Know Your Opponent: Sunflower Showdown series in Lawrence

The K-State Wildcats played a series against West Virginia on March 31, April 1 and April 2, 2023. The last game closed the series 1-2, with a loss of 10-6 to the Mountaineers. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s note: Added a caption and photo credits to the featured photo.

K-State 21-14 (6-6 Big 12)

Kansas State baseball, fresh off a dominant 10-0 win against Creighton, aims to continue its success against in-state rival Kansas. K-State has thrived on the road but has struggled in Big 12 away games. The Wildcats’ key for victory lies in its offense’s explosive potential. The Wildcats post the second most runs in the conference with six or more in seven conference games.

Kansas 17-15 (5-4 Big 12)

Kansas baseball has thrived at home throughout the season, going 6-0 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks find themselves ahead of K-State in the Big 12, although they possess a worse overall record. Even with conference success, Kansas ranks last in both hitting percentage and low run production within the Big 12. They will be looking to climb into the conference elite during the weekend.


Matchup to Watch: K-State hitters vs. Kansas bullpen

K-State’s success lies in its hitters; taking advantage of pitching will be important. Right fielder Cash Rugely and first baseman Roberto Pena have played a large role in the Wildcat’s offense while Tyson Neighbors and Mason Buss have been productive on the pitching side. Buss and Neighbors are a combined 6-2 in starts and have an ERA under 3.00, giving the hitters more leeway to go for the fences. 

Despite having a lackluster team ERA, Kansas is the best in the league in fielding, and it commits the least errors. The Jayhawk bullpen has struggled throughout the season, with only one player under a 4.00 ERA. Meanwhile, the Wildcat offense ranks third in Big 12 home runs. If conditions are ideal for hitters to thrive in, K-State can take advantage of the Jayhawks with the long ball. 



Friday, K-State 7-5 

Saturday, Kansas 9-3 

Sunday, K-State 10-7

(Graphic by Catherine Eldridge)