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K-State Renews Sunflower Showdown with Kansas


GO WILDCATS RHP Kevin Melcher will get the start on Saturday against Kansas.
GO WILDCATS
RHP Kevin Melcher will get the start on Saturday against Kansas.
GO WILDCATS

May 17, 2002

KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (25-23, 10-13 Big 12)

VS. KANSAS JAYHAWKS (22-26, 5-18 Big 12)

May 18 * Hougland Ballpark (2,500) * Lawrence, Kan. * 7 p.m.

May 19 * Tointon Family Stadium (2,331) * Manhattan, Kan. * 1 p.m. (DH)

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS

May 18 * Kansas * 7 p.m.

KS - Jr. RHP Kevin Melcher (5-5, 3.11 ERA)

KU - Sr. RHP Jeff Davis (5-4, 3.83 ERA)

NOTE: Leads all pitchers in ERA, wins, innings (72.1) and strikeouts (50)... Ranks fifth among Big 12 starters in ERA... Was solid at Missouri (5/10), allowing 3 runs on 4 hits with 2 K's in 6.1 innings.

May 19 * Kansas * 1 p.m.

KS - Sr. LHP Brock Smith (4-6, 5.45 ERA)

KU - Sr. RHP Dan Olson (4-3, 4.00 ERA)

NOTE: Trails Melcher in innings pitched (69.1), wins and strikeouts (46) in 12 starts this season... Was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week after his impressive 4-hit complete game victory at Missouri (5/11).

May 19 * Kansas

KS - TBA

KU - R-Fr. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (1-4, 6.50 ERA)

NOTE: The possibilities for Sunday's starter are: Sr., RHP Ross Hawley (1-5, 6.86 ERA), Sr. LHP Franco Pezely (5-2, 2.60 ERA), Jr. RHP Mitch Walter (3-2, 4.14 ERA), Jr. LHP Jonathan Gutierrez (4-0, 4.19 ERA), R-Fr. RHP Eric Rollins (2-0, 7.00 ERA).

SERIES HISTORY

Kansas leads 149-144-1 (series dates to 1897)

In Lawrence: Kansas leads 76-58

In Manhattan: Kansas State leads 81-72-1

In Big 12 play: Kansas State leads 10-7

Last K-State win: 2-1 in Manhattan, May 4, 2001

Last K-State win in Lawrence: 6-2, May 2, 1999

Last Meeting(s): KU took the series for the second year in a row with 7-3 and 8-7 wins in Lawrence.

Notes: KU has won 4 of the last 6 meetings... K-State saw its 9-game win streak in Lawrence end last year.

COACHES

Kansas State - Mike Clark (Missouri Western, '75) is in his 16th season at K-State with a career record of 415-450 (.480). He is 708-586 (.548) in his 23rd season as a head coach. He owns a 35-27 record vs. KU. He is 18-11 in Lawrence and 16-15 in Manhattan.

Kansas - Bobby Randall (Kansas State, '70) is in his 7th season at Kansas with a record of 166-210 (.441). He has an overall record of 475-521-1 (.477) in his 18th year as a head coach. He was coach at Iowa State from 1985-95. He owns a 38-30 career record against K-State, including a 9-14 mark at Kansas.

RANKINGS

Neither Kansas State nor Kansas is ranked in any of the three major college baseball polls.

LAST TIME OUT

K-State clinched a spot in the Big 12 Tournament with 5-3 and 10-1 victories at Missouri last weekend.

Kansas have won 6 of its last 10 contests, but lost the series to Oklahoma last weekend in Lawrence.

TELEVISION

Tape Delayed on Metro Sports on Sunday - Ben Boyle/Matt Walters call the action... Curtis Lorenz is the producer... Both games will be re-broadcast on Monday, May 20 at 1 p.m. in the Kansas City area.

RADIO/INTERNET

Live on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN on Saturday - Brian Smoller/Matt Walters call the action. Live on 1350 KMAN on Sunday (game 1) - Brian Smoller/ Eric Pederson call the action. Tape delayed on WIBW-580 AM on Sunday (game 2) - Smoller/Pederson call the action. Internet broadcasts can be accessed at www.kstatesports.com.

