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Cats and Jayhawks Meet in Key Baseball Series


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

Kansas State (23-10-1, 3-8-1)
vs Kansas (27-15, 7-8)

Friday 7 p.m. Hoglund Ballpark
Saturday 2 p.m. Tointon Stadium
Sunday 1 p.m. Tointon Stadium (FSN)

Short Hops

TELEVISION: Sunday’s 1 p.m. game will be televised live by Fox Sports Midwest. Ben Boyle and former K-State head coach Mike Clark will call the action.

RADIO: Friday night’s game will be a K-State Sports Network broadcast with Brian Smoller and Matt Walters calling the game. Saturday and Sunday’s games will be broadcast live on SportsRadio 1350 in Manhattan and online at k-statesports.com with Matt Walters and Brian Smoller calling the action.

INTERNET: Live stats of all three games will be available at k-statesports.com.

SERIES: The Jayhawks lead the all-time series with the Wildcats, 155-150-1, but the Cats are 19-10 during Big 12 play in the series. Also, K-State is 85-74-1 in Manhattan against Kansas and 60-80 in Lawrence. Last season, KU defeated K-State twice in Lawrence after the Cats shut out the Jayhawks, 7-0, in Manhattan on Friday night. The last series win for the Wildcats came back in 2002.

RANKINGS: Kansas State and Kansas are not ranked in any of the three major college baseball polls this week.

COACH BRAD HILL: K-State’s Brad Hill is 79-65-1 in his third season in Manhattan. In 11-plus years, Hill has a career head coaching record of 497-156-1 record, which includes nine seasons at Central Missouri State and two-plus at Kansas State.

Noteworthy

Kansas State’s .322 team batting average is fourth in the Big 12 and ranked 17th in the latest national rankings out of 285 teams... K-State’s .972 fielding percentage ranks third in the league and 18th nationally... Joe Roundy has hit safely in 28 of 34 games this season and has 14 multi-RBI games this season... Barrett Rice has hit safely in 26 of his last 29 games, which includes 16 multi-hit and seven multi-RBI games in that span... Brandon Farr has caught fire at the plate recently, hitting safely in each of his last 17 games with a .456 average over that span... Rice is currently the leading hitter in the Big 12 Conference at .424... K-State has had four players with 10-game hitting streaks this season, inlcuding Farr’s Big 12 season-best 17-game streak... Kansas State is currently fifth in the league with a 3.89 team ERA... Also, the Wildcat pitching staff is sixth in the league with 7.12 K/9 innings and have the fewest BB/9 at 2.27... So far this season, K-State is 51-of-58 in stolen bases with 12 different players recording bags... Under Brad Hill, K-State is 68-4 when leading after seven innings, 48-26 when its starting pitcher goes six-plus innings, 58-17-1 when hammering out 10 or more hits and 63-6 when out-hitting its opponent... This season, the Wildcats are 13-3 in 5-plus run games, 21-1 when leading after seven innings, 4-0 when hitting two or more homers and 12-2 when committing no errors defensively... Also, K-State has outscored its opponent, 255-158, including 102-64 in the first three innings.

About the Opponent
Kansas enters the weekend series with a 27-15 overall record and a 7-8 mark in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks are coming off big 19-7 and 14-4 midweek games over Missouri State and Tabor. Kansas is hitting .291 as a team and are led by Jared Schweitzer’s .366 average. John Allman and Gus Milner are also above the .340 mark at .347 and .344, respectively, while Erik Morrison leads the squad with 10 homers. On the mound, Kodiak Quick leads the starting rotation with a 7-2 record and a 3.28 ERA, while the Jayhawks boast one of the top closers in the country in Don Czyz. Czyz currently leads the nation with 13 saves and is also 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 37 while opponents are hitting just .209 off the righthander.

Last Time Out
Wichita State pitchers held Kansas State to just four hits as the Shockers beat the Wildcats for the first time in two seasons Tuesday night, 7-3, at Eck Stadium. With the loss, K-State fell to 23-10-1 on the season, while Wichita State improved to 28-13. The Shockers out-hit the Wildcats 14-4 on the night and got four hits from Matt Brown, while Jared Goedert had two of the Cats’ four hits. Freshman Todd Vogel dropped to 1-1 on the season after surrendering four runs, three earned, on six hits through 2.0 innings. Wichita State’s Kris Johnson moved to 4-0 after tossing 5.0 innings and giving up just two hits.

Last Year Against Kansas
Chase Mitchell fired a complete-game, two-hit shutout and Jared Goedert went 3-for-5 as Kansas State used a five-run first to run past rival Kansas, 7-0, in game one of last year’s series. The complete-game shutout for Mitchell was the first-ever for a K-State pitcher in Big 12 play over nine innings and the second ever as Jonathan Guiterrez tossed a complete-game, seven-inning shutout of Kansas back in 2002. Mitchell scattered two singles, struck out five and walked two over 9.0 innings and retired 17 in a row at one point until a one-out single in the ninth. Kansas battled back in Lawrence the next two days to take the series with 15-11 and 6-4 wins.

