K-State kicks off West Coast Swing at CSU Bakersfield

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State begins a seven-game swing at California State on Friday, as the Wildcats take on CSU Bakersfield for a three-game series at Hardt Field.

K-State is seeking its first win of the 2022 campaign after dropping all three contests at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The Wildcats opened the season with a roster that included No. 10s Arizona, Michigan and Auburn — all of whom reached the College World Series in the past three seasons.

Blake Adams, a right-handed transfer from Arkansas, will again get the Friday night start at 8 p.m. CT against the Roadrunners. Last Friday, Adams batted out a career-high eight batters against Arizona.

Connor McCullough recorded five shutout frames in his start against the Wolverines and will take the hill on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT. Christian Ruebeck gets the call during the series finale at 3 p.m. CT.

All three matches will air on ESPN+ with radio coverage available on News Radio KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM). Live audio streaming is also available at K-StateSports.com/watch and the K-State Sports app.

GAME #4
K-STATE (0-3) at CSU BAKERSFIELD (1-2)

Friday, February 25 // 8 p.m. CT // Hardt Field (750) // Bakersfield, CA.
Projected starters: RHP Blake Adams (0-0, 6.00 ERA) v RHP Benji Caggianelli (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Look: ESPN+
Radio: KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM) // Mitch Fortner, Christopher Brown
Listen online: K-StateSports.com/Watch // 1350KMAN.com

Live statistics

GAME #5
K-STATE (0-3) at CSU BAKERSFIELD (1-2)

Saturday, February 26 // 8 p.m. CT // Hardt Field (750) // Bakersfield, CA.
Projected starters: RHP Connor McCullough (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Adrian Santa Cruz (0-0, 13.50 ERA)
Look: ESPN+
Radio: KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM) // Mitch Fortner, Christopher Brown
Listen online: K-StateSports.com/Watch // 1350KMAN.com

Live statistics

GAME #6
K-STATE (0-3) at CSU BAKERSFIELD (1-2)

Sunday, February 27 // 3 p.m. CT // Hardt Field (750) // Bakersfield, CA.
Projected starters: RHP Christian Ruebeck (0-1, 30.00 ERA) vs. LHP Kellen O’Connor (0-1, 1.69 ERA)
Look: ESPN+
Radio: KMAN (93.3 FM, 1350 AM) // Mitch Fortner, Christopher Brown
Listen online: K-StateSports.com/Watch // 1350KMAN.com

Live statistics



A LOOK AT K-STATE
K-State begins a seven-game road trip through California, starting with a three-game set at CSU Bakersfield beginning Friday… The Wildcats started the 2022 season at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field, going 0-3 to No. 10 Arizona, Michigan and Auburn…Tournament was the first time since 2000 that the Cats opened their season with three Power 5 schools…It’s also the first time K-State has dropped out his first three games of a season since 2018 (second time since 2009)…The Cats turned a seven-run deficit into two with a five-run eighth inning on Opening Day against Arizona…The rally turned finished with a deep ball off the bat from Dylan Phillips who was caught at the foot of the center field wall with two men on the base… Dominique Johnson led the Wildcat offense, going 4 for 10 with a double and two RBI… Johnson was the only K-State hitter to hit safely in all three games at Arlington… As an offense, K-State hit .204 with three extra hits (all doubles)… K-State’s pitching staff posted a 9.35 ERA, but led the Big 12 with 42 strikeouts (14, 4 per nine innings)…Wildcat pitchers walked 17 batters and hit 10.. A total of 18 players made their Wildcat debuts at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown – nine pitchers and nine position players.



BAKERSFIELD CSU SCOUTING
CSU Bakersfield hosted Oakland to kick off the 2022 campaign…The Roadrunners won the first contest of the series 5-4 but dropped the last two games (10-6, 7-0)…Angel Saldivar paced the offense of the CSUB with six hits in the series, going 6 for 12 with a pair of RBIs in … Andrew Allanson hit .308 with two RBIs … Starter Benji Caggianelli, who starts Friday against K-State, struck out seven innings in five innings without an earned run allowed in a no-decision effort against the Grizzlies … Left-hander Kellen O’Connor gave up just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings when he left, in striking out three… The Roadrunners hit .286 with two outs and .267 with runners in scoring position last weekend.



