2013 Baseball World Series Manhattan Regional Breakdown

2013 Baseball World Series Manhattan Regional Breakdown

Kansas State, Arkansas, Bryant, Wichita State


Kansas State, 41-17, began this season with very modest expectations as they were picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches poll in the Big 12 Conference. However, the Wildcats, under the direction of Head Coach Brad Hill, were not having any of it and they surged their way to a regular season championship. The reward for their regular season performance was a chance to host a regional for the first time in program history at Tointon Family Stadium. This Wildcat squad can flat out hit the baseball as they have a team batting average of .323. The leaders of this attack are Austin Fisher and Ross Kivett.  Fisher, a sophomore, is hitting .356 and Kivett has been lethal with his base running stealing 26 bases. Kansas State as a team has been very prolific with 93 steals on the season. This, combined with the ability to consistently hit for contact, keeps the pressure on opposing pitchers. On the mound, the strength is definitely in the bullpen. The relief duo of Jake Matthys and Tanner Witt has combined for seven saves each.  Matthys is an excellent control pitcher as well and has only walked eight batters in 50.2 innings of work. The interesting storyline to follow in this regional will be how this Wildcat team handles being in the position of a regional host for the first time. It’s a great position to be in at home but it’s always interesting to see how teams in a first time hosting situation respond to the setting.

The number two seed in the Manhattan Regional is the Arkansas Razorbacks out of the Southeastern Conference. The Razorbacks are a bit of a controversial number two seed as it was thought they would be a host in Fayetteville. There is no question about the quality of the starting pitching for Arkansas, led by Ryne Stanek. The question for the Razorbacks has been the inconsistency of the offense. The offensive struggles against teams like Tennessee, Gonzaga and Pacific were one of the big reasons why the Razorbacks were sent on the road instead of hosting a regional.

The third seed, Bryant, is relatively unknown on the national landscape. They played some tough games on the road in Corvallis against third national seed Oregon State. They enter as the automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament from the Northeast Conference. Kevin Brown leads the offensive attack for the Bulldogs with six homeruns and 46 runs batted in. If the Bulldogs get can guys on against Arkansas, they will be a huge threat to steal as they have stolen 95 bases in 2013.  John Healy and Craig Schlitter will be keys on the mound. They have combined for 19 wins and have been very adept at getting deep into games.

The number four seed is Wichita State from the Missouri Valley Conference. The Shockers have a long storied tournament history and have played Kansas State twice this season, losing two tough battles. The Shockers will need starting pitcher Cale Elam to be huge against Kansas State in the opener to give the Wichita State offense a chance to do some damage against the Wildcats. The offensive leaders for Wichita State are Garrett Bayliff and Casey Gillaspie.  Bayliff is hitting nearly .400 on the season and Gillaspie is the best all-around run producer with ten homeruns and 42 runs batted in.  With Kansas State being an in-state rival, this game could be tighter than expected for a number one versus number four seeded matchup.


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