Cats Becoming Offensive
Kansas State, in three seasons under head coach Brad Hill, has made a drastic improvement at the plate, including numbers during Big 12 play. In 2004, Hill’s first season, K-State hit just .214 as a team, while the Cats improved to a .264 clip in 2005. That .264 mark was sixth-best in the league. This season, K-State is hitting .285 in conference play, fifth-best in the league, and has three players in the Top 15.

In the Still of the Night
In 10 night games this season, K-State is 8-2 and his hitting .340 as a team with a 2.93 team ERA. Individually, Joe Roundy is 15-for-36 (.417) in night games with two homers and 15 RBI, while Brandon Farr is hitting .436 (17-for-39). Eleven different Cats are hitting .300 or better in night games with 16 different players recording hits.

TGIF
Kansas State is 8-1 so far this season on Friday’s, which also includes three big Friday night wins in Big 12 play. The Cats are hitting .359 as a team on Friday’s and have pounded out 10 hits and/or 10 runs in each of the eight wins on Friday’s this season. Individually, Jared Goedert is 14-for-31 (.452) on Friday’s with two homers. while Joe Roundy is hitting .364 with 20 runs driven in. Brandon Farr is hitting .447 (17-for-38) on Friday’s while Barrett Rice is hitting .382 (13-for-34). On the mound, Brad Hutt is 2-0 and has lasted at least 7.0 innings in wins over Missouri and No. 3 Nebraska, while Adam Cowart and Chase Mitchell are also 2-0.

At Home And On The Road
Kansas State is 17-5 this season at home, is hitting .334 as a team and has compiled a 3.72 ERA during that stretch. Individually, Joe Roundy is hitting .468 (37-for-79) at Tointon Stadium this season, while Barrett Rice (.494, 38-for-77) is the team’s top hitter at home. Nine players are hitting .300 or better at home this season. On the mound, K-State pitchers have struck out 177 batters to just 46 walks at home this season, led by Adam Cowart’s 32 strikeouts and just three walks. Opponents are hitting just .261 against the Wildcats at home this season. On the flip side, K-State is 4-4-1 on the road and is hitting .309 as a team. Brandon Farr (17-for-40) is hitting .425 while freshman Byron Wiley is 11-for-26 (.436) with two homers and eight RBI on the road to lead the Cats this season.

Defense Wins 
So far in 2006, Kansas State is fourth in the Big 12 and 18th nationally in team defense with a .972 fielding percentage and has committed 36 errors this season. Also, K-State is 13-1 this season when not committing a fielding error and is 18-4 when committing one or no errors. On the reverse side of things, four the Wildcats’ nine losses have come when they have committed two or more errors, including two at Missouri. Individually, 14 players have gone through the first 33 games with committing two or less errors on the season. Brandon Farr has a perfect 1.00 fielding mark in 183 total chances to lead the way.

Don’t Get Me Started
K-State’s starting pitchers are 19-8 with a 3.90 ERA so far this season, but more impressively, they have struck out 142 batters in 194.0 innings while walking just 36. Starters Adam Cowart and Chase Bayuk have each thrown shutouts in 11-0 and 9-0 wins over North Dakota State, while opponents are hitting .287 against all six different pitchers who have started games for the Cats this season.

Relief on the Way
K-State’s bullpen has also been effective this season, especially as of late. Wildcat relievers are 4-2 on the season with a 3.87 ERA in 107.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .269 against the pen and relievers have struck out 96 batters to walking just 40 this season. Individually, freshmen Ben Hornbeck and Justin Murray have been solid additions in relief as Hornbeck has compiled a 0.68 ERA in eight appearances. Murray has appeared in 11 games and leads all relievers with 25.0 innings pitched.

No Walk Zone
K-State’s starting pitchers are 19-8 this season and have all gone with the philosophy of filling up the strike zone, attacking hitters and letting their defense play behind them. Wildcat starters have walked just 36 batters in 194.0 innings this season, while the entire staff has walked just 76 in 301.0 innings. In 34 games this season, Wildcat pitchers have walked no one in nine games, while allowing more than three walks in just three games.

Smooth Criminals
K-State has been very efficient on the bases so far in 2006 as the Wildcats are 51-of-57 in stolen bases through 34 games. Thirteen different Wildcats have stolen bags this season with Brandon Farr leading the way with nine steals in 10 tries. Joe Roundy is close behind with seven. On the reverse side, K-State opponents this season are 40-of-50 on the bases.

Cats in the Clutch
So far in 2006, Kansas State has come up with the clutch hit en route to its 23-10-1 start this season. Through 34 games, the Wildcats have driven in 82 runs and collected 115 hits this season as a team with two outs. Seventeen different Wildcats have driven in runs with two outs in 33 games this season, led by Barrett Rice and Joe Roundy.