K-STATE RENEWS SUNFLOWER SHOWDOWN WITH KU

On the heels of clinching its first-ever appearance in the Phillips 66 Big Tournament with a pair of wins against Missouri last weekend, Kansas State (25-23, 10-13 Big 12) looks to improve its seeding this weekend, as the Wildcats conclude the regular season with a split three-game Big 12 Conference series against archrival Kansas (22-26, 5-18 Big 12).

The first game of the series will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Lawrence at Hougland Ballpark, while the final two games will be played as part of a doubleheader on Sunday at Tointon Family Stadium beginning at 1 p.m. It marks the second straight season that the two longtime rivals have split their series.

Although the Wildcats have clinched their first appearance in the Big 12 Tournament, there is still much to play for against the Jayhawks.

The team can improve their seeding for the tournament, which could be as high as fifth or as low as eighth, depending on their performance and how others fare in the final Big 12 series of the season. Eight of the 10 conference schools finish the regular season in league play.

The Wildcats need two wins to surpass their previous high for wins in Big 12 play at 11 (1997) and tally their most wins in league play since 1995 (15).

A sweep would give them a 13-13 conference record, the Wildcats' first .500 record in league play since going 13-11 in Big Eight play in 1990.

Two wins against the Jayhawks would also guarantee the Wildcats their first winning overall record since 1997 (32-24).

ON DECK: THE BIG 12 TOURNAMENT...

Kansas State will make its first trip to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament next week (May 22-26), as the Wildcats travel to the Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. The tournament is double-elimination. Action gets started on Wed., May 22 with the first of four games beginning at 10 a.m. then conclude on Sunday, May 26 with the championship game. The Wildcats' first-round opponent will be announced on Sunday after regular season action concludes. All action can be heard on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN.

RECAPPING THE MISSOURI SERIES...

Kansas State clinched its first-ever trip to the Big 12 Tournament over the weekend, as the Wildcats swept a two-game series from Missouri for the second consecutive year. The third game of the series was rained out. The Wildcats have now won six in a row over the Tigers dating back to 2000.

K-State used both solid pitching and timely hitting to post 5-3 and 10-1 victories over Missouri. The team hit .320 on the season, scoring 15 runs on 24 hits, while the pitching staff held the potent Tiger bats to four runs on nine hits and a paltry .143 average.

Eight Wildcats posted multiple hits in the series led by RF Gabe Luttrell's 4-for-9 (.444) effort. DH Tim Doty had a team-best 6 RBIs, while LF Pat Maloney and SS Osmar Castillo scored 3 runs each. The pitching staff allowed just two earned runs on nine hits in the series with a 1.00 ERA.

On Friday, Doty broke out of an 0-for-15 slump with a bases-clearing double to left-center field to highlight a four-run eighth inning, as Kansas State rallied for a 5-3 win.

On Saturday, LHP Brock Smith tossed a four-hit complete game, while the Wildcat offense blew open a tight 2-0 lead with a combined eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings for a 10-1 victory.

PREVIEWING KANSAS...

Kansas (22-26, 5-18 Big 12) come into the annual Sunflower Showdown off a series loss to Oklahoma last weekend in Lawrence. The Jayhawks have won six of its last 10 games, including four of its last six. KU dropped a 3-2 lead after six innings to the Sooners in a postponed game from Friday in an 8-3 loss, but followed with an impressive 4-1 in the second game. OU won the third game and the series with a 6-3 win on Sunday.

Kansas started the season off with 10 straight wins, including a victory over Texas A&M, but followed that streak with eight consecutive losses. Since starting 10-0, the Jayhawks have posted a 12-26 mark. However, the team does have impressive wins over nationally-ranked foes Texas, Wichita State, Texas Tech, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

This will not only be the Jayhawks' last Big 12 series of the season, but their last games of the year.

SERIES VERSUS KANSAS...

