A couple of deer were frolicking (running away from a bicyclist) on the OR-State campus this morning. It is a beautiful morning with no clouds and a slight wind from the north. Temperature at game time tonight should be in the 70's. Bat Cats need to focus on this one game.
Last night's game leading into the 9th inning was a game of one pitch. If I recall correctly, Flattery was ahead in the count when Conforto hit the ball hard enough to probably clear a 400' fence. At the time Peterson was on first, which the Cats could have lived with. Ignoring that home run ball the Cats were leading by what seems the normal route of scoring by getting a walk or hit by pitch. Since that home run did happen, the Cats were down 2-1 when the 8th inning came around.
In the top of the 8th, the Cats had the bases loaded with 1 out when Davis struck out, followed by Fisher's infield hit for the force out at second. The Beavers made a brief run in the bottom of the 8th using bunts effectively, but did not score.
The top of the 9th started with the Cats in the bottom of the order. The first 2 batters had outs and the OR-State faithful were pretty confident in victory when Kivett hit a nice ball to right field, which wasn't fielded cleanly, ending up on third although credited with a double. Witt then had a very nice single to center field to score Kivett and tie up the game, followed by Conlon grounding out to first.
At this stage of the game, the K-State folks in attendance were getting excited because the Bat Cats seem to have this script memorized. The OR-State fans were mentioning that the Beavers had won several games in the bottom of the ninth, but the Bat Cats were able to obtain three outs in four batters to set up an extra inning.
The 10th inning was all K-State with 4 runs on 5 hits, despite a couple of base running decisions that are easy to second guess after the events happen. Leading off with a double by King was enough to get the K-State fans excited and after that it was just a matter of watching the Bat Cats complete the script they do have memorized.
The OR-State fans had a little to cheer for in the bottom of the 10th when Smith hit a double, but the fans seemed to have conceded the game at this point based on the comments around me. K-State obtained the three outs in four batters.
A few notes:
Goss field is a very nice venue and they have added additional seats in the batting cage for this series. The atmosphere is very intense, the fans are quite knowledgeable and have helped keep this baseball hater informed of how things are going. The second baseman for the Beavers is very quick, he's almost playing short right field and second base.
Tonight's game will be tough and the Cats will have to bring the A-game again to win the series. I doubt tonight's game is a score-fest and the Cats will need some good pitching.
Most of the Cat fans at the game for K-State are parents, although there are a few of us scattered through the crowd not related to a player. Robert made the trip and I'll bet money that he's enjoying this year. All the parents I've talked with have been great folks and are very much enjoying the success of the team, it has been fun learning about the team from these conversations.
Most of the fans at the game are not students despite it being finals week at OR-State. K-State needs to make sure there are plenty of student tickets available for events like this if it ever hosts. Give the students tickets away but make sure it remains a college experience and not an alumni experience.
AD Currie needs to be talking with Coach Hill's agent as soon as possible. Coach Hill has buy in from the players and keeping Coach Hill around is a
good great thing. If we need to add seats to the stadium, let's start the fundraising now. I'd love to see the student body in a large block of seats at games cheering the Cats on to victory.
Not sure how long the hitting coach will stick around before becoming a head coach somewhere, but helping to keep him around would also be a good thing. Even though I hate baseball and do not follow the sport (outside of K-State), the hitting that the Bat Cats are accomplishing is very impressive.
I need to get better at shooting pictures of baseball. I do not know the game enough to capture the action shots. And it doesn't help when I inadvertently change the camera settings and don't notice for half the game. But I did get some that I should be able to use after processing. And I need a 1000 mm lens.