Wildcats Travel to WSU for Final Midweek Contest
Wildcats Travel to WSU for Final Midweek Contest
April 30, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Wichita, Kan. /// Eck Stadium (7,851)
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State will conclude non-conference play with four games this week beginning with a 6:30 p.m., contest Tuesday night against Wichita State at Eck Stadium in Wichita. The Wildcats will be looking to split the season series after the Shockers won a 15-inning contest in Manhattan last Tuesday. The game can be seen throughout the state on Cox Communication's Kansas 22, as well as in the Kansas City area on MetroSports. Listeners in the Manhattan area can hear the game on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN, while free live audio is available online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.
K-STATE AT A GLANCE
The Wildcats will be looking to end an eight-game losing streak, their longest since 2003, after being swept at Missouri two weekends ago before losses to the Shockers and Kansas last Tuesday and Wednesday and a three-game sweep at the hands of Oklahoma State last weekend. K-State will be in search of its sixth road non-conference victory this season to finish one game below .500 in that category.
After being shut out by the Cowboys on Friday, 5-0, K-State jumped on top early in Saturday's contest, 3-0, thanks to RJ Santigate's first-career home run in the second inning before a sacrifice fly in the third. However, the Cowboys came back to score the game's next 13 runs en route to a 13-3 win. On Sunday, the Wildcats trailed OSU, 6-2, before scoring three runs in the seventh to pull within a run. The Cowboys answered with three the next half inning before shutting down K-State over the final two frames as they won a 9-5 contest.
Sophomore outfielder Jared King continues to lead K-State offensively with a .353 batting average, while he is tied for the team lead in doubles with nine. Tanner Witt, who is second in average at .323, also has nine doubles, while he and Ross Kivett are tied for the team lead with three triples. Wade Hinkle, who is third on the team in average at .320, has belted a team-leading eight home runs, a mark that is tied for the second most in the Big 12. Jon Davis, who is fourth on the squad with a .310 batting average, has hit .379 over the last 20 games since becoming an everyday starter in left field.
Kansas State is expected to starter left-hander Jared Moore Tuesday against Wichita State. The left-hander is 2-3 this season with a 5.60 ERA in 16 outings, which includes six starts. He will be looking for a bounce-back performance against the Shockers as he took the loss last Tuesday after allowing six runs in just two innings of work. On Friday against the Cowboys, the sophomore threw three no-hit innings of relief with a walk and a career-best five strikeouts.
The Wildcats bullpen is led by a pair of freshmen in terms of appearances in left-hander Robert Youngdahl and righty Nate Williams. Youngdahl, who is 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA in 21 outings, threw three scoreless frames against Kansas last Wednesday before tossing 2.2 innings on Sunday. Williams, a product of Valley Center, Kan., allowed a solo homer in the eighth inning last Tuesday against WSU, which tied the game at 7-7 and eventually sent the contest into extra innings. Williams has been used in 19 games this season, holding a 0-3 record and a 4.68 ERA, but the freshman leads the squad with five saves this year.
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 13 times this year, which is tied for the fourth-most since 2004. Six of those have come against Big 12 teams, the most under head coach Brad Hill.
K-State is second in the Big 12 with a .978 fielding percentage and was sixth nationally last week.
The Wildcats also ranked in the top 20 of the NCAA in steals (7th), double plays (11th) and walks (19th).
K-State's current eight-game losing streak is the longest since a 10-game slide in 2003.
The Wildcats struck out 31 Oklahoma State hitters last weekend, the second-most in a Big 12 series under head oach Brad Hill.
Tanner Witt has reached base safely in 40 of his 44 games played this season. One of the games he did not reach base was last Wednesday when he came off the bench for one at-bat.
