No. 25 Kansas Wraps Up Road Swing at No. 15 Arkansas
March 1, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Riding a four-game winning streak, the 25th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on No. 15 Arkansas in a Tuesday afternoon game at Baum Stadium. The Jayhawks and Razorbacks will meet for the fourth-straight year at 3 p.m.
Fans can listen to the game via internet webcast at www.kuathletics.com. Veteran play-by-play man Tom Hedrick will call the action.
Arkansas holds a 39-26 lead in the all-time series against Kansas, which dates back to 1904. The Razorbacks are 33-12 against the Jayhawks in games played in Fayetteville, Ark. KU stopped a seven-game losing streak to the ‘Hogs last season when it earned a two-game split in Fayetteville.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas has won four games in a row following a season-opening loss to Eastern Michigan on Feb. 22 at the Metrodome. The Jayhawks are ranked No. 25 in this week’s Rivals.com poll.
Junior center fielder Brian Heere leads the Kansas offense with a .353 batting average, six runs scored and two doubles in five games this season.
Senior Cameron Selik leads the pitching staff with a 2-0 record and an 0.63 ERA in two starts. As a team, KU has a 3.00 ERA with 11 walks and 40 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched.
Scouting the Razorbacks
Arkansas enters the Tuesday showdown with KU having swept Troy in a three-game series over the weekend. Like the Jayhawks, the Razorbacks have also won four-straight games.
Arkansas is averaging 8.0 runs per game and is batting .306 as a team with eight homers and a .424 on-base percentage. Sophomore infielder Zach Cox leads the team with a .409 batting average and nine RBIs, while junior infielder Andy Wilkins is batting .400 with a team-best three homers and a .552 on-base percentage through six games.
Kansