After going 4-3 during a seven-game homestand, K-State baseball will pack up their gear and head north to Lincoln, Nebraska for the start of a six-game road trip.
The Wildcats (18-20, 5-10) will play the second of their two-game season series with the Cornhuskers (29-13, 6-6) tonight after dropping the final two games of the series to No. 24 Texas Tech this past weekend.
“It’s tough,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said Sunday. “You only have six home games left and that’s not very many games. So we’re going to have to find ourselves, pick ourselves up and go up to Lincoln and hopefully play good baseball there and try to get some momentum heading into Waco (Texas).”
Nebraska, meanwhile, is also coming off of a disappointing series, dropping the final two games to Ohio State in extra innings.
K-State fell to the Cornhuskers in the first game of the home-away series earlier this month 5-4 in an extra-innings heartbreaker.
The Wildcats were able to get the go ahead run to the plate in the eighth and ninth innings but the team was unable to produce the needed run. Then, in the 10th inning, Nebraska hit a two-out RBI to clinch the game.
“We’re not going to forget about that,” senior infielder Shane Conlon said. “But it’s a new game. Baseball gives you that opportunity to play them again. I think we’re looking forward to playing them at their field. It’s always been a fun environment since I’ve played there.”
Conlon enters Tuesday’s matchup with a .389 average with two doubles and an RBI in the Wildcats’ last four games. Conlon is the team leader this season in hits with 44, as well as extra base hits with 15.
In addition to Conlon’s hot streak, junior outfielder Clayton Dalrymple leads the team in nonconference games with a .382 average and a team-best .475 on-base percentage.
K-State’s pitching, particularly their relievers, has also been strong of late.
Over the past five games, the Wildcat bullpen has accrued an ERA of 1.46. In addition to that, five K-State relievers have not allowed a run in the past 12 games
“(We have to) come out playing hard,” senior outfielder Max Brown said. “Definitely for momentum going into Baylor this upcoming weekend. Nebraska is a good team — it’s definitely hard playing at their place, but I have all of the confidence in us.”
K-State has lost two-straight games to Nebraska including the last matchup in Lincoln where K-State fell 14-5. K-State, however, has won five of the last seven contests between the two teams and two of the last three in Lincoln.
Nebraska owns the overall series over the Wildcats 167-112.
“Nebraska is always a big game for us,” senior infielder Shane Conlon said. “So it will be a fun environment down there to play in. Hopefully we can get on track and get rolling a big weekend series with Baylor for us.”
First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. tonight at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park in Lincoln with senior right-hander Mark Biesma (0-1, 7.16 ERA) dueling against Nebraska’s Garret King (3-0, ERA 2.72).