Wildcats Start Official Team Practices

MANHATTAN, Kan. – With a mix of its most seniors since 2006 and 15 underclassmen, the K-State baseball team officially started its 2016 season on Friday with the beginning of team practices. 

Exactly three weeks from the season opener on February 19 at UC Riverside, the Wildcats feature a roster of 32 players – eight seniors, nine juniors, two sophomores and 13 freshmen – and are led by 13th-year head coach Brad Hill. 

Top returners include the team’s leading hitters from a year ago in both overall and conference-only games, seniors Tyler Moore and Tyler Wolfe. A catcher from Shawnee, Kansas, Moore hit .302 in 49 games while also pacing the team in home runs (4) and finishing second in RBI (30). Wolfe, a native of Maple Plain, Minnesota, started all 57 games at shortstop for the Wildcats last year, but he stood out at the plate in Big 12 play as he batted .366 with 13 RBI and 16 runs scored. Both Moore and Wolfe earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors in their first season at the Division I level.

Other key returning hitters include senior Clayton Dalrymple, who led the team in stolen bases (13) while hitting .270 in 56 games last year; Steve Serratore, a .265 hitter with 12 extra-base hits in 2015 as a junior college transfer; and Jake Wodtke, last season’s starting second baseman who ended the campaign batting .324 in the month of May and not committing an error in 41 consecutive games.

The K-State pitching staff is under new leadership for the first time since 2011 as pitching coach Tyler Kincaid will guide a group of 18 hurlers – eight of which have Division I experience. Returning upperclassmen Lucas Benenati, Brandon Erickson, Corey Fischer, Jordan Floyd, Colton Kalmus and Levi MaVorhis will help lead the staff that also features eight freshmen.

Hill has led the Wildcats to the Big 12 Baseball Championship in eight of the last nine seasons. He also guided the program to its first NCAA Regionals, reaching postseason play in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

Season tickets for the Wildcats’ 29 home games at Tointon Family Stadium are available now, with ticket packages starting at less than $3 per game. To purchase or get more information, fans can visit www.k-statesports.com/tickets, call 1-800-221-CATS (2287), or stop by the K-State Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum.

Single-game tickets go on sale starting February 15. The season’s promotion schedule will be released in mid-February.

The home opener is slated for March 4 against Arkansas Pine-Bluff. The game against the Golden Lions not only kicks off a three-game series but also a 12-game homestand for the Wildcats and a month of March that includes 17 home games. 

In Big 12 play, the Wildcats host preseason No. 8 Oklahoma State (March 24-26), No. 23 Texas (April 8-10), Baylor (April 22-24) and KU (May 13-15).