Saturday: $3 GA Bench Tickets with MBB or WBB ticket
Sunday: Sunday Family Day
SERIES INFORMATION Overall: K-State leads, 5-1 In Manhattan: First Meeting Last Season: K-State swept a three-game series at Pacific, 5-3, 7-4 and 7-6, Feb. 19 and 20 in Stockton, Calif. K-State won at Baseball at the Beach tournament, 6-2, in Conway, S.C.
COACHES K-STATE:Brad Hill Alma Mater: Emporia State, '84 Career Record: 67-288-3 (18th season) Record at K-State: 269-197-3 (9th season)
PACIFIC: Ed Sprague Alma Mater: Stanford Career Record: 180-271 (9th season) Record at PAC: same
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Following its seven-game road trip to open up the 2012 campaign, Kansas State will begin its home slate this weekend with a three-game series against Pacific, Friday through Sunday, March 2-4, at Tointon Family Stadium. Friday’s home opener begins with a 3 p.m., first pitch. Saturday’s contest begins at 2 p.m., and is part of a K-State triple-header as the K-State men’s basketball team plays Oklahoma State at 12:30 p.m., and the women’s basketball teams hosts Texas Tech at 6 p.m. The series finale between K-State and Pacific is at 12 p.m., on Sunday.
All three games will be shown on K-StateHD.TV, which is available for $9.95 per month and $79.95 per year. Additionally, the entire series can be heard in the Manhattan area on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and online at both www.k-statesports.com and www.1350kman.com.
Special ticket promotions are available all three days at Tointon Family Stadium as general admission bench tickets are on sale for $3 on Friday, and those who present their K-State vs. Oklahoma State men’s basketball ticket or K-State vs. Texas Tech women’s basketball ticket can receive a $3 GA bench ticket on Saturday. Sunday is the first Sunday Family Day where fans can purchase a Wildcat 4 Pack for $30, which includes four general admission bench tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks and four bags of chips, and all kids in attendance can run the bases after the game.
K-STATE AT A GLANCE Kansas State went 2-2 last weekend at the San Diego Tournament as it took a pair of games from San Diego State, by scores of 7-2 on Thursday and 15-7 on Saturday, while the Wildcats dropped a Friday contest to San Diego, 15-1, and a Sunday tilt to No. 19 Oregon State, 13-5. After a sluggish start to the season offensively, the Wildcats came to life over the four games by hitting .338 with 12 extra-base hits, including 10 doubles. K-State also tallied 14 two-out RBI, nine of which came against San Diego State on Saturday. Leading the way for the Wildcat offense last week was Jared King, who was 10-for-18 with four doubles, one triple and three RBI.
K-State will look to rebound on the mound as they allowed 28 earned runs (37 total) in the four games for a 7.20 ERA. The Cats did receive a great start last Thursday from senior right-hander Kayvon Bahramzadeh, who will toe the rubber on Sunday against Pacific. Last week, Bahramzadeh earned the win after allowing just one run on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in six innings.
Senior Matt Applegate will start the home opener on Friday looking to bounce back from a loss at San Diego. However, Applegate was solid in the season opener, lasting 7.1 innings at CSU Bakersfield. Left-hander Joe Flattery, who allowed five runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings in a win last week, will throw on Saturday. The Iowa Central CC transfer shut out San Diego State over the first five innings, facing just one over the minimum during that stretch.
DID YOU KNOW • Brad Hill entered 2012 sixth in the nation among active coaches with a .706 career winning percentage. • The Cats are 215-16 when leading after seven frames during Brad Hill’s eight-plus years in Manhattan, including a 3-0 mark in 2012. • The Wildcats’ 15 runs and 21 hits last Saturday against San Diego State are the most by any Big 12 team this year. • Kansas State has 19 two-out RBI this season, including nine against San Diego State last Saturday, the most in a single contest in 44 games. • The Cats hit 130 points better last weekend in San Diego (.338) compared to its opening weekend (.208) at CSUB. • Matt Applegate is third among active Big 12 pitchers in career strikeouts (132) and innings pitched (161.2). • Jake Brown is sixth among active Big 12 players with 31 career stolen bases. • Sophomore center fielder Jared King has the most hits by a Wildcat in the first seven games of a season since 2006 and the most doubles to begin a season since 2003. • Catcher Dan Klein tallied four two-out RBI last weekend after just six in 38 games during his junior season.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME Kansas State will be looking for continued success in home openers on Friday as the Wildcats are 9-2 in their last 11 home openers, including wins in five of the last six seasons. Overall, the Wildcats have been difficult to defeat at Tointon Family Stadium as they have won at least 20 home games in five of the last seven seasons, including a 68-21 (.764) mark over the past three years. K-State’s home record is even more impressive in non-conference games as the Cats are 44-5 (.898) since 2009, including a perfect 18-0 mark three years ago.
THE TWO-OUT DAGGER Kansas State has done a majority of its damage offensively with two outs this season as it has 19 two-out RBI, including a total of 14 in its three wins. The Wildcats’ 19 two-out RBI through seven games are the most since tallying 42 in the first seven games of 2010. The 2010 total was boosted by a 24 two-out RBI performance against Western Michigan in a 27-8 win. Against San Diego State last Saturday, the Wildcats totaled nine two-out RBI, the most since recording 14 against Northern Colorado on March 30 of last season.
Individually, senior Dan Klein and sophomore Ross Kivett lead the way with four apiece. Klein recorded all four last weekend in the San Diego Tournament after just six in 38 games a year ago. K-State has also received three two-out RBI from seniors Jake Brown and Wade Hinkle.
