MattBob's Baseball Report-Kansas State

The 14th-ranked Cowboys hosted the up-and-coming Kansas State Wildcats this weekend. OSU won the series to go to 27-9 on the season and 8-4 in conference, which is good enough for second in the Big 12. The Wildcats have not been swept in a series since OSU did just that in Manhattan just last year, and they have taken a game from each of the top three schools in the Big 12 - Texas, OSU and Mizzou.

A big part of the Wildcats' new found success is sophomore outfielder Byron Wiley. Wiley finished the doubleheader on Saturday with five hits. However, it was the young man's glove that turned the most heads. The speedy centerfielder ran down several balls that would have been doubles. His range kept the Wildcat pitchers from giving up runs in both games. Good hits became pop outs because of his amazing effort.

The first game of the series on Sunday saw Rebel Ridling collect three hits, including his second triple of the season on the way to 5-3 victory. Ridling improved his team-best batting average in Big 12 play to .449.

The second game of Sunday's doubleheader saw the Wildcats chase seven Cowboy pitchers while collecting 14 hits on the day. Meanwhile, Cowboy hitters were kept off balance by starter Chase Bayuk, who allowed just one earned run in a winning 7-1 effort.

The series finale Monday saw the Cowboys take their warning track power and turn it into powerful home run shots. The three home runs and a two-hit, four-RBI day by Tyler Mach powered the Cowboys to a convincing win.

Fans were left holding their breath at the conclusion of Monday's game. In the top of the ninth with two outs, Ty Wright chased down a pop fly in left field before colliding with the wall and lying motion-less on the ground for a minute. This coming on the heels of an injury to center fielder Keanon Simon, in similar fashion, in the Baylor series. Ty would go on to complete the game. However, with a situation like this any injuries are not known until after the game. We shall see if he plays against lowly Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Corey Brown, the Cowboys' veteran leader, has been the focus of much discussion this spring. However, it has little to do with the fact that Brown with 15 home runs had more home runs than the entire KSU team. The discussion has been focused on his intro song. Brown has received several complaints over his "Walk It Out" intro. After going o-fer in both games of the doubleheader, Corey changed his intro song for Monday's rubber game back to last year's intro of "Riding Dirty." Brown returned to last season form by drawing a pair of walks and hitting a towering home run that cleared the batter's eye in deep center field.

The series MVP goes to the man responsible for both the Cowboy wins this weekend. Right-handed eliever Justin Friend worked the last inning of Sunday's doubleheader to collect the save. Justin also collected the win on Monday in five 1/3 innings of relief work. He allowed just three hits striking out four Kansas State batters. This is not Friend's first honors this season, as he was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week back on March 19 for his 13-strikeout performance against Hartford .

The Cowboys will not receive any rest this week. They host Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a pair of mid-week games Tuesday and Wednesday, before leaving for College Station to take on Texas A&M this weekend. Tuesday's game with Pine Bluff is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. However, rain is in the forecast which may affect start time. The series will conclude with a Wednesday day game scheduled for 3 p.m., but may be moved up to accommodate a doubleheader if Tuesday is rained out. The Pine Bluff series will be free to all those who want to attend.

GoPokes Top Stories