and Wednesday, Kansas State turns around this weekend to host Oklahoma State in a three-game Big 12 Conference series, Friday through Sunday, at Tointon Family Stadium. The Wildcats will be looking to get back on the winning track as they have dropped their last six games overall and the previous seven in conference action. The series begins on Friday with a 6:30 p.m., first pitch, while Saturday’s contest will begin at 4 p.m., to accommodate fans that wish to attend both the Purple-White Spring Game and the contest against the Cowboys. Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for a 12 p.m., first pitch.
Friday’s game can been seen world-wide on K-StateHD.TV and nationally on Fox College Sports, while Saturday’s game will be shown exclusively on K-StateHD.TV. ESPNU will televise Sunday’s game with Dari Nowkhah and Mike Rooney on the call. The five-station K-State Sports Network will air Friday’s contest with Wyatt Thompson and Brian Smoller on play-by-play duties, while Matt Walters will provide analysis. SportsRadio 1350 KMAN will carry the final two games of the series with Smoller and Walters on the call.
Plenty of promotions surround the series with the Cowboys. Friday is K-State Alumni Association Day as members can purchase discounted general admission bench tickets for just $3, while Saturday serves as Wichita Community Day as fans from Wichita can show a valid ID and receive a $3 general admission bench ticket. A pregame tailgate precedes both games beginning 90 minutes before first pitch. Sunday is the annual Bring Your Dog to the Ballpark Day and Russell Community Day. The series finale is a Sunday Family Day as fans can purchase a Wildcat 4 Pack for $30 that includes four general admission bench tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks and four bags of chips, while all kids in attendance can run the bases after the game.
To purchase tickets, fans can contact the K-State Athletics Ticket office online at www.k-statesports.com/tickets, by phone at 1-800-221-CATS or at the Tointon Family Stadium box office prior to the game.
K-STATE AT A GLANCE
K-State is looking to break out of a five-game slide after dropping a pair of extra-inning midweek games against in-state schools. On Tuesday, K-State erased a 6-1 deficit against Wichita State by scoring two in the fourth and four in the sixth to take a 7-6 lead. However, the Shockers hit a solo home run in the eighth to send the game into extra innings. The two teams played five scoreless extra frames until WSU scored two in the 15th and held on for a 9-7 win. Wednesday proved to be much of the same as KU scored six in the first to hold a 6-1 advantage. Yet again, K-State chipped away and tied the game at 7-7 by scoring three in the ninth inning - all coming with two outs - to send the game into extras until KU won the game with a solo homer on the first pitch of the bottom of the 11th.
The Wildcats have four players hitting .300 or better in Jared King (.365), Tanner Witt (.331), Wade Hinkle (.328) and Jon Davis (.307). King ranks fourth in the Big 12 in average and combined for three hits and three RBI over the midweek games. Witt, who has reached base in 37 of 41 games this season, has also seen time out of the bullpen as he worked two scoreless innings on Wednesday night. Hinkle paces the Wildcats and ranks second in the conference with eight home runs, including a two-run shot in the ninth on Wednesday that began the late rally. After hitting .056 in his first 25 games of the year, Davis leads the team with a .386 average since March 31 and has also reached base at a .478 clip during that span.
Kansas State has changed its starting rotation this week as it will start right-hander Kayvon Bahramzadeh on Friday and left-hander Joe Flattery on Saturday, while the Wildcats are undecided on a Sunday starter. Bahramzadeh has been perhaps K-State’s most consistent starter as he holds a 4-2 record with a 5.11 ERA and leads the team with 53 strikeouts. The right-hander will be looking to bounce back from a loss last week at Missouri when he lasted six innings, allowing three runs on four hits with five strikeouts, his fourth-straight start with at least five strikeouts. Flattery, who holds a 4-2 record with a 4.04 ERA, was in line for the win last Saturday against the Tigers when he pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, working around five hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
DID YOU KNOW
• K-State played Wichita State and Kansas in consecutive extra-inning games for the second time in as many years.
• The Wildcat pitching staff has reached double digits in strikeouts 11 times this year, the fifth-most since 2004.
• K-State leads the Big 12 with a .980 fielding percentage and are sixth nationally in that department.
• The Wildcats also ranked in the top 20 of the NCAA in steals (7th), double plays (11th) and walks (19th).
• Tanner Witt has reached base safely in 37 of his 41 games played this season. One of the games he did not reach base was Wednesday when he came off the bench for one at-bat.
A COUPLE OF LATE NIGHTS
Kansas State played two midweek games against in-state rivals Wichita State and Kansas this past week, but the Wildcats ended up playing close to three games worth of innings as K-State and WSU played a 15-inning contest on Tuesday night before an 11-inning affair on Wednesday. It was the second-straight year the Wildcats had consecutive games go into extras as, ironically, K-State and WSU played 11 innings on May 17 before the Cats and Jayhawks went 10 in the series opener three days later.
