A current four-game stretch of playing nonconference teams will extend to five tonight at Tointon Family Stadium for the K-State baseball team. After the Wildcats’ midweek victory on last week against Grand Canyon, the Wildcats won a three-game series 2-1 at Iowa over the weekend. K-State will host the 16-27 Wichita State Shockers tonight.
The Shockers are looking to shake some of their recent blues. They enter the game having lost two straight games to Southern Illinois and three of their last five games.
The Wildcats, on the other hand, look to continue their recent success. They have won five of their last six games, and their only loss came over the weekend by one run to Iowa in a setting that K-State head coach Brad Hill said his team was not accustomed to playing in.
“More than anything else, we played well in tough conditions,” Hill said to K-State Sports. “We have played in great conditions almost all year, and then you come up here, and it’s 20 degrees colder, windy and rainy. The guys hung in there. We pitched really well all weekend. Offensively, we did what we had to do to win two games. Pitching, though, picked us up, and we played pretty good defense.”
The Shockers’ leader of consistency at the plate this year has been freshman outfielder Dayton Dugas. The native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, has a .312 average at the plate in 109 at-bats.
It is the play of freshman infielder Greyson Jenista, however, that also draws eyes. Jenista has a .308 average to go along with a run total of 23, a hit total of 36 and 25 RBIs.
For K-State, the heart and soul at the plate in 2016 has been senior outfielder Clayton Dalrymple. He has pieced together a .358 average while starting in every game for the Wildcats this year. Dalrymple leads his team in runs and hits with 41 and 64, respectively. He also has 22 RBIs and 11 doubles.
Freshman pitcher Brogan Heinen will take the mound for K-State. Heinen enters the game with a 1-0 record and a 3.14 ERA. Sophomore pitcher Chandler Sanburn will pitch for the Shockers with a 0-0 record and a 9.00 ERA.
Tonight’s game will be the first of two between the teams this week. They will go at it again tomorrow in Wichita for a makeup game that was postponed from earlier this season.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. today in Manhattan.