Baseball team heads north for weekend series at Creighton

Emily DeShazer | The Collegian

Last weekend, the K-State baseball team saw their 12-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners. However, after losing two games, they have rebounded with two straight wins heading into this weekend’s matchup at Creighton.

After struggling on offense early in the season, K-State (15-9, 1-2 Big 12) is now hitting .305 as a team. A trio of upperclassmen lead the team with a .360 batting average: senior center fielder Ross Kivett, senior third baseman RJ Santigate, and junior shortstop Austin Fisher. Not far behind them is senior first baseman Shane Conlon, who is hitting .337. The four players have all started every game for the Wildcats this season, as head coach Brad Hill continues to rotate around several other positions on the diamond. Kivett has had an especially hot month, being named Big 12 Player of the Week on March 3 and hitting for the cycle Wednesday night against Nebraska.

Junior right fielder Mitch Meyer is another batter that has enjoyed a recent offensive surge; he was named Big 12 Player of the Week on March 17 and is batting .286 after a dismal start to his 2014 campaign. The Blue Valley alum is also tied for the team high in home runs with two, along with Kivett and Fisher.

The Bluejays (11-7-1) are fresh off an 11-0 defeat at the hands of Kansas, who held Creighton to four hits in the contest. However, the Bluejays have won 11 of their past 15 games and are 4-1 at home playing in TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.

Creighton is having a rough go at the plate so far this season, hitting just .243 as a team. Only senior outfielder Brad McKewon is hitting above .300, with a .313 average so far this season. The senior also leads his team with seven doubles and is second on the squad with a .434 slugging percentage. Joining McKewon in the outfield is Mike Gerber, who leads the Bluejays with four homers and a .456 slugging percentage despite a .253 batting average.

Creighton has had success on the mound this season though, especially from their bullpen, starting with closer Bryan Sova. The right-hander is 1-0 with four saves this season and a minuscule 0.54 ERA in 16 1/3 innings. Sova has 12 strikeouts compared to just one walk, and has allowed a single run all season. Joining him in a stacked pen is John Oltman and his 0.75 ERA in 12 innings pitched and Nick Highberger with a 1.32 ERA in 13 2/3 innings.

First pitch tonight is slated for 6:30 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. game Saturday and then the series finale at 1 p.m. on Sunday.