The back-to-back marathon games were the first in non-conference play by the Wildcats since at least 1990. The 15-inning game against the Shockers was K-State’s longest in terms of innings since a 20-inning game against Texas in 2004. Earlier that season, the Wildcats also played a 16-inning game against WSU in Manhattan.
OKLAHOMA STATE AT A GLANCE
Oklahoma State enters the three-game set with a 23-17 overall record, which includes an 8-7 mark in Big 12 play. The Cowboys are riding high as they have won five-straight, which includes a three-game sweep last weekend against Texas Tech by final counts of 2-1, 5-2 and 7-1. OSU then won a non-conference tilt against Oklahoma in Stillwater on Tuesday night, 6-1.
The Cowboys, who are hitting .270 as a team, are led by junior infielder Robbie Rea, who is hitting .321. The Topeka, Kan., product is also tops on the team in doubles (14), home runs (5) and RBI (29). His double total is tied for second in the Big 12. Behind Rea at .314 is senior Gabe Weidenaar, who has four doubles, four homers and 17 RBI. Junior outfielder Jarrett Higgins, who is hitting .248, leads OSU and is tied for fifth in the Big 12 with 16 steals.
Oklahoma State is expected to start left-hander Andrew Heaney on Friday, while the Cowboys will come back with consecutive right-handers in Vince Wheeland and Randy McCurry. Heaney holds a 5-1 record and a 2.02 ERA, which ranks third among Big 12 starters. The lefty has surrendered just 17 earned runs on 55 hits in 75.1 innings, while he leads the conference in strikeouts with 94. His strikeout total is 21 more than the pitcher in second place. Last Friday against the Red Raiders, Heaney took a no decision after allowing just one run on six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in 8.1 innings of work.
Wheeland is 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA in 13 games, which includes five starts. The right-hander has also allowed 17 runs, but in a span of 47.2 innings with 11 walks and 35 strikeouts. Like Heaney, Wheeland also worked deep into a game against TTU only to wind up with a no decision as he allowed two runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work. McCurry, a two-way player, is 3-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 10 outings. The right-hander has allowed 16 runs in 43.1 innings and took the win last weekend against the Red Raiders after surrendering just one run on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
THE OKLAHOMA STATE SERIES
Oklahoma State leads the all-time series, 150-56 overall and 56-38 in Manhattan, but Kansas State has been tough as of late. The Wildcats have won nine of the last 13 meetings, including five of the last six played at Tointon Family Stadium. K-State held a seven-game winning streak against OSU until the Cowboys swept a two-game, rain-shortened series last year in Stillwater by final counts of 9-2 and 8-2. In the first game, Oklahoma State scored four times in the first inning and the Wildcats could not climb out of the early hole. Game two was more of the same as the Cowboys scored five runs over the first three innings en route to the six-run victory.
TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM
Kansas State, which has shown over the last several years that it will do all it can to get on base, has drastically increased its hit-by-pitch total over the last few weeks. After being hit by 34 pitches in the first 25 games, K-State has recorded 28 hit batters over the last 17 games and has been hit by at least one pitch in 14 of its last 17 contests. With the boosted total, the Wildcats now rank ninth in school history with 62 this season and were 32nd nationally in that category entering the week.
K-State, which is second in the league in hit batters, is led by Jon Davis’ 10 after two on Tuesday against WSU. Ross Kivett, Wade Hinkle and Mike Kindel are second with eight apiece. Kindel, Jake Brown and Blair DeBord each have 21 in their careers to tie for 10th in school history.
THROW ‘EM A CHAIR
The K-State pitching staff has had one of its better seasons in terms of strikeouts as the Cats have average 7.4 per nine innings and have totaled 310 this season, a figure that ranks third in the Big 12. The high strikeout total is propelled by 11 games with 10 or more fanned batters, which ranks as the fifth most in head coach Brad Hill’s nine seasons. The Cats also have four 10-plus strikeout games in conference play, which is tied for the fourth most under Hill.
K-State, which has averaged nearly nine strikeouts in its last seven Big 12 games, is led by senior starter Kayvon Bahramzadeh with 53 to tie for 10th in the Big 12. Over half of the right-hander’s strikeouts have come in the last four games, including 22 in his last three Big 12 starts. Another senior, Matt Applegate, sits just outside the top 10 with 50, and he has 174 in his career to rank eighth in school history.
A staple of the K-State offense over the last three seasons is its ability to steal bases, and that aspect of the game is prevalent again in 2012. The Wildcats, who have led the Big 12 in steals the last three seasons, are second in the league with 86, just six back of first-place Texas A&M. The Wildcats entered the week ranked seventh nationally in that department, while they are currently ninth in school history. K-State has hit the four-steal mark in 12 games this year, going 10-2 in those contests.
Three Wildcats rank in the top 10 of the Big 12 in steals, including sophomore Ross Kivett, who is second with 19. Right behind Kivett with 18 to tie for third is Tanner Witt, while Jake Brown is tied for eighth with 14.