BatCats return to Big 12 play against Sooners

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Just as the weather begins to warm up, so does the K-State baseball team.

The BatCats have won seven of their last eight games and swept Wichita State Tuesday and Wednesday. Even further back, the team won its past three series, and most recently in Iowa City, Iowa, K-State won two out of three games against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

But now the BatCats will return to conference play as they travel south to take on the Oklahoma Sooners for a three-game series in Norman, Oklahoma.

K-State evened up its record at 23-23 and 5-10 in Big 12 play while the Sooners are 22-22-1 and are 7-11 in the conference.

Oklahoma has won its last two games, defeating Kansas on May 1 Oral Roberts 12-3 at home on Tuesday.

The Sooners get lots of pop in the middle of their lineup from junior infielder Sheldon Neuse, who has hit nine home runs this season, which is good enough for a four-way tie for first in the Big 12. He also leads the conference in triples this season with five and has a team-high 39 RBIs on the year.

Oklahoma also has freshman catcher Domenic DeRenzo providing power in the batting order as he has hit the fifth-most home runs in the Big 12 this season at eight.

Defense has kept the Sooners in many games this season as they have the least amount of errors committed by any team in the Big 12 with 39, while Kansas has committed the most errors this year with 62.

Pitching has been a struggle this year for the Sooners. They have a team ERA of over four runs, and six pitchers have an ERA over five.

In their last five of six conference games, the Sooners have allowed five or more runs in the span.

Wildcat senior outfielder Clayton Dalrymple is having a good final campaign as he is second in the Big 12 in hits with 66. He also leads the conference in stolen bases with 14.

Last season, Oklahoma took the three-game series in Manhattan after losing game one to K-State in the regular season. These teams also matched up in the Big 12 Tournament. The Wildcats beat the Sooners 7-3 but then lost 3-1 later in the tournament.

The game on Friday is set for 6 p.m. Saturday’s first pitch is set for 3 p.m., and Sunday’s matinee will begin at 1 p.m.

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