Wildcats win 11th straight

K-State baseball has outscored opponents 62-5 last four games

By Joel Jellison

The Kansas State baseball team continued its hot offensive streak on Tuesday, pounding Air Force 17-2 at Tointon Family Stadium.

Just days removed from outscoring Northern Colorado 45-3 in a three-game series, the Wildcats’ (12-7) bats wouldn’t stop against the Falcons.

K-State had 17 hits, nine walks and six batters hit by pitches, filling the bases with run-scoring opportunities from the first inning.

Wildcats coach Brad Hill said the team has picked up its offense during its current 11-game winning streak.

“It’s just getting on base right now,” he said. “Guys are willing to do anything. We’ve got walks and hit by pitches, and that’s a good thing, and guys are doing a good job of getting good pitches to hit with runners in scoring position. The pressure’s on the mound, and we’re doing a good job of continuing that pressure.”

Just a day after being named Big 12 Player of the Week, Mitch Meyer continued his hot streak at the plate, going 3 for 6 with two RBIs and finished just a home run shy of the cycle.

Meyer said the team changed up its approach since a 1-7 start to the season.

“We’ve really gotten back to working the opposite side of the field, taking a shorter approach and not getting too long and everyone’s feeding off each other,” he said. “It’s going pretty good right now.”

Meyer has been among the hottest hitters for the Wildcats in the last month, and is 9 of 15 at the plate with eight RBIs in the last four games.

Hill said his recent play has been important, as the team looks to strengthen its lineup entering Big 12 play.

“We need more guys up and down the lineup contributing,” Hill said. “He’s been a big part of that this last week, some other guys have been coming along too. We want a lineup that’s tough one through nine.”

The Wildcats have also shown more patience at the plate as of late, which has helped put more runners on the base paths for when the hits do come. Hill said why that’s happened is hard to identify.

“That’s been, with coach (Mike) Clement, our forte,” he said. “We’ve been very good at laying off pitches particularly early in the count — not getting ourselves out. How that happens or why that happens, I don’t know, but it sure makes us a better offensive club.”

K-State also got a big night from freshman catcher Tanner DeVinny, who was 2 for 5 with four RBIs. Shane Conlon had two hits and three RBIs, and Tyler Stover and Lance Miles each had two RBIs.

Nate Griep made the midweek start for the Wildcats, and scattered six hits in five innings, allowing two runs and striking out two. He allowed a run in the second inning on a sacrifice fly from Russell Williams, and a solo shot by David Thomas in the fourth inning. It was his first win of the season.

After getting off to a 1-7 start on the season, Meyer said the team has finally started to play like they knew they were capable.

“It’s been a lot better than the start of the season,” he said. “It’s good to get the confidence back and get everyone back on the same page.”

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