In the longest continuous rivalry in both schools' histories, Kansas holds a narrow 149-144-1 lead in the all-time series with Kansas State. The 294 total meetings is the longest of any Wildcat opponent. The two have met at least twice every year since 1946 (with the exception of 1954 when they met just once).

Last season, Kansas took the season series for the second straight year by winning two games in Lawrence on May 5-6.

Kansas holds a 76-58 advantage in games played in Lawrence, while K-State has a 81-72-1 lead in Manhattan. However, the trend seems to have reversed the last few years with the Jayhawks losing nine of their last 11 games in Lawrence, while the 'Cats have dropped six of their last 10 in Manhattan.

WILDCAT CONNECTIONS TO KANSAS...

With a combined 23 players from the state of Kansas on the respective squads (14 on K-State, 9 on Kansas), there is numerous connections between the two teams. Kansas coach Bobby Randall was a first team All-Big Eight shortstop in 1969 for Kansas State and was named to the school's All-Century team in 2000. Randall earned both his undergraduate (1970) and graduate degree (1977) from K-State. Kansas assistant coach Brett McCabe is a former head coach at Augustana College (1997-2001) where he coached Wildcat twins Ross and Ryan Hawley.

WILDCAT PLAYERS VERSUS KANSAS...

This will be the first appearance for many Wildcat players against Kansas, as just five Wildcats - Nick Sorensen, Pat Maloney, Osmar Castillo and Ty Soto - have seen action against the Jayhawks. The foursome did not perform well against KU last season with Maloney leading the way with a .250 average. Castillo made the most of his 2-for-14 (.143) series with four RBIs and two runs scored. Wildcat hurlers' Kevin Melcher and Brock Smith did not fare any better, earning a loss and a no-decision. As a team, the Wildcats hit .272 a year ago versus the Jayhawks with 12 runs on 28 hits, including nine extra-base hits, and 16 strikeouts and four walks.

OFFENSE THE NAME OF THE GAME...

After scoring 15 runs in the two-game sweep of Missouri last weekend, the Wildcats continue to have one of the most productive offenses in recent years. The team is on-track to score 388 runs (7.6/game) on 577 hits (11.3/game) with 386 RBIs (6.7/game) and 903 total bases (15.7/game). It would be the highest run, hit, RBI and total base totals since the record-setting 1997 squad. The current batting average of .310 is also the highest since the 1997 team batted .326. After last weekend's offensive explosion versus Baylor, the Wildcats have tallied a .310 batting average through 48 games with 365 runs scored on 543 hits, 323 RBIs and 754 total bases.

SINGLE-HANDEDLY WINNING GAMES...

One of the most interesting notes about the improved-offensive prowess of the team is that they are doing it with singles. Lots of singles. It has been said that K-State is the type of the team that will "single you to death." Ironically, the 'Cats had 22 hits - all singles - in their 15-inning win over Texas Tech on April 5.

Of the Wildcats' 543 hits this season, 407 have been singles compared to just 136 extra-base (94 doubles, 9 triples and 33 home runs). That means that 75 percent of the Wildcat offense comes from singles.

With an average of 8.5 singles/game and three regular season games and two guaranteed contests in the Big 12 Tournament, K-State is on-track for 450, which would shatter the team school-record for singles (442, 1988). With 407 singles on the year, the Wildcats have now tallied over 400 one-baggers for just the fifth time (1988, 1991, 1997, 1999 and 2002) in the program's 102-year history.

OKAY, MAYBE NOT ROAD WARRIORS, BUT...

One of the biggest reasons for K-State's improved play overall and in the Big 12 Conference has been the Wildcats' ability to play better on the road. After a pair of wins last weekend at Missouri that earned the Wildcats' their fifth and sixth wins on the road, the team has already equaled or surpassed the total of road wins the last four seasons.