Hill Approaching 500 Wins
K-State head coach Brad Hill is 79-64-1 in his third season with the Wildcats. Overall, Hill has a career head coaching record of 497-155-1 in 11-plus seasons, which includes his first two-plus seasons in Manhattan and nine years at Central Missouri. He needs just three more wins to reach 500 victories in his career. And, assuming that mark comes this season, Hill will have averaged over 40 wins a season in each of his 12 years as a head coach.

All Square??
Kansas State and Texas Tech battled to an 11-11 tie in the rubber game of the two teams’ three-game series in Lubbock last weekend. The tie marked just the second time in Big 12 history that two teams played to a tie in conference play. Texas Tech and Oklahoma tied, 7-7, back in April of 2001 in the league’s only other tie. Also, it was the first time since 1982 that a K-State team played to a tie. The Cats and Northwest Missouri State tied, 5-5.

Rice Steaming Hot at the Plate
Senior Barrett Rice has gotten hot at the plate for Kansas State over the past month. In his last 31 games, Rice has hit .451 and has belted three homers and driven in 30 runs. His three-run homer in the sixth inning against Wichita State gave the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish as the Cats knocked off the No. 19 Shockers 6-3. On the season, Rice is hitting a Big 12-best .424 entering this week’s games and also has had multiple hits in 16 of his last 29 games. Rice also is hitting .404 in his last 12 games.

Eli’s Coming
Junior shortstop Eli Rumler has flashed some leather and showed off a big-time arm at short over the past two years. Now, Eli has come around offensively as of late as Rumler is currently hitting .333 in league play, third-best on the squad. Also, Rumler has stepped it up in big games as he has hit .318 against Top 25 teams this season and has recorded hits in 14 of his last 18 games, and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak. He also is hitting .350 (14-for-40) over his last 12 games.

Farr From Average
Senior catcher Brandon Farr has picked things up offensively over the last few weeks as the Cats have begun Big 12 play. The Humble, Texas, native has hit safely in each of his last 17 games with a .456 average over that span to raise his season mark to .367. Farr has had eight multi-hit games and drove in at least one run or scored a run in 15 of his last 17 games. His current 17-game hitting streak is a career-best and the longest this season in the Big 12 Conference. It also is the fifth-longest in school history.

Down, Set, Hutt
Sophomore Brad Hutt has a calm demeanor about him when he is on the mound. So far this season, Hutt is 5-2 with a 4.10 ERA and has picked up big wins over #19 Wichita State, at Missouri and No. 3 Nebraska in his last three starts. Hutt settled in over the middle innings after being down 3-1 in the fifth inning at Missouri as the sophomore kept the Wildcats in the game by holding the Tigers scoreless in his last three innings of work. Hutt gave up just one earned run and struck out two with one walk in 7.2 innings. Against Wichita State, Hutt pitched 6.2 solid innings to earn his third straight win, scattering eight hits and giving up three earned runs. He also struck out five without yielding a walk. Hutt earned his fifth straight win of the season to move to 5-0 after tossing 7.0 innings against No. 3 Nebraska and scattering 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

He’s Not Your Average Joe
Joe Roundy has hit safely in 28 of the Wildcats’ 34 games this season, which included a career-best and Big 12 season-long 16-game hitting streak. Roundy is currently among the Big 12’s leaders in eight offensive categories and heads into the week as the league’s No. 3 hitter with his .410 average. Roundy leads all Wildcats with 19 multi-hit games this season and also 14 multi-RBI games. The senior is ranked in the Top 10 in nine different offensive categories in the Big 12 Conference.

Wildcats Ink 10 During Fall Signing Period
Kansas State head baseball coach Brad Hill announced the signing of 10 players to National Letters of Intent to play baseball for the Wildcats beginning in the spring of 2007. The class consists of eight high school players and two junior college players.

2006 Kansas State Baseball Fall Signees

Name  Po.  Ht.  Wt.  Hometown (Last School)
Justin Bloxom  C  6-2  180  Phoenix, Ariz. (Goldwater HS)
Brock Floro  RHP  6-0  160  Atwater, Calif. (Buhach Colony HS)
Jim Lewis  RHP  6-0  175  Shawnee, Kan. (Bishop Miege HS)
Paul McCoy  OF  5-11  165  Killeen, Texas (Killeen Ellison HS)
J.J. Muse  OF  6-1  185  Albuquerque, NM (LaCueva HS)
Nick Phillips  RHP  6-0  175  Bartlesville, Okla. (Bartlesville HS)
Austin Presley  RHP  6-0  200  Austin, Texas (Westlake HS/Hutchinson CC)
Tyler Ruch  LHP  5-9  155  Fountain Hills, Ariz. (Fountain Hills HS)
Ronnie Welty  OF/P  6-4  195  Gilbert, Ariz. (Mesquite HS)
Trevor Whipkey  RHP  6-2  170  Baxter Springs, Kan. (Coffeyville CC)