Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
With a share of both the football and basketball regular season championships in its back pocket, the Kansas State Wildcats look for a triple crown this weekend in attempting to take home the league’s baseball championship as well. The Wildcats (37-15, 14-7) have won four straight following a three game sweep of KU (31-21, 12-12) last weekend and are enjoying their first national ranking since 2009.
Standing in K-State’s way are the West Virginia Mountaineers (30-23, 12-9) and Oklahoma Sooners (35-17, 12-9) – although K-State already took its series against West Virginia 2-1 earlier this year and cannot do any more to impede the team’s advancement. However, as long as the team can secure two victories against Oklahoma this weekend, it will not matter.
#18 Oklahoma is looking to bounce back after dropping a nonconference game against Dallas Baptist on Tuesday 6-4 which caused the Sooners to drop seven of its last nine games. They were ranked 10th in the nation at one point after defeating New Mexico to win the Kleberg College Classic Championship followed by a winning against #29 Pepperdine. However, they have struggled since and are only 4-5 in conference road games and 7-8 overall on the road.
Hosting Oklahoma is a Wildcat team with a 7-2 conference home record and 22-6 at home overall. The squad is batting .321 on the season while holding opponents to .262 for a gaudy hitting discrepancy The ability to get on base is translating into runs, as the Wildcats have outscored opponents 331-221 on the season. One area the team has not excelled at is the power game – despite scoring over 100 more runs, the team has only hit 26 home runs while giving up 23. They have thrown two shut outs while being blanked once.
Although West Virginia is still in the conference race, the Mountaineers will have a tough time banging out three wins against Oklahoma State (37-13, 11-9). The Cowboys are 1/2 game behind WVU and OU after having a conference game canceled earlier this year but have the highest overall winning percentage at .740 (K-State is the only other school above 70 percents at .712). However, OSU is not in the running for the Big 12 championship, which K-State needs one win this weekend to secure a share of and two wins to win outright. Friday and Saturday night games against Oklahoma start at 6:30 while Sunday’s final installment will get underway at 1:00 pm.