At 5-6 on the road in the league, K-State has already surpassed the win totals of 1998,1999, 2000 and 2001 and are just two away from equaling 1997. The five wins are significant - not for the obvious reasons - but for some of their locations - at Texas Tech and Texas A&M. The Wildcats were 0-6 lifetime in Lubbock before earning a two wins in early April, while they were just 1-9 in College Station before gaining a 7-6 win on April 13. It was the first win on the road vs. the Aggies in 11 years (1991). The Wildcats have now won three on the road against the Tigers, their longest winning streak in Columbia since winning three from 1995-96.

SCORING WITH TWO OUTS...

Despite being down two outs in an inning, Kansas State has shown an impressive streak of scoring runs this year. Of the 365 runs scored this season, 137 or 37.5 percent of them, have been scored with two outs in an inning. In series against Oklahoma and Missouri, 10 runs were scored with two outs, including 7 of the 14 scored in the series with the Sooners. In the 55-run outburst against Creighton and Baylor a couple of weeks ago, 21 runs were scored with two outs, including 13 of the 24 scored against the Bluejays.

Of the 45 games the team has scored, 40 have had at least one run scored with two outs. The team has scored four+ runs on two outs an amazing 15 times this year, including six or more on seven occasions.

SMITH NAMED BIG 12 PITCHER OF THE WEEK... Senior LHP Brock Smith was selected as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Pitcher of the Week on May 13 after his impressive four-hit complete game performance in helping Kansas State post a 10-1 victory over Missouri on Saturday. The win allowed the Wildcats to clinch its first-ever trip to the Big 12 Tournament.

A native of Lenexa, Kan., Smith earned his first career complete game in the win, as he allowed just one run on four hits with two strikeouts and just one walk in 101 pitches. The senior tossed eight shutout innings against the potent Missouri offense before surrendering a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to Missouri outfielder Wes Fewell. It was the fewest hits allowed by a Wildcat starter in a complete game since Derek Andersen shutout Howard on a four-hitter on April 17, 1999.

After allowing Missouri outfielder Jayce Tingler a lead-off single in the first inning, Smith retired 12 of the next 13 batters, including nine in a row, before second baseman Chris Julo doubled off him in the fifth inning. However, Smith retired the next two batters to get out of the inning and start a streak of 10 straight outs before allowing catcher Ryan Rothford a single in the eighth inning.

Smith is Kansas State's second Big 12 Pitcher of the Week and the fourth Wildcat overall to receive either Player or Pitcher of the Week accolades this season. Junior RHP Mitch Walter was named the conference's co-Pitcher of the Week on April 8, while senior SS Osmar Castillo and sophomore 3B Ty Soto were honored as Player of the Week on April 1 and April 29, respectively. In all, Smith is the 13th Kansas State player to be named the conference player/pitcher of the week since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997.

DOTY, MELCHER NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT VII...

Junior DH Tim Doty and junior RHP Kevin Melcher were among 11 student-athletes named to the Verizon /CoSIDA Academic All-District VII team announced May 13 by the district coordinator. The two will now move onto the national ballot for Academic All-American status.

The selections mark the first time two Wildcats have been named to the Academic All-District VII team since Charley Clark and Keith Hungate were named to the team in 1972. In all, Doty and Melcher are the 11th and 12th Wildcat players to be honored. Doty's selection marks the second time in his career he has been named to the Academic All-District VII team after he was selected as a sophomore in 2000. He is Kansas State's first two-time honoree to the team. A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., Doty has seen action in 47 of the Wildcats' 48 games, including 43 starts at either designated hitter or first base. He has posted a .325 batting average this season with 33 runs scored on 53 hits and 42 RBIs. He is tied with outfielder Pat Maloney for the team lead with 12 multiple-RBI games, while he ranks second in home runs (six), RBIs, slugging percentage (.491), walks (25) and hit-by-pitches (11).

The team's usual Sunday starter, Melcher has tallied a 5-5 record and 3.11 ERA this season in 14 appearances and 12 starts. He ranks first on the team in innings pitched (72.1) and strikeouts (50), while he has just 15 walks. Although he has just a 2-4 record in Big 12 play this season, he has posted a solid 3.09 ERA in eight starts with 28 strikeouts.

