Friday, April 20, 2012

Game Day: Kansas State Wildcats @ MU

Kayvon Bahramzadeh
Scott Weaver Photos
   
Pop Quiz:  Which team uttered the following quotes? Missouri or Kansas State?
  • "That's been the story in the Big 12 for us.  We've played just close enough to get beat. We have to step up."

  • "We executed everything we needed to except for the game-winning hit. That's very disappointing. We had fight and we had competitiveness, but now we need to get back to winning. Who can step up, get that big hit and win a game for us."

  • "It's extremely tough. Bad things are going to happen, good things are going to happen... you have to keep your head up."
Those are all quotes from the Wildcats' coach and players.  Point being, K-State has had a pretty similar up-and-down season to what the Tigers have experienced.  Both teams come into this weekend needing a Big 12 series win badly.

The Tigers have enjoyed a rare week off from mid-week ballgames, a chance to focus on late-semester schoolwork and to get their heads in the right place after a series of tough weekends int eh Big 12.

The Wildcats, on the other hand, after being swept by Baylor last weekend (sound familiar?) have played a pair of games against Northern Colorado.  They won Thursday on a walk-off double in the 9th, and won again Wednesday, 7-5.  They gave their bullpen a workout in the process.


♦ MU vs. KSU Stats
MUKSU
Batting Average
.277
.294
ERA
4.66
 5.28
RPI
.515
.525
RPI rank
122nd
102nd
Strength of Schedule
104th
81st


♦ K-State is 19-18 on the season, 3-9 in the Big 12, very similar to MU's record of 18-17 and 3-9.  The Wildcats have seen a lot of high-scoring games, even in their losses.  Their average runs scored has been 6.4 vs. their opponents' 5.9.

In the Big 12, they have gone 1-2 against each team (A@M, UT, OU) except for the Baylor Bears, who sweep everybody.  Kansas State has won only two series sweeps on the year, to the mighty pair of Hartford and Sacred Heart.

♦ Brad Hill will be coaching his 500th game as the Kansas State Head Coach on Friday at Missouri

Weekend CoMo Weather
FRI 54 /  Cloudy
SAT 64 / Mostly Sunny
SUN 70 / Sunny
Two seniors anchor Cats' pitching staff (The Mercury)
When Matt Applegate and Kayvon Bahramzadeh were freshmen, there was no expectation for NCAA tournament appearances for the Kansas State baseball program.

And that's not an unfair statement. After all, when these two pitchers were freshman, the Wildcats had never seen the NCAA tournament.

Now, Applegate and Bahramzadeh are the lone seniors and leaders of the pitching staff, and K-State is coming off three straight NCAA tournament appearances.
. . .
K-State head coach Brad Hill — who was also named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2009 — said Applegate and Bahramzadeh have put on their hard hats this season.

"They are great examples and extremely hard workers," Hill said. "That's first and foremost. It's about hard work. This isn't about coming in, punching the clock and throwing a few pitches around. It's about trying to get better every day.

"Matty's well conditioned and Kayvon is a guy that is very vocal — he's a little more vocal than Matty. Matty is a guy that you watch him go play and compete — he's a competitor. They both bring some different things to the table and they've both done a good job of helping this young pitching staff develop... and we're starting to make some strides and see some progress."
Jake Brown, Big 12 Player of the Week (3/12/12) (Big12Sports.com)
Kansas State senior shortstop Jake Brown tied a Big 12 record as part of a career week for the Wildcats. In five games last week, Brown hit .524 (11-for-24) with three doubles, one home run and 11 RBI, while also recording an .810 slugging percentage and a .545 on-base percentage.

In the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Brown tied a Big 12 and school record with six hits in six at-bats, including a pair of two-RBI doubles. It was the first time since 2008 a Big 12 player had six hits in a game, while it was the first by a Wildcat since 1999. Brown followed that contest with a 2-for-4 effort in the nightcap, finishing his day by going 8-for-10 with seven RBI. Brown hit just his third career home run on Friday to begin the series, a three-run shot, and capped his week by hitting an RBI double off the right-field wall on Sunday.

Thanks to his big week, the Wildcat raised his season batting average nearly 100 points to rank seventh in the league at .364. He is also tied for eighth in hits, third in runs, fifth in RBI and seventh in on-base percentage after not seeing his name in the top 10 of those categories prior to the week.

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