Jayhawks Complete February Road Swing With Music City Challenge

Feb. 23, 2006


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Matchup: Kansas (7-4) at Music City Challenge
Friday Feb. 24 2 p.m. at Belmont (2-1)
Saturday Feb. 25 2 p.m. at Lipscomb (1-2)
Sunday Feb. 26 Noon at Vanderbilt (2-2)
Location: Nashville, Tenn.
Stadium: Greer Stadium, Dugan Field, Charles Hawkins Field
Capacity: 10,139, n/a, 1,575
Internet: GameTracker at KUathletics.com
Belmont and KU will meet for the first time
KU leads Lipscomb 1-0 all-time
KU leads Vanderbilt 2-0 all-time
KU Coach: Ritch Price (12th season, 4th at Kansas)
Record: 326-319-2, 109-91-1 at KU
BU Coach: Dave Jarvis (18th season, 9th at Belmont)
Record: 542-347-1, 218-195-1 at Belmont
LU Coach: Wynn Fletcher (11th season, 7th at Lipscomb)
Record: 234-256, 110-153 at Lipscomb
VU Coach: Tim Corbin (4th season overall and at Vanderbilt)
Record: 108-90

The University of Kansas baseball team will play three games at the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tenn., this weekend. All three games will be against Nashville schools including Belmont at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 followed by Lipscomb on Saturday and Vanderbilt on Sunday.

Quick Hits
-All three games will be played in different parks this weekend. The Jayhawks will play their three opponents (Belmont, Lipscomb and Vanderbilt) at each school’s home field as they are located in the Nashville area.

-KU and Vanderbilt will play each other for the second consecutive Sunday. The Jayhawks rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Vandy, 5-2, in 11 innings at the Public Storage Classic on Feb. 19.

-Kansas has had six different players record the game-winning RBI in its seven victories.

-The Jayhawks will play their home opener on Friday, Mar. 3 against Western Illinois. The first game of the three-game series will start at 3 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.

A Look at Belmont
The Bruins enter the weekend 2-1 after defeating Western Kentucky on Tuesday and splitting a doubleheader with Marshall to open the season last Friday. Freshman infielder Derek Wiley has provided pop to the Belmont lineup in his two starts. Wiley has five hits in seven at bats with five RBI and a home run. As a team Belmont is hitting .316 while its pitching staff carries a 4.32 ERA. The Bruins compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

A Look at Lipscomb
The Bison are 1-2 heading into the weekend with a doubleheader spilt against Chicago State and a loss to open the season against Evansville. As a team, Lipscomb is hitting .322 and scored 25 runs in its first three games. On the flip-side, the Bison have allowed 24 runs and carry a team ERA of 7.57 after three games. Lipscomb will host Kent State on Friday before playing the Jayhawks. The Bison compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

A Look at Vanderbilt
The Commodores opened their season going 1-2 at the Public Storage Classic and improved to 2-2 with a home opening 9-5 victory over Tennessee Tech on Wednesday. After dropping its season opener to No. 9 San Diego, Vanderbilt responded with a 6-2 win over No. 25 USC. KU and Vandy matched up for the first of two meetings this season with the Jayhawks coming out on top, 5-2, in 11 innings. Vanderbilt’s 2006 recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Baseball America.

Czyz and Milner Sweep Big 12 Weekly Awards
Seniors Don Czyz and Gus Milner were named Big 12 Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Czyz picked up three saves in KU’s first six victories of the season with two at Stanford. He did not allow an earned run while striking out nine batters and allowing five hits in seven innings of work.
Milner compiled a .545 batting average (18-for-33), 11 runs, two doubles, a pair of triples, three home runs, 16 RBI, and a 1.000 slugging percentage in KU’s first eight games of the season.

Milner Earns National Honor
Senior Gus Milner was named Co-National Player of the Week by CollegiateBaseballInsider.com on Feb. 15 after a stellar series against No. 8 Stanford. Against the Cardinal, the Olathe, Kan., native, blasted two home runs while batting .538 (7-for-13) with seven RBI in three games against the Cardinal. In the series finale, Milner just missed hitting for the cycle by a double while driving in all three KU runs.

Czyz Sets Career Saves Record
Senior Don Czyz tied and set KU’s career saves’ record with his first two saves of 2006. Czyz tied the career mark set by Jimmy Walker with the 13th of his career against Hawaii-Hilo on Feb. 3. In the series opener against No. 8 Stanford, the Overland Park, Kan., native entered the game in the eighth inning with KU leading 3-2 and struck out four Cardinal batters while allowing one hit. That established the Jayhawks’ all-time saves’ mark with his 14th. A day later, he pitched a perfect ninth inning in the 5-4 Kansas win for his 15th career save.

Coach Price Radio Show
Again this year, the Salty Iguana in Lawrence will be the host of “The Ritch Price Show.” The show will broadcast from 6-6:30 p.m. each Monday beginning April 3 through May 22 and can be heard on 1320 AM (KLWN).

Sizzling Seniors
KU’s four senior starting position players rank 1-through-4 in KU’s batting order as well as the Jayhawks hitting leaders. The foursome consists of outfielder Gus Milner (.452), first baseman Jared Schweitzer (.435), outfielder Matt Baty (.311) and shortstop Ritchie Price (.306).

All in the Family
Three sets of brothers adorn the 2006 KU roster. Senior pitcher Don and freshman pitcher Nick Czyz, junior pitcher Sean and freshman first baseman Preston Land, and senior shortstop Ritchie and sophomore second baseman Ryne Price. Ritchie and Ryne are the sons of KU head coach Ritch Price.

Ready to Take the Next Step?
Baseball America listed the University of Kansas as one of 64 teams the magazine projects to make the NCAA Tournament field in its annual preseason guide. The Jayhawks are looking to take the next step and earn an NCAA berth for the first time since 1994.

Czyz On Watch List
Senior pitcher Don Czyz was named to the second annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award watch list. The Overland Park, Kan., native is one of 30 players named to the list for the award that will be given to the top relief pitcher in Division I college baseball.
Czyz recorded 10 saves in 2005, the second most in KU history, and was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. The right-hander’s 36 appearances last season set a new Kansas single season record. He currently holds the school record for career appearances with 94.

Quick on Watch List
Senior pitcher Kodiak Quick was named to the 2006 Wallace Watch released by the College Baseball Foundation. The Brooks Wallace Award is presented to the national college baseball player of the year.
A native of Belton, Mo., Quick set a new Kansas school record with 10 wins last season and led KU’s staff with a 3.41 ERA and was named All-Big 12 Second Team in 2005.

Putting the `Student’ in Student-Athletes
The KU baseball team recorded a program-best 2.96 grade point average during the Fall semester and had 15 players named to the A.D.’s honor roll. Red-shirt freshmen Justin Ellrich and Nick Faunce and freshman Kevin Bedford earned perfect 4.0 GPA’s. Achieving GPA’s above 3.0 were: John Allman, Max Ellenbecker, Ricky Fairchild, Ryotaro Hayakawa, Ross Kelling, Sean Land, Erik Morrison, Ryne Price, Trey Randa, Brock Simpson, Paul Smyth and Andrew Spitzfaden.

Future Jayhawks
KU has signed 10 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2006-07 academic year. Of the 10 players, five will come from the high school ranks across the country and five from junior colleges. StudentSportsBaseball.com recently ranked KU’s class 24th best in the nation.