Friday, April 23, 2010

Game Day: Kansas State Wildcats @ Sunny Simmons Field

Weekend Weather forecast (kmiz.com)
Friday...Showers and thunderstorms likely. High in the mid 70s. South wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms likely in the evening...Then chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Low in the upper 50s. South wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. High around 70. South wind 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Low around 50. Southwest wind around 10 mph.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. High in the lower 60s.

K-State baseball off to best start in school history (kansas.com)
Kansas State baseball coach Brad Hill has little to complain about right now.
Coming off a three-game sweep over Baylor, which gave the Wildcats (26-8 overall, 9-3 Big 12) their best start in school history, K-State is ranked in the top 20 of most major polls and in good shape to make its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
. . .
"We've got a lot of work to do. We've been good at times, but we are a young club and a new club. We have inconsistencies, and I worry about them all the time."
Those inconsistencies haven't been noticeable at home, where the Wildcats are 16-2. But on the road, K-State is more susceptible to mistakes, especially on the mound and in the field. The last time it traveled for a two-game series, it gave up 28 runs, 32 hits and lost both against BYU.
Kansas State baseball pounces on Wichita State miscues (Wichita Eagle)
Hall’s work went for nothing when K-State’s Blair DeBord popped up on the infield. McGreevy, normally supposed to yield to his infielders in that situation, called for the ball. Springer charged in to make the play and bumped into McGreevy, knocking the ball out of McGreevy’s glove. That put DeBord at first and left Nick Martini, who neglected to run with two outs, on second.
“It’s the first baseman’s if he can get to it,” said Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson. “(Springer) called itæ.æ.æ. the pitcher called it initially.”
Pinch-hitter Ryan Moore followed by bouncing a ball to right, scoring Martini. Moore got into a rundown between first and second. DeBord scored while shortstop Tyler Grimes and Springer played catch.
Pitching propels Cats to series win (KStateSports.com, April 17)
Kyle Hunter threw no-hit baseball for six innings as No. 20 Kansas State used stellar pitching for the second straight day to defeat Baylor, 5-2, Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium.

Kansas State improved to 25-8 on the season, its best mark through 33 games in school history. The Cats started the 1976 and 2009 seasons 24-8, but lost the 33rd game of the year in both campaigns. Saturday's win also moved the Wildcats' conference record to 8-3, tying the best conference start in school history, and established K-State's best record through 11 Big 12 games since the league began play in 1997.

Hunter was outstanding as he dominated through six innings in a duel against Baylor's Logan Verrett. The sophomore left-hander, who recorded three strikeouts, retired the side in order four times. The Bears managed only two baserunners in the first six innings as Hunter walked a batter in each the second and sixth.
. . .
In the first two games of the series, the Wildcat pitching staff has held the Big 12's second-best hitting team to just four total runs on eight hits with four walks and 11 strikeouts.
K-State? A good baseball team? Yep (AhearnAlley.com)
Even if you don’t know the answer to that, the story of K-State baseball is quite impressive. Just two years ago, the Wildcats were wallowing in levels of mediocrity for the last 20 years that make Northwestern basketball look good (in a significantly shorter time period, to be fair).

Forget the NCAA tournament. Until they made they qualified in 2008, Kansas State had never played in the eight-team Big 12 tournament. For most of my childhood, Kansas and Kansas St. at the bottom of the Big 12 standings in the morning newspaper was as reliable as milk and cereal in my bowl.
Coach Hill has cats moving up (kstatecollegian.com)
However, the Wildcats beat Baylor in a surprising way. A matchup between the Big 12 Conference’s top-two hitting teams, the Wildcats didn’t just swing for the fence and hope to out hit the Bears. They did it with pitching.

The K-State pitching staff allowed just six runs all weekend, limiting Baylor’s hits and keeping runs off the board. It was a good thing too, because the Wildcat batters took the weekend off, scoring well below their average of 8.3 runs per game.

To have success in the postseason, you have to have a balance of pitching and run support. Coming into the season, pitching was a major question mark for the team, and so far, the staff has pitched well. They haven’t been perfect, and with K-State’s offensive output, there has been some room for error, but they’ve gotten the job done.

Hill still has KSU improving (hutchnews.com)
"We're finding ways to win, that's the most important thing. This weekend, it was pitching. The weekend before, it was hitting," Hill said. "When those things happen, that's the mark of having a pretty good team."

Offensively, Hill said the top four hitters in his lineup - Martini, Adam Muenster, Carter Jurica and Daniel Dellasega - have provided the needed leadership to bring along the young players. All four are hitting better than .350 and have combined for 137 RBIs.

On the mound, weekend starters Ryan Daniel, Kyle Hunter and Justin Lindsey are a combined 14-3. They combined for five wins in 2009.

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