KU Baseball Holds Media Day

Jan. 26, 2006


In preparation for the 2006 season, the Kansas baseball team held it media day on Thursday. Head coach Ritch Price and the Jayhawks will open the season in Hawaii on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Head Coach Ritch Price
On the challenging schedule:

“With seven starters coming back, I wanted to ensure our club that if we won 35-40 games that our RPI would be high enough to get into the NCAA Tournament. We are going to play four regional final teams from a year ago so we have our hands full. If we can go into those environments and play well, it will prepare us for the Big 12 Conference.”

On the goals for this season:
“We want to finish in the top five in our conference and if we do that we will make the NCAA Tournament. With the schedule we have in front of us we would like to win 40 games. That is the goal we’ve set as a program and if we are going to do that we are going to have to come from behind better than we did a year ago. We need to find a way to win five to six games over the course of the season when we are behind in the ninth inning. If we can get this team into the NCAA Tournament it would be a great legacy for our seniors to leave this program to know that they led the foundation for the next 10 to 15 years.”

On the catcher position:
“That is the biggest hole that we have on our club. We lost a player (Sean Richardson) that was a two-year starter and an impact player for us. Buck Afenir will be the starter behind the plate on opening day. He has been very impressive over the last two weeks. He’s been well prepared to play in this conference and keeps getting better and better everyday. I like his potential and I think he will be an outstanding player.”

Senior Outfielder Matt Baty
On being picked eighth in the Big 12 Conference:

“It doesn’t bother me. You have to prove something and we haven’t proved anything the last three years that I’ve been here. We get a chance this year to prove to everybody that we belong and that is what we have to do. We have to get big wins early in the season to get us ready for competition in the Big 12.”

Senior Outfielder Gus Milner
On the offense:

“We need consistent hitting and on-base percentage. We are working towards a consistent offense and not as much swinging for the fences.”

On the goals for the season:
“To make a regional. I definitely think we have the talent to do that this year. We want to make a nice little Cinderella story this year for KU.”

Senior Pitcher Don Czyz
On being a team captain:

“It is defenetly an honor to be a captain with those two guys (Matt Baty and Ritchie Price). This is the last year that I’ll be playing and being a Kansas guy it means a lot to be a captain for the Jayhawks.”

On the pitching staff:
“I’m very excited. We have a lot of guys coming back who got a lot of innings last year and we have a bunch of younger guys. We have a good mix of older guys that will bring the young ones along.”