Fresh off a midweek loss to Wichita State, K-State baseball will wrap up its home slate this weekend against Oklahoma at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, with first pitch scheduled for tonight.
K-State (23-25, 7-11) pitching couldn’t find its mark early against the Shockers Tuesday. Wildcat pitchers gave up seven runs in the first three innings en route to an 11-5 beating. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak over the Shockers.
Moving forward, K-State will face the Sooners (30-21, 11-7) who lost two of three games last weekend against Oklahoma State in the Bedlam series (played in Oklahoma City).
The Sooners also fell to Wichita State 9-8 one week before K-State fell to them Tuesday.
“Oklahoma is really good,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said Thursday. “As far as balance, they probably have one of the most balanced teams in the league along with Oklahoma State, as far as being able to present both offensive and pitching. They’re very, very talented.”
Against the Sooners a year ago, K-State earned a shutout in game three. However, it was Oklahoma who captured the series win with dominant performances in game one and two.
However, history was made last time the Sooners played in Manhattan, as K-State beat Oklahoma in 2013 to clinch its first Big 12 title in school history.
This time around, though, the Wildcats will enter the series with uncertainty with their starting pitching, which has been up and down due to injuries and “different types of things” according to Hill.
“It’s not easy, trust me,” Hill said. “We’ve had to rotate around based on injuries and different types of things so we’re going to be the same this weekend. It’s just another compliment to our team, how they’ve kind of handled the adversity and the unknown of whose going to pitch and who’s healthy and who’s not.”
Oklahoma will send out Jake Elliott (4-4, .250 ERA) for tonight’s game against a K-State pitcher to be announced. Saturday will see Sooner Robert Tasin (7-2, .208 ERA) against a Wildcat to be announced. Sunday will pit Oklahoma’s Alec Hansen (4-5, 4.17 ERA) against a K-State pitcher to be announced.
Last weekend against Arkansas State, K-State threw redshirt sophomore Colton Kalmus on Friday, redshirt sophomore Nate Griep on Saturday, and freshman Bryce Ward on Sunday.
Saturday’s game will also mark Senior Day as K-State will say goodbye to fifth-year senior infielder Shane Conlon; two-year infielder Carter Yagi; two-year outfielder Max Brown; and first-year senior pitcher Mark Biesma.
Conlon will be leaving K-State will his name etched several times in the record books.
The senior is eighth in school history in career games played and owns the K-State record for career put-outs with 1,606. Conlon also hit the 200-career hit mark Tuesday, making him the 18th Wildcat to do so.
“It can be a little bit of a roller coaster for sure,” Conlon said. “It’s had its ups and downs, but looking back on it I’ve been a part of some really great teams and each year it’s a different group of guys and each year I’ve bonded differently with them. Each experience was different each year, but I’ve enjoyed every team I’ve played on.”
First pitch between K-State and Oklahoma is slated for tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Tointon Family Stadium.