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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Know Your Opponent: Similar Wildcats and Sooners battle one last time

Strong offenses in K-State and Oklahoma go head-to-head for three-game series
Avery Johnson
Second baseman Brady Day runs out of the batters box after a hit against Wichita State. Day went 3-4 on the night as K-State took down the Shockers 6-3.
K-State 21-10 (7-5)

Kansas State grabbed a much-needed win Wednesday night against Wichita State. In a style unlike it’s previous wins, the Wildcats won with clutch pitching and bunting with some blooper hits. For much of the season, the offense carried K-State while pitching ebbed and flowed. Four hitters lead the offense, standing over a .300 batting average with second baseman Brady Day front running at .398. If the pitching can use the Wichita State win as a boost, the Wildcats can play with anyone in the Big 12.

Oklahoma 18-14 (8-4)

The Oklahoma Sooners’ season is a mix of ups and downs. After starting 14-7, Oklahoma lost seven of its last eleven games, including falling in a series sweep against the surging Lamar. Once a Top 25 team, the Sooner bats do much of the work, ranking third in batting average in the Big 12 — one spot behind K-State. With struggles at the mound, the Sooners and Wildcats face similar strengths and weaknesses in the three-game series.

Matchup to Watch: Strong offenses vs. inconsistent pitching

K-State and Oklahoma’s seasons align closely through over 30 games each. While the offenses are second and third in conference batting average and each top five in most offensive categories, the pitching lags behind. The Sooners rank eighth in the Big 12 with a 5.35 ERA as the Wildcats land 11th with a 5.65 ERA. 

K-State’s offense found both speed and power. While leading the Big 12 in triples and stolen bases, the Wildcats are still top five in home runs, with 46 this season. Aggressive hitting and base running kept an inconsistent pitching rotation. With only two pitchers who have pitched double digit innings to reach an ERA below four, the Wildcats’ bats are needed for most victories.

Oklahoma’s season follows a similar pattern. Five Sooner pitchers with double digit innings have an ERA below four, but two regular starters’ ERAs expand beyond six. Meanwhile, four batters all batting above .300 lead the Oklahoma offense.

One of two elements will determine the winner of the series: what team can provide a spark in pitching, or which bats can outlast the others.

Key Players


Second baseman Brady Day

Pitcher Tyson Neighbors


Infielder Jackson Nicklaus

Pitcher Kyson Witherspoon

Prediction: Oklahoma 2-1

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About the Contributors
Luke Lazarczyk
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
Avery Johnson
Avery Johnson, multimedia editor
Multimedia editor for 2023-24. Previously photographer for spring 2023.
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