BatCats look for fresh start in Morgantown

Senior catcher Tyler Moore comes off the field during the baseball game between the University of Texas and K-State on April 9, 2016, at Tointon Family Stadium. (George Walker | The Collegian)

A fresh ballpark could be all K-State needs to get a fresh start on its 2016 season. Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown, West Virginia, a location where the Wildcats have not played yet, will be the site this weekend where K-State looks to turn itself around 180 degrees.

Coming off a series-ending win over Texas, K-State, 14-19 and 1-8 in the Big 12, will square off against the West Virginia Mountaineers, who are 17-14 and 4-4 in the Big 12.

“You try not to look at your record,” K-State head coach Brad Hill said after Sunday’s win. “But where we’re at right now you just try to go out and play each day and not look at your record. When you look at your record, you get a lot of worry and nervousness and then you really can’t perform.”

The Wildcats’ hopeful charge to success will be led by senior catcher Tyler Moore.

Moore is on a five-game hitting streak and 12-game on-base streak. He couples that success with a .327 batting average, 16 runs, 36 hits and 25 RBIs.

His success recently had him listed as one of 13 catchers added to the 2016 Johnny Bench Award Watch List earlier this week, which is an award given to the top Division I catcher in the month of June.

For West Virginia, it is the play of a freshman that has led the Mountaineers to their 17 wins.

Freshman outfielder Darius Hill has started all 31 games for his team in 2016. In those games, he leads his team in nearly every category, tallying a .328 batting average, 23 runs, 39 hits and 23 RBIs.

History is not on the Wildcats’ side this weekend, as they enter the weekend trailing the all-time series against the Mountaineers, 3-6. K-State has also lost five of the last six games to West Virginia.

Junior pitcher Parker Rigler will start the series off pitching for K-State. Rigler enters tonight’s game with a 2-6 record and a 4.69 ERA. Senior Levi MaVorhis will follow up on Saturday afternoon. MaVorhis will pitch with a 3-3 record and a 4.60 ERA. Senior Corey Fischer will finish up on Sunday with a 1-3 record and a 5.60 ERA.

For West Virginia, 1-3 junior Chad Donato will take his 3.81 ERA to Friday’s game. Senior Ross Vance will be the next man up with a 4-1 record and 4.23 ERA, and sophomore BJ Myers will close out the series with a 3-3 record and a 2.86 ERA.

Game one will take place at 5:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday’s game will begin at 3 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will start at 11 a.m.