Kansas State will start Jake Matthys in Game 3 of super regional

Kansas State’s Jake Matthys on Saturday after beating Oregon State in Game 1 of an NCAA super regional in Corvallis, Ore. (TRAVIS HEYING/THE WICHITA EAGLE)

Kansas State assistant director of athletic communications Ryan Lackey just came over to press row a few minutes ago to tell us that K-State coach Brad Hill has decided to start Big 12 freshman of the year and All-Big 12 relief pitcher Jake Matthys (9-1, 9 saves, 1.88 ERA) in the deciding Game 3 of the Wildcats’ NCAA super regional against Oregon State at Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Ore.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons — first, because I think it was widely assumed Hill would hand the ball to Gerardo Esquivel, who got the regional-clinching win over Arkansas in Manhattan. Second, because it will be Matthys’ first start of the season.

What this means, though, is that if the Wildcats can somehow get 4-5 innings out of Matthys — his longest outing of the seasons have been 4.1 innings against Oklahoma State on April 21 (win) and 4,0 innings against Oklahoma on May 25 (loss) — then hand the ball to Esquivel … and whoever else they might need, they’ve probably got a shot. Oregon State will start lefty Ben Wetzler (8-1, 1.98 ERA), an All-Pac 12 selection.