DECEIVING THE OPPOSITION
The Kansas State pitching staff has been one of the top units in the Big 12 in terms of strikeouts as it enters the week second in the league with 341 this season. The Wildcats trail the league's top pitching staff, Oklahoma State, a team in which the Wildcats struck out 31 times last weekend in Manhattan. The 31 fanned batters were tied for the second most in a Big 12 series under head coach Brad Hill and marked the ninth 10th time in Hill's nine years that K-State struck out 28 or more batters in a three-game set against a league opponent. The top mark was 34 against Missouri in 2007, while the Wildcats hit the 30-strikeout mark on three other occasions - against Baylor in 2004 and 2009, and against Texas in 2004. The Wildcats were able to register 10.3 per game last weekend against a Cowboy offense that averaged just 6.3 strikeouts per game entering the contest.
WICHITA STATE AT A GLANCE
Following its 15-inning win last Tuesday in Manhattan, Wichita State went on to win two-of-three against Dallas Baptist last weekend in Wichita. The Shockers routed the Patriots, 13-3, on Friday before an 8-7 victory Saturday. DBU was able to come back and salvage the final game of the series on Sunday with a 4-1 win.
WSU, which is now hitting .278 as a team, is led by Johnny Coy's .318 batting average, while he also paces the Shockers with 50 RBI. Dayne Parker, who led Wichita State last Tuesday with a 4-for-6 outing, is right behind Coy as .317, while he leads the team with 13 doubles. Don Lambert, a former Baylor outfielder who tallied the go-head double in the 15th last week at K-State, is hitting .316 with seven doubles, two triples, three homers and 23 RBI. Casey Gillaspie, a .281 hitter, is the top Shocker in terms of home runs with eight.
Wichita State will start right-hander Tobin Mateychick against the Wildcats on Tuesday night. In six outings this year, including three starts, Mateychick holds a 3-1 record and a 4.67 ERA, allowing 13 runs (nine earned) on 19 hits with eight walks and nine strikeouts in 17.1 innings of work. The sophomore's last start came two weekends ago against Missouri State when he allowed three runs on five hits with three walks and on strikeout in 3.1 innings of work. Tuesday will mark his third appearance of the year - including his second start - against a Big 12 opponent. He allowed one run on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six innings against KU on April 11. He also pitched 2.1 innings of relief, allowing one run, against Oklahoma State on April 17.
THE WICHITA STATE SERIES
Following its win last week, Wichita State now leads the overall series against Kansas State, 50-31, and the Shockers enter Tuesday's contest with a 29-13 mark in games played in Wichita. The Wildcats, who still have the upper hand as of late by winning 10 of the last 15 meetings, will be looking to stop a two-game slide against the Shockers and win their first game in Wichita since 2010. K-State saw its winning streak against WSU reach six games after winning the first game of the 2011 series in Manhattan, but WSU has won the last two games, the first time they have defeated K-State in consecutive games since the 2006 series finale and the 2007 series opener. The Cats are looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak to WSU since dropping nine-straight from 2001 to 2004.
K-State is 99-102-1 all-time against current members of the Missouri Valley and will be looking to get back on the winning track against the MVC as it also lost to Missouri State earlier this season, 3-0, in Springfield, Mo.
ROCKETS IN THE OUTFIELD
K-State saw two of its outfielders throw out Oklahoma State runners at the plate on the Sunday, which marked the sixth time under head coach Brad Hill that K-State outfielders had two assists in one game. Freshman Kyle Speer threw out a runner at the plate on a potential sacrifice fly in the second inning, which ended the frame. He was the first Wildcat freshman with an outfield assist since Nick Martini had two during the 2009 season. The second outfield assist on Sunday came from Jon Davis, who threw out a runner at the plate in the seventh inning.
Although it was the sixth time K-State had two outfield assists in one game since 2004, it was the first time under Hill that both were at the plate.
FRESHMEN GETTING TIME
Freshmen Austin Fisher and Kyle Speer have seen their playing time increase recently as they have combined for nine starts over the last 10 games. A shortstop by trade, Fisher started the final game against Northern Colorado at third base, as well as the first two games against Missouri before starting at short on Wednesday and Sunday. He tallied two hits against UNC and recorded another two-hit game on Sunday against OSU. Speer picked up his first hit in Big 12 play at Missouri before his first multi-hit game last Wednesday at KU.