SCORING IN BUNCHES...

The three biggest innings for the Kansas State offense seem to be the third, fourth and fifth innings where the Wildcats outscore their opponents by a combined total of 153-96. K-State is outscored in the first, second, sixth and seventh, but do have narrow leads in the eighth and ninth. Nearly 42 percent of the team's runs are scored in these three innings. In the 55-run barrage in the four games against Creighton and Baylor on April 24-28, the 'Cats scored 30 (55 percent) of their runs in these innings.

However, this doesn't always suit the Wildcats, as the team scored 13 of their 15 runs against Missouri last weekend in the seventh and eighth innings.

SIX WILDCATS NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12 TEAM...

Junior DH Tim Doty, senior LHP Chad Duckers and junior RHP Kevin Melcher led six Kansas State players chosen to the Academic All-Big 12 baseball team released by the conference office on May 15.

Duckers, Melcher and Doty were all named to the conference's first team, while sophomore outfielder Brad Anzman, senior right-handed pitcher James Brazeal and sophomore third baseman Ty Soto were selected to the second team. The six overall selections were the most by a Kansas State team since the 1997 squad placed eight, while the three first team honorees were the most by the team in the six-year history of the Big 12 Conference. The previous high of two was accomplished in 1997 and 2000. A fifth-year senior, Duckers was also named to the first team as a sophomore in 2000.

THREE WILDCATS IN TOP 20 IN BIG 12 HITTING

Three Wildcats - Pat Maloney, Ty Soto and Brett Williams remain among the top 20 in hitting in the Big 12 Conference. It marks the ninth straight week that at least three Wildcats (Maloney and Soto have been ranked all year) have ranked among the Big 12's top 20 in hitting.

Maloney leads the conference for the ninth straight week, while Soto places eighth and Williams 20th. Aside from Maloney ranking in the top 10 in eight categories, Soto ranks sixth in on-base percentage (.458).

In conference-only statistics, the Wildcats also have three Wildcats - Soto, Maloney and Williams - rank among the top 20 in batting. Soto ranks fourth, Maloney ninth and Williams 16th.

As a team, K-State ranks fifth in Big 12 in team batting with a .310 average, while the pitching staff places ninth among the league schools with a 5.35 ERA.

A TOUGH STRETCH...

Kansas State finally finished one of the roughest portions of its schedule with their series against nationally-ranked Baylor. Nine of the team's last 16 opponents have been ranked in the Top 25. However, despite the harsh schedule, there has been some success for the Wildcats. Seven of the Wildcats' last 12 wins have come against ranked foes (No. 20 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Nebraska, No. 28 Texas Tech, No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 15 Baylor), while 14 of their last 18 losses have been to teams ranked in either of three major polls (Fla. Atlantic, Fla. International, Rutgers, OSU, Nebraska, Wichita State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Texas and Baylor).

PAT THE BAT...

After a stellar sophomore season, in which, he was named first team All-Big 12 by the league coaches, OF Pat Maloney has continued where we left off in 2001. The Overland Park, Kan., native, continues to lead the Big 12 Conference in hitting for the eighth consecutive week with a .406 average in 48 games this season. He also ranks among the conference's Top 10 in nine offensive categories, including ranking in the top 5 in hits (78), home runs (10), RBIs (50), total bases (128), on-base (.481) and slugging percentage (.661).

Maloney leads the team in nearly every offensive category (17 in all), including games played and started (48), at-bats (192), multiple-hit games (24) and multiple-RBI games (12). Already this season, he has had two double-digit hitting streak, including his current 12-game streak, to go with an eight and two seven-game hitting streaks. He has reached base in 45 of the Wildcats' 48 games, including 26 in a row dating back to the Oklahoma State series. He also has a hit in 42 of the 48 games. Last season, he tallied the third-longest hitting streak in school history at 20 games.

Even in the midst of just of his junior season, he is within striking distance of the K-State career top 10 in nearly every offensive category. His .370 career batting average would tie him for fifth all-time with Glynn Perry (1980-82), while his 25th career home run against Texas on April 21 gave him seventh place all-time.

