BatCats look to take midweek game

Junior pitcher Parker Rigler pitches during the baseball game between the University of Texas and K-State on April 8, 2016, at Tointon Family Stadium. (File Photo by George Walker | The Collegain)

After initially having two midweek games scheduled this week, the K-State baseball team will only play one. The Wildcats’ Tuesday game against Wichita State was postponed until May 4 due to weather concerns.

K-State will now stay in Manhattan and square off against the Grand Canyon Antelopes, 19-18 overall, tonight at Tointon Family Stadium.

The key behind the Antelopes’ success has been their play at the plate. Four different starting batters are averaging over .300 for Grand Canyon at the plate.

Sophomore outfielder Thomas Lerouge has been the leader for the Antelopes this year. He averages .325 at the plate, which is tied for third among starters on the team. But he leads in runs and hits with 31 and 50, respectively. He has also recorded 16 RBIs.

K-State is also having success as of late. Although the Wildcats have only won back-to-back games, K-State head coach Brad Hill said there is a different feel among his team when they take the field.

“When you come to the ballpark, there’s a better feel about it,” Hill said after Sunday’s win over Baylor. “It was a pretty heavy dugout and it’s hard to break that feeling when you go to the ballpark and you’re waiting on bad things to happen and that’s kind of where we were three week ago. Guys were trying too hard. We’re playing some better baseball now.”

The Wildcats, as a team, hit .374 against Baylor over the weekend. It was the second-highest average that K-State had in a three-game series this year, just behind its .411 average against the University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff.

“It was just a good approach weekend,” junior first baseman Jake Scudder said on Sunday. “We kind of stuck with our approach, going middle of the field and hitting the ball the other way. We got through the heat of our conference play with the best pitching, and this weekend kind of showed what kind of team we are.”

That same type of success at the plate could provide the Wildcats with an edge tonight. For Grand Canyon, sophomore Ethan Evanko will take the hill. Evanko has struggled with pitching this season as he holds a 5.16 ERA in the five games he has pitched in.

Freshman Logan Wiley will handle the pitching duties for K-State. Wiley enters with a 2-1 record on the season and a 4.56 ERA.

The first pitch between K-State and Grand Canyon will be tossed at 6:30 p.m. tonight.