PACIFIC AT A GLANCE Pacific, which began the season 0-8, earned its first win of the season Tuesday night with a 13-10 triumph over Sacramento State. But the Tigers appear to be much better than their record indicates as they dropped a three-run game to No. 22 California, a two-run game in extra innings to No. 2 Stanford, a three-run game to No. 19 Oregon State and a pair of one-run contests at San Diego and San Diego State.
The Tigers are led at the plate by junior infielder Dustin Torchio, who is hitting .324 with two doubles and a team-leading six RBI. Senior outfielder Allen Riley is second at .281 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI. Right behind Riley at .280 is another senior outfielder, Brett Christopher. Sophomore Riley Drongesen paces the squad with three doubles, while Curtis Gomez and Josh Simms have both tripled this season.
Pacific is scheduled to start freshman right-hander Michael Benson on Friday, while the Tigers will come back with consecutive lefties in John Haberman and Kyle Crawford on Saturday and Sunday. Benson has one start in his career, which came last Friday at San Diego when he took the loss after allowing two runs on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout in six innings of work. His two runs allowed came in the second inning.
Haberman, a junior, has no record and a 3.38 ERA in two starts this season. At San Diego State last Saturday, Haberman surrendered just two runs in 7.1 innings with nine strikeouts. Crawford, a sophomore, will be making his fourth appearance, including his third start, on Sunday. Like Haberman, Crawford also has not factored into a decision and has a 5.11 ERA. The left-hander worked 5.1 innings last Sunday at San Diego, allowing three runs.
Senior right-hander Chris Larsen has been the most used reliever for the Tigers with four appearances out of the bullpen, but he struggled Tuesday against Sacramento State, giving up four runs (two earned) in 0.2 innings. Another senior right-hander, Thomas Berolzheimer, has three relief appearances with a 0-1 record and a 3.86 ERA.
THE PACIFIC SERIES This weekend’s series marks the fifth, sixth and seventh games between Kansas State and Pacific over the last two years. The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Tigers, 5-1, thanks to a four-game sweep last season. K-State opened up the 2011 campaign with three wins at Pacific. After a rainout on Friday, the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader was tied at three until the Cats got two runs in the seventh and held on for the win. During the nightcap, K-State scored four in the first inning - three of which came on a Kent Urban bases-clearing double - en route to a 7-4 win. Kansas State spotted Pacific a 5-0 lead through three innings in the weekend finale, but the Wildcats scored twice in the fifth and five times in the seventh to earn a come-from-behind 7-6 win.
The two teams squared off again just one week later at the Baseball at the Beach tournament in South Carolina. K-State had Pacific’s number yet again, picking up a 6-2 win thanks to a Jason King three-run homer in the sixth.
The Wildcats are 8-6 all-time against current members of the Big West Conference. Prior to its four games against Pacific last year, the last time K-State faced a Big West opponent was in 2008 when the Cats split a two-game series against UC Irvine.
SOLID AGAINST NON-CON K-State’s play against non-conference opponents over the past three-plus seasons has fueled the Wildcats to quick starts. Kansas State is 189-69 (.733) in non-conference games under head coach Brad Hill, including a 79-32 (.712) mark over the past three-plus seasons. In regular season non-conference games, the Cats have been even tougher as they are 178-54 (.767) over the past eight years and a combined 71-21 (.772) since the beginning of 2009.
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION IN SD After hitting just .208 (22-of-106) in the opening weekend at CSU Bakersfield, Kansas State exploded offensively in San Diego. The Wildcats hit .338 (48-of-142) in the four-game event, including a 21-hit outburst to score 15 run at San Diego State last Saturday. Those two marks are currently tops in the Big 12 for a single game this season. The Wildcats’ 21 hits were the most in nearly two years when they had 21 against Western Michigan on March 2, 2010, while their 15 runs were the most since a 2011 season-high 16 against Northern Colorado. Of the 21 K-State hits against the Aztecs last Saturday, seven went for doubles, which was the most since also hitting seven against Niagara on March 8, 2009.
LONG OUTINGS FOR APPLEGATE Senior Matt Applegate, K-State’s No. 1 starter this season, has been every bit of that as he has given the Wildcats a chance to win both of his starts this season. Applegate has lasted at least six innings in each of his first two starts, beginning with the season opener when he took a no decision at CSU Bakersfield after leaving the game with a lead through 7.1 innings. Then, last Friday at San Diego, Applegate went 6.1 innings and left the game with K-State trailing by just two, but USD scored 12 runs after he was pulled in favor of the bullpen.
Applegate is looking to become the first Wildcat starting pitcher to last at least six innings in each of his first three starts since 2010. That season, Evan Marshall began the year as a starter, throwing six innings against East Tennessee State, eight against Northeastern and seven against Notre Dame.
KING OF THE OUTFIELD Sophomore center fielder Jared King received plenty of accolades prior to the 2012 campaign, including being named the fifth-best prospect among players eligible for the 2012 draft by Baseball America. And, in just seven games this season, King has not disappointed as he leads the team with a .467 (14-for-30) average with six doubles and four RBI. His 14 hits in the first seven games of the season are the most by a K-State player since Jared Goedert and Joe Roundy each had 14 to begin 2006. Also, his six doubles to begin 2012 are the most by a Wildcat since Ryan Baldwin also had six in 2003.
Last week at the San Diego Tournament, King hit .556 (10-for-18) with five extra-base hits and three RBI, including a career-high tying three-hit game at San Diego State last Saturday. Due to his solid play in San Diego, King currently ranks second in the Big 12 in batting average (.467), tied for second in the Big 12 in hits (tied for first in hits-per- game) and also leads the conference in doubles. The former Freshman All-American also ranks highly in several other categories, including a fourth-place mark in both total bases (22) and slugging percentage (.733) and a fifth-place showing in on-base percentage (.515).