DEVIL(S) OF A PICK-UP...

Kansas State got some much needed pitching help before the start of the spring semester, as LHPs Franco Pezely and Jonathan Gutierrez transferred from Arizona State. One of the biggest reasons for the improved bullpen, Pezely holds a 5-2 record and 2.60 ERA, along with three saves, in a team-high 19 appearances this year, while Gutierrez has a 4-0 mark and 4.19 ERA in 10 appearances and six starts.

Pezely tied Kevin Melcher for the team lead in wins with his fifth of the season, in relief, ironically enough of Melcher against Missouri last Friday. He allowed just one hit the last 2.2 innings with one strikeout. The performance against the Tigers came off impressive efforts against No. 9 Texas and No. 15 Baylor the previous two weekends. In 5.2 innings of work against the Longhorns, the senior allowed just two earned runs (three total) on three hits with 10 strikeouts and just two walks. Longhorn hitters batted just .150 against the crafty left-hander. In the first game of the doubleheader on April 21, he came in the sixth in relief of starter Brock Smith and allowed just one earned run (two total) on one hit with a season-high seven strikeouts and one walk. In Big 12 play, he has a 3-0 record (wins against No.8 Nebraska, No. 20 Oklahoma State and Missouri) and a 2.83 ERA in 11 appearances with two saves. Big 12 opponents are hitting a league-low .196 against Pezely with 28 strikeouts.

Gutierrez has become a strong mid-week starter, pitching six strong innings against Creighton on April 26. He tied a season-high with six strikeouts in five innings against Bethany last Wednesday with one earned run on two hits. He also pitched five solid innings against No. 8 Wichita State with three strikeouts.

TY-RRIFIC...

Sophomore 3B Ty Soto was selected as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball co-Player of the Week, along with Baylor junior first baseman Mike Huggins, on April 29 after his impressive performance at the plate in helping Kansas State to a 3-1 record, including its first series win over 15th-ranked Baylor over the weekend.

Soto was a major part of a Kansas State offense that posted a .340 batting average and scored 55 runs in four games. For the week, he hit .688 (11-of-16) with two doubles and a home run and earned eight runs scored and seven RBIs. In all, he tallied a .750 on-base percentage with three walks and a hit-by-pitch and struck just once. Against Baylor's vaulted pitching staff, Soto posted a .750 average (9-of-12) with five RBIs and five runs scored. He went 3-for-4 in the Wildcats' 14-9 win on Friday with three runs scored and two RBIs, including a solo home run in the fifth inning that gave the Wildcats the lead for good at 10-8. On Saturday, he posted his second 5-hit game of the year, as he went a perfect 5-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored.

Soto currently ranks second behind Pat Maloney in four offensive categories, including batting average (.361), hits (65), multiple-RBI games (11) and on-base percentage (.458). He also places among the top 5 on the team in several other categories, including RBIs (37), runs scored (34), at-bats (180), doubles (10), multiple-hit games (17) and walks (21). In conference games, he is performing even better, posting a team-best .371 average with 16 RBIs and 15 runs in 23 games.

BALDWIN's BIG DAY... C/DH Ryan Baldwin had one of the most impressive individual performances in school history against Creighton on April 24. The Tulsa, Okla., native went 4-for-5 with two home runs, four runs scored and a near-school record nine RBIs against the Bluejays. He tied individual season-highs in home runs, runs scored and RBIs, while his RBI total was one short of the school-record of 10 held by Bill Barnard against Iowa State on May 1, 1988. It also marked the second straight week that Baldwin had a grand slam after having one against Bethany (4/17). The effort highlighted a nine-game hitting streak by Baldwin that ended against Baylor on April 27.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES... RHP Kevin Melcher has quietly become the ace of the pitching staff in 2002, as he leads the team in wins (five), ERA (3.11), innings pitched (72.1), strikeouts (50) , while he is second in game starts (12). The team's usual No. 3 starter has been one of the main reasons for the Wildcats' improved play in 2002. The junior, who transferred from TCU last season, had his four-game winning streak snapped in the Wildcats' 6-5 loss at Texas A&M. Before the loss, he had picked up wins against No. 28 Texas Tech and No. 8 Nebraska and helped the team in their victory over No. 20 Oklahoma State.

