The Wildcats are set to play at Tointon Family Stadium for the first time in 2020 Feb. 27. They take on Fairleigh Dickinson for a three-game weekend series.
Fans get to see the updated stadium for the first time since renovations were completed during the offseason.
“It’s a blast being able to come to work here every day,” pitcher Connor McCullough said. “Being able to play in this environment, in this culture that [head] coach [Pete] Hughes is creating, it is definitely a different atmosphere. It is an amazing thing, especially for our players that were here as long as me. Four-year seniors – guys like me – it’s amazing being able to come here from where we came from. We’re excited to see what the fans think about it and win some ball games for the Kansas State fans.”
The Wildcats’ record is 3-5 coming into this weekend off a 1-2 loss to Wichita State. Pitching and defense was the bright part for the Wildcats in the first eight games — the offense is what has been a little bit of a struggle. Senior pitcher Kasey Ford said he thinks that playing at home will help this team get the hitting to click.
Ford isn’t worried about the 3-5 record to start the season.
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“We had a slow start last year like this,” Ford said. “We figured things out offensively, and I think that is going to happen again and we will be just fine.”
Head coach Pete Hughes thinks the first eight road games were beneficial for the team to get out of its comfort zone and discover an identity.
“We went to Wichita and we didn’t do a good job of playing in a cold environment on a different field playing against the elements,” Hughes said. “If we want to go to Omaha, we better start to figure that stuff out. Last time I checked, it’s not easy to win in Lubbock, and it’s not easy to win in Fort Worth. And that’s a couple of places where we will head this year. Hopefully coming back home will help get us going.”
Head coach Pete Hughes is excited about being back home for the first weekend series. He says Tointon Family Stadium is where this team is comfortable and plays better.
“Hopefully there will be some excitement for [the fans] to see the news facilities,” Hughes said “It is definitely fan friendly. Once [the fans] come in and start talking about all the enhancements and a really good product to watch. That’s how you build excitement about a program and community. We’re looking forward to coming back.”
The first game of the series will be Friday at 2 p.m. The game can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN + and can be heard on 1350 KMAN.