Just BS Sports Blog: What To Watch For In Manhattan Regional

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It would be easy to focus on Arkansas when the regional kicks off tomorrow afternoon but that’s boring. What else should we expect over the next three (maybe four) days?

1. Kansas State can flat out swing the sticks

The Wildcats entire lineup is hitting better than .289. Eight different players are hitting .314 or better and each have started at least 53 games. That would be the reason Kansas State has the second highest batting average in college baseball.

Austin Fisher and Ross Kivett are both hitting .356 to lead the team but another thing that sticks out is seven different players have double digits in extra base hits. Jared King (6 HR, 48 RBI) and Shane Conlon (7 HR, 28 RBI) are the obvious power guys in the Wildcats lineup but the rest of the team has just 13 home runs.

2. Bryant pitching staff not too shabby

Peter Kelich will get the start for the Bulldogs Friday night against Arkansas and he has the numbers to express concern. Kelich has a 2.53 ERA and a 83-18 strikeout to walk ratio. Kelich’s 7-4 record won’t scare Arkansas fans but he’s shown the ability to get outs and limit hits (77 hits allowed in 92 2/3 innings).

The Bulldogs have four players with seven or more wins including Craig Schlitter who has a team high 10. Of the four, Kevin Mcavoy (7-2) has the highest ERA at 3.42. Bryant has 448 strikeouts as a pitching staff, that’s just five less than the Razorbacks have this season.

3 Garrett Bayliff used to shocking it

The Wichita State outfielder has the highest batting average of any player in the regional. The Tuttle, Okla. native is hitting .389 in 61 games for the Shockers.

Bayliff is not a power guy. He’s not even a gap hitter. Bayliff has 91 hits this season and only 10 (nine doubles, one triple) have gone for extra bases. He does have 39 RBI but his 41 runs are second most on the team. His on-base percentage is also second on the team at .442.

4. Oh yeah, Arkansas’ pitching staff is good.

Really good.

Odds and Ends

* Kansas State’s pitching staff is nothing to write home about. Granted we are all a little spoiled by getting to watch Arkansas’ pitchers work but the Wildcats do not have a player with an ERA under 2.13.

* Wichita State averages 5.6 runs per game.

* The Wildcats’ Jake Matthys has been lights out coming in from the bullpen. He has seven saves and an 8-1 record with an ERA of 2.13 in 30 appearances. He has a 35-8 strikeout to walk ratio.

* Kevin Brown leads Bryant with a .368 average, 77 hits, six home runs and is second with 46 RBI.

* Aaron LaBrie is the go-to-guy in the Wichita State bullpen. He has a 4-1 record with a 0.87 ERA in 52 innings of work.

* Casey Gillaspie leads the Shockers with 10 home runs, 15 doubles and 26 extra base hits and is second with 42 RBI.