The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

Know Your Opponent: Strongest Sunflower Showdown on the diamond in years

K-State battles KU after suffering a no-hitter loss against Nebraska
Alexis Forgy
Catcher Raphael Pelletier throws the ball back against Oklahoma State. K-State won the series 2-1, the last series win the Wildcats have gained before playing Kansas.
K-State 26-18 (10-11)

Kansas State comes off a brutal 8-0 no-hitter loss to Nebraska with an important series against Kansas. After a strong stretch at the plate, K-State’s offense dwindled, especially against the Cornhuskers. K-State failed to reach five runs in three of its last four games — in two of them the Wildcats went scoreless. Without success at the plate, K-State’s chances to defeat any formidable opponent fall drastically. Quick improvement is needed against a surging Jayhawk squad.

Kansas 26-15 (12-9)

Kansas baseball is on a roll in a historic season for the program. As seven-straight winners, the Jayhawks hold a winning percentage that would be their best in over a decade. The Jayhawks succeed behind strong pitching and solid performances from the plate. On the bubble of the NCAA tournament, a big performance in Manhattan against a currently-projected tournament team could do wonders for Kansas’ chances to join postseason play.

Matchup to Watch: The battle of gaining or losing bases

K-State and Kansas differ drastically from the plate and the mound. That distinction only grows once the ball is put in play and runners find themselves on base. While pitching and hitting are often looked at as keys to win a series, this battle may come down to who strives between the bases.

The Wildcats easily stand as the most aggressive team running the bases. Ranking first in the Big 12, K-State has attempted 124 steals, succeeding on 105 attempts. Defensively, K-State shines with a .973 fielding percentage and keeps the threat of base runners away, with just 35 steal attempts against the Wildcats this season. Nevertheless, with 10 passed balls, the Jayhawks may find moments to advance a runner.

Kansas’ chances of stealing a base highly depend on passed balls. They rank lowest in the Big 12 with 26 attempts — 22 of which they converted. While offensive aggression is low, the Jayhawks rank lowest with just 34 stolen base attempts against them — just ahead of the Wildcats. K-State runners and Jayhawk catcher Jake English — K-State outfielder Nick English’s brother — will go head-to-head, with the Wildcat runners possibly testing him like no team has this season.

Key Players


Outfielder Brendan Jones

Catcher Raphael Pellitier


Outfielder John Nett

Catcher Jake English

Prediction: Kansas 2-1

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About the Contributor
Luke Lazarczyk
Luke Lazarczyk, sports writer
Sports editor for 2023-24. Previously sports editor for 2022-23 and writer for 2021-22.
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