Editor’s note: The first game in the series, originally scheduled for Thursday, was delayed due to weather conditions. The article has been updated with the new dates.
Kansas State 19-12 (5-4 Big 12)
Despite being projected to finish seventh in the Big 12, Kansas State sits in fourth place and one spot behind Texas. The Wildcats have four conference wins over the bottom of the standings however, so Texas will serve as a chance for K-State to prove itself against tougher conference competition. First baseman Roberto Pena has led the charge lately, earning Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the Week honors.
No. 21 Texas 21-9 (4-2 Big 12)
Texas entered the season projected to finish fourth in the Big 12 but got off to a rough 3-7 start. The Longhorns bounced back, becoming arguably the hottest team in baseball. Texas went on a 16-game winning streak that included a three-game sweep of No. 22 Texas Tech. The streak recently ended against No. 16 Oklahoma State at home. The Longhorns now hold an 18-2 home record.
Matchup to Watch: Red-hot Roberto Pena vs. Ace starter Lucas Gordon
First baseman Pena is coming off an outstanding week with a .571 batting average and 14 RBIs. He is slugging at an exceptional rate, posting a 2.208 OPS, 1.571 slugging percentage and .636 on-base percentage. His four home runs during the stretch put him near the top of the conference in third place.
Gordon has been the Longhorns’ ace all season. A junior from Los Angeles, Gordon was named to last year’s All-Big 12 second team as a starting pitcher. His dominance has continued from last season, posting a blistering 2.04 ERA and 3-0 record. Gordon’s last outing was the Longhorns only win in the series against Oklahoma State. The lefty can go deep, throwing seven innings against the Cowboys and reaching at least 90 pitches in all six starts after opening day.
Prediction Friday, Texas 7-2, Saturday, Texas 11-5, Sunday, K-State 9-6