Kansas State continues recent
By Brian Buckey
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
year was a record year for the Kansas State Wildcats. And all
early signs point to this year being even better.
2009, the Wildcats recorded a school-record 43 wins, finished
fourth in the Big 12 and made it to their first-ever NCAA
Kansas State sits in second place in the Big 12 standings and
boasts a 27-8 record, their best start ever.
last year’s success, many people around the program have
heightened expectations for this season. But for head coach Brad
Hill, this season represents a new challenge.
almost a whole new team really from last year,” Hill (left)
said. “We have six new position players and three new starting
pitchers. We’re more concerned with who we’re going to be. But
we still have the memory of what it felt like last year to get
Wildcats’ fast start this season has earned them a No. 16 rating
“That’s not really something we pay attention to a whole lot,”
senior pitcher Ryan Daniel said. “We come prepared every day to
play. We’re confident that we can beat anyone, but we’re not
really looking at the ranking.”
the biggest challenges for Kansas State this year has been
replacing 2009 All-American and Big 12 Pitcher of the year A.J.
Morris, who went in the fourth round of the 2009 Amateur Draft
to the Washington Nationals. Also gone from last year are
starters Lance Hoge and Todd Vogel.
don’t have a prime-time, feature player like A.J. Morris
anymore,” Hill said. “We knew we had a 90 percent chance of
winning when he was on the hill. Now we have to kind of pitch by
pitching staff this year is led by sophomores Kyle Hunter and
Justin Lindsey along with senior Ryan Daniel. Hunter leads the
team with a 7-0 record and boasts a 3.10 ERA. Lindsey is 3-2
with a 3.72 ERA and Daniel is 5-1 with a 4.00 ERA.
Kansas State bats have also impressed early in the season.
Seven players have a batting average above .300 led by sophomore
Nick Martini’s .430 average. Freshman Blair DeBord is batting
.394, senior Adam Muenster .378, junior Carter Jurica .370 and
senior Daniel Dellesega .354.
doing a lot of the same things we did last year,” Muenster said.
“We have a very aggressive approach and we have the freedom to
swing at pitches early in the count.”
confidence from last year is carrying over into this season it
has shown in the results.
been kind of a slow process,” Coach Hill said. “We had a lot of
questions going into last year. A lot of guys had above average
seasons and last year kind of came into place. Now these guys
have jumped on the bandwagon and we feel like we have a chance
to do something great.”
two years ago, in 2008, the Wildcats had a .500 season at 29-29.
Now 29 wins in a season might seem like an afterthought for the
Kansas State program.
year I’ve been here there’s been more growth,” Muenster said.
“Our guys love the game and play hard. And we feel if we have
that mentality the results will take care of themselves. I think
everyone has bought into that.”
(photos courtesy of KSU Media