Final Notes: K-State Baseball Ends 2014 Season
Final Notes: K-State Baseball Ends 2014 Season
June 27, 2014
Final Record: 25-30
Final Big 12 Record: 5-19 (9th)
K-State finished its 2014 season with a 25-30 record and 5-19 record in Big 12 play. The Wildcats opened the season 1-7 through its season-opening road trip, but a 12-game winning streak in March helped them move above the .500 mark as late as May 2. However, K-State went 2-8 in the final month, finishing the season with a losing record and missing its eighth straight trip to the Big 12 Championship tournament.
Coming off a Big 12 Championship and the program's first trip to an NCAA Super Regional, K-State saw a record number of fans attend games at Tointon Family Stadium all season long. Nearly 70,000 fans came to Tointon Family Stadium, with the 69,998 total attendance for the season setting a new stadium record. Starting with the first home game of the season drawing 3,090 fans on March 7 vs. Iowa, nine games saw attendance figures above 3,000, including 3,847 on April 5 vs. Kansas (fifth-largest in history) and 3,748 on April 8 vs. Wichita State.
Through the end of the regular season, K-State finished with the 37th toughest schedule in Division I, according to warrennolan.com. The Wildcats' opponents finished with a 1,615-1,286 (.5566) record prior to the start of the NCAA Regional rounds (through May 25). K-State's strength of schedule was seventh among Big 12 teams, trailing Texas (No. 3), Baylor (No. 6), Oklahoma (No. 16), Texas Tech (No. 18), West Virginia (No. 21), and TCU (No. 27) while ahead of Oklahoma State (No. 49) and Kansas (No. 53). Seven of K-State's opponents, including two nonconference foes (Cal Poly, Nebraska), made the Regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
FOR THE WIN
Beginning with a 9-4 win over Grand Canyon on Feb. 28 in Abilene, Texas, K-State went on a 12-game winning streak, which finished in a tie for the eighth-longest winning streak in Division I this season. It was also tied with Oklahoma State for the second-longest among Big 12 teams (Longest: TCU, 13 games). The 12-game winning streak also tied K-State's second-longest in a single season in program history, matching the 12-game streak from 1908. It was the first time K-State had won 12 straight games since 2006, when the Wildcats won a program-record 16 games in a row from Feb. 24-March 24.
FOR THE WIN, PT. 2
The Wildcats went 20-11 against nonconference opponents, including a 13-1 mark against nonconference opponents at home. K-State won its first 12 nonconference home games, running its home winning streak against nonconference foes to 23 games before losing to Bakersfield on April 22.
UNEXPECTED ROAD TRIP
Due to sub-freezing temperatures and snow in the Manhattan area, K-State had its original home opening series, scheduled for Feb. 28-March 2, against Milwaukee canceled. Instead, the Wildcats went to Abilene, Texas, nearly 600 miles from Tointon Family Stadium, to play neutral site games against Grand Canyon and Missouri State. The Wildcats went 3-0 in the contests, and were scheduled to play four games, but the weekend finale against host Abilene Christian was canceled due to sub-freezing temperatures and rain. The series in Abilene forced K-State to play its first 11 games on the road, a first since 2010.
K-State scored 45 runs in its three-game series against Northern Colorado from March 14-15 - while also allowing just three runs. The Wildcats' 45 runs in the three-game series were their most since 2005 when K-State scored 51 runs against St. Francis.
KIVETT, SANTIGATE HONORED
Seniors Ross Kivett and RJ Santigate were selected to the ABCA Midwest All-Region Second Team after the team's top two hitters paced the team in batting average and stolen bases. For Kivett, it was the second straight year he was selected Midwest All-Region. He was among the Big 12's top offensive producers, finishing second in OBP (.443), tied for second in stolen bases (21), third in runs scored (49), and sixth in batting average (.333). For Santigate, it was his first career selection to Midwest All-Region. The Las Vegas, Nevada native finished his K-State career by pacing the Wildcats in batting average (.335) while also tallying 27 RBI and 34 runs scored. The third baseman was fourth in the Big 12 in OBP (.415) and fifth in batting average.
HITTING THE BOOKS
A program-record 11 Wildcats were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team in 2014, a group that included seven named to the First Team as well as all four seniors earning the honor. Seniors Blair DeBord, Ross Kivett, Jared Moore, and RJ Santigate led the group of 11, with Kivett and Santigate earning First Team distinctions. Also named to the First Team were Clayton Dalrymple, Nate Griep, Colton Kalmus, Levi MaVorhis, and Jordan Witcig. Landon Busch, DeBord, Mitch Meyer, and Moore were named to the Second Team.
Three Wildcats were selected in this year's MLB First-Year Player Draft. The first of the three, senior Ross Kivett, was selected in the sixth round (190th overall) by the Detroit Tigers, while also on Day Two of the draft, junior outfielder Mitch Meyer was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh round (206th overall). On the final day of the draft, junior shortstop Austin Fisher was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 13th round (398th overall). It was the second straight year the Indians had selected a Wildcat as Kivett was drafted in the 10th round of the 2013 Draft, but he elected not to sign. All three players signed professional contracts within a week of being draft. Both Kivett (Connecticut) and Fisher (Mahoning Valley) were assigned to their respective organization's teams in the New York-Penn Short Season League. Meyer was assigned to Helena in the Pioneer Rookie League. This year marks the second time in the last four years two Wildcats were taken in the first seven rounds. Also drafted were signees Conner Goedert (15th round, Houston) and Ryan Lillard (30th round, Kansas City). Goedert signed with Houston.