Melcher has already surpassed most of his totals from the 2001 season. Last season, he had a 3-3 record and 5.02 ERA in 13 appearances and 10 starts with 19 walks and 26 strikeouts. This season, he has a 5-5 record and 3.11 ERA in 14 appearances and 12 starts with 15 walks and 50 strikeouts. In conference play, Melcher has improved his win total by just one, but has cut his ERA from 5.17 in 2001 to 3.09 in 2002.

WILL (IAMS) TO WIN...

After arriving in the fall as the back-up to Osmar Castillo at shortstop, 1B Brett Williams has found his place as the Wildcats' first baseman. Having seen action in 38 games, including 33 starts, Williams has not only solidified first base with 24 straight starts, but also had a big impact at the plate with the team's third best batting average at .341. He ranks 20th in the Big 12 in average and 16th with a .345 league-only average. In all, he has posted 21 runs and 21 RBIs on 43 hits, while hitting mostly in the seven-hole of the line-up. He had a nine-game hitting streak from March 27 to April 10, in which, he hit an impressive .552 (16-for-29) at the plate with six runs scored and three RBIs during his streak. He went 8-for-14 (.571) with a pair of runs scored in the series against Texas Tech, including a key 4-for-6 evening with two runs and a walk in the 15-inning win.

WALTER NAMED BIG 12 CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK...

LHP Mitch Walter was selected as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball co-Pitcher of the week, along with Texas junior RHP Jesen Merle, on April 8 after his impressive performance from the mound in helping Kansas State to its first series win over No. 28 Texas Tech on April 5.

A native of Graton, Calif., Walter pitched eight shutout innings of relief of starter Ross Hawley in the Wildcats' history-making 15-inning 7-5 win over No. 28 Texas Tech on Friday in Lubbock, Texas. Walter allowed just two hits with a season-high seven strikeouts and two walks in the longest outing of the season. His previous longest outing of the year had been 3-1/3 innings of relief against Florida Atlantic on March 16. In a game with nearly 500 pitches, he threw an amazing 112, including 74 strikes.

ONE HECK OF A BALLGAME...

Kansas State made history in a number of ways in 15-inning 7-5 victory over Texas Tech on April 5.

The 15-inning affair lasted a school-record four hours and 45 minutes and finished at 11:50 p.m.

It tied for the longest game in school history, matching the 15-inning contest thrown against Creighton at home on March 23, 1986.

The win represented the 700th in the career of head coach Mike Clark in 23 seasons at Kansas State and NE Oklahoma A&M.

The win was the first against Texas Tech in Lubbock after seven tries.

The win was just the third in 14 meetings against the Red Raiders.

The win put K-State above .500 for the first time ever in Big 12 play.

There was nearly 500 pitches thrown in the game. Texas Tech threw 258 pitches, while Kansas State tossed 232 on the evening.

Of the 33 combined hits, only two were for extra bases (both for Texas Tech). All 22 hits for Kansas State were singles.

The Wildcats stranded 16 runners and struck out 20 times.

Kansas State set seven (7) team season-highs for at-bats (62), strikeouts (20), sacrifice hits (three), runners LOB (16), putouts (45), assists (18), innings pitched (15), while Wildcat players set highs for individuals in at-bats, strikeouts, fielding and assists.

Texas Tech tied it at 5-all in the bottom of the eighth on two-run shot by SS Gera Alvarez. K-State finally broke through in the top of 15th on back-to-back singles by Brett Williams and catcher Ryan Baldwin. After an intentional walk to SS Osmar Castillo, Brandon Taylor hit a ball off the glove of pitcher Steve Rowe that bounced through the legs of second baseman, allowing Williams to score the winning run.