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K-State Slate, 3/31/08

I can't believe it's almost April, and if you've read this blog for a while, you know what April means for me: final exams.  That doesn't mean I'm going away, but posting may be a little more sporadic over the next four weeks or so.  Please feel free to use the diaries to post anything I have missed or anything you want to discuss.  Anything posted in the diaries that I think is particularly noteworthy will be bumped to the front page.

Bat Cats take series from Oklahoma State: Nate Tenbrink had a huge series for the Wildcats, going 4-for-10, hitting three home runs, and batting in three runs.  But it was the pitching that carried K-State, as Brad Hutt scattered seven hits over 8.0 innings of work Friday, struck out four and walked only one.  His only real mistake of the night was an eighth-inning pitch to Rebel Ridling (great name) that ended up on the wrong side of the fence.  Closer Daniel Edwards put an end to any possible final-inning drama by striking out the final two hitters.

As good as those pitching performances were, they were cubic zirconia compared to the gem thrown by junior Lance Hoge on Sunday.  Remember, Oklahoma State is the best-hitting team in the Big 12, and all Hoge did was throw a complete game, three-hit shutout.

Let's hope this series is a sign things are coming together for the Cats.  The bats seem to be coming alive, as the Cats collected 21 hits in the three games, and scored 12 runs.  Not stunning numbers, but much better than we had been seeing.  The arms seem to be coming around, too, as Justin Murray threw six good innings Saturday, only to be let down by a rough eighth inning by Trevor Hurley and Daniel Edwards.  Those kind of things happen against Oklahoma State.

Next weekend the Cats travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M (21-6, 6-3 Big 12).  The Aggies stand second in the conference right now and will be a stern test for K-State.  I have no expectations going into this one, let's just hope the solid play continues.

Ron Prince is turning into Bill Snyder: And that may be a good thing.  Prince is closing spring practices to the fans this season.  I realize it's probably kind of fun for fans to go to practices and see what's going on, but this is fine by me.  Let the players work on what they need to improve away from the prying eyes of the fans.

From the same article linked, Prince is holding Deon Murphy, Chris Patterson, Ross Diehl and Eric Benoit out of spring practices so they can get their academics in order.  Probably another good decision, as it punishes the players for not keeping up in the classroom, yet gives them a chance to get things in order.

Finally, the article mentions we are still looking for a I-AA team to replace Fresno State on the schedule.  Ugh.  I don't mind taking those ingrates from California off the schedule, but I hate games against I-AA programs.

NCAA busts gridiron bash: From the inimitable Wizard of Odds, the NCAA is cracking down on the Gridiron Bash.  It's a violation of NCAA rules for student-athletes to participate in a for-profit activity, which would have happened had the athletes been part of a pep rally/concert.

No official word from K-Statesports yet, but it looks like the Goo Goo Dolls won't be playing in Manhattan this spring.  Dammit.

Update: Here is the official word from the K-State athletic department for which I was looking.

Check out Corn Nation's Big 12 baseball week in review.  Good to see we were able to prove him wrong with our series win against the Pokes.

I have two reasons for directing you to the following link, SB Nation's Royals Review.  First, it's opening day for the Kansas City Royals today in Detroit, and I know many of you, like me, are fans of Kauffman's lovable losers.  I can't wait to see Gil Meche mow down the rocket-fueled Tiger lineup.

Second, Royals Review has migrated to SBN's new platform, and BOTC will follow some time in the upcoming months.  We'll have more info as the move gets closer, but I can tell you the new platform looks and works better.

Finally, now that the UNC/'beaker matchup is confirmed, I pass along a post from my old Blogger site, One Shining Moment.  It expresses, in last year's terms, my fondest wish for the end of Roy's Former Team's tournament run; specifically, that it end at the hands of Roy's Current Team.  It also discusses the riot I see forthcoming in Lawrence should such an event come to pass.