Kansas State enters the Big 12 baseball tournament having lost its two most recent conference series, while Kansas is just happy to be attending this year’s event starting Wednesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
The fifth-seeded Wildcats get in on the first pitch at 9 a.m. Wednesday against fourth-seeded TCU. They both have identical records of 33-22 overall and 13-11 in Big 12 play, but the Horned Frogs get the No. 4 seed by virtue of their season-ending 4-3 victory over the Wildcats on Saturday.
Kansas State lost two Big 12 series to TCU and Oklahoma State the past two weekends. That came on the heels of series victories over Texas Tech and a sweep of in-state rival Kansas, which included a 21-18 win. The two Big 12 series before those wins were losses to Texas and West Virginia, but then the Wildcats also won a series sweep over Oklahoma.
It’s been that kind of up-and-down season for those following the team in Kansas sports betting, which is easy to see in Kansas State’s 13-11 conference record.
KSU Projected to Make NCAA Tournament
As the teams prepare for the Big 12 Tournament, the Wildcats appear to have already done enough to reach the NCAA Tournament. The current field of 64 projections by d1baseball.com lists Kansas State as the No. 3 seed in the Gainesville Regional with host Florida.
The Gators are currently ranked No. 2 in the country. The other two teams in the projection for Gainesville are No. 2 seed Maryland and No. 4 seed Central Connecticut.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks (20-35 overall and just 8-16 in Big 12 play) are just happy to be in Arlington after finishing two games ahead of Baylor for the final spot in the tournament.
Caesars Sportsbook Kansas lists KU as the longest shot in the Big 12 field at +3000. Oklahoma, in seventh, is +1800.
The happiness of getting into the field might be short lived since KU will play No. 1 seed Texas at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday. However, the Jayhawks won the opener over the Longhorns 10-4 and then fought hard in close losses of 6-2 and 7-6 from May 5-7.
If both Kansas teams lose, they would play each other in an elimination game at 9 a.m. on Thursday. If Kansas State can beat TCU, it likely means the Wildcats will then draw Texas.
Wildcats Led By Their Bats
KSU’s offense has been powered this season by two big hitters in Nick Goodwin (.285, 12 HRs, 53 RBIs) and Roberto Pena (.260, 15 HRs, 56 RBIs). Brady Day is eighth in the Big 12 with a .354 batting average. On the mound, starter Owen Boerema has been the most consistent presence with a 7-1 record and 4.43 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 81.1 innings over 14 starts.
KU’s Kodey Shojinaga is second in the Big 12 with a .380 batting average and the team has three with at least 10 homers this season with Cole Elvis (.275, 14 HRs), Janson Reeder (.278, 11 HRs) and Chase Jans (.320, 10 HRs).
The Big 12 championship game will be on Sunday at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.
Kansas betting apps list the Longhorns as the tournament favorite at +225 followed by Oklahoma State (+275).