IN THE SERIES
K-State and CSU Bakersfield will meet for the first time since 2014 as it will be the first series between the Bakersfield teams since 2012… The Wildcats own a 5-4 advantage in series history and are 3 -2 on the road against the Roadrunners… CSU Bakersfield won two of three games in the 2012 series at Hardt Field.



SIR. FEBRUARY
K-State starting pitcher Connor McCullough owned February in now his third season at K-State… In six starts in February, McCullough has made six quality starts and holds a 3-0 record, with a sparkling 0.99 ERA (4 ER, 36.1 IP) … The redshirt sophomore right-hander had 43 strikeouts against nine walks in February and is posting a .88 WHIP … In addition, he hasn’t allowed more than one earned run and contested at least five rounds in each start of the month. .. In his first start of 2022, McCullough held Michigan scoreless in five innings with five strikeouts, not giving up a hit until the fourth inning… The Maumelle, Arkansas product is the only starter back from the Wildcats on the weekend … McCullough, who was a 2020 All-America freshman pick by Collegiate Baseball, tied for the team lead in starts (15) and ranked second in innings pitched (77, 1) and strikeouts (69) last season … He accounts for 15 of K-State’s 18 comeback starts, 77 1/3 of 104 innings withheld and 69 of 95 strikeouts.



NEW FACES, NEW PLACES
K-State’s 2022 roster is made up of 24 new faces, split evenly between freshman and inbound transfers… Eight of the Wildcats’ 12 transfers are from Division I programs, including seven from Power 5 schools and four from Big 12 rivals (two Oklahoma, two Oklahoma States)… Combined with a dozen freshmen and four redshirts, 28 players on K-State’s 40-player roster have never played a game in a Wildcat uniform… Plus only five have more than a year of experience… Senior Terrence Spurlin is the longest-serving cat, entering his fifth season with the program… Senior transfer and Columbia Josh Nicoloffwho was scheduled to be the opening day second baseman, hasn’t appeared in a college baseball game since 2020 after the Ivy League canceled its 2021 season… On opening weekend of the season, 18 players made their Wildcat debuts, including nine position players and nine pitchers.



BEGINNINGS TO REMEMBER
Several Wildcats made an impact in their first games wearing the purple and white… Dominique Johnsonfirst hit, hit his first single at bat at K-State, and finished the season opener with two hits and two RBIs in… Kaelen Culpepper and Josh Nicoloff also picked for the first time to the plate in a K-State uniform while Coarse cash recorded a pair of hits as the team’s designated hitter … Orlando Salinas, who pinched, scored a single and finished with two RBIs against Arizona … Redshirt rookie Brady Day hit a brace in his first batting career against Michigan … Reliever Neighbors Tyson was electric out of the bullpen, knocking out all three Arizona batters he faced on 11 pitches… Arkansas transfer Blake Adams teeed off Friday and hit a career-high eight as the junior right-hander went six innings.



NEW SHERIFFS IN TOWN
Former Oklahoma State Cowboy teammates Dominique Johnson and Orlando Salinas, Jr. caused a stir in their first series as the K-State Wildcats… Since first place, Johnson was the only player to record a hit in all three games over the weekend… On Friday against Arizona, he went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs… Plus, he walked, stole a base and scored a run and started every game in left field… His .400 average leads the team while Salinas hit .286 (second on the team).. Salinas came off the bench Friday and made two starts at first base and reached base safely in all three games and had a team-high three runs products.



OF THE ‘PEN
K-State’s weekend rotation ended with a 3.55 ERA (5 ER, 12.2 IP) with 14 strikeouts to just three walks… Conversely, the Wildcat relievers went combined for a 14.85 ERA, allowing 22 earned runs over 13 1/3 innings … Eleven pitchers from the bullpen had 28 strikeouts, but walked a total of 14 batters while batting eight more … Sunday against Auburn, six Cats pitchers combined to record 17 strikeouts — more than any game last season. . Tyler Ruhl, Dillon Pearson and Blake Corsentinoall making their first collegiate appearances, teamed up to hold Auburn scoreless through the final 3 1/3 innings, while piling up seven strikeouts and giving up only two hits between them… Corsentino retired l team in order in the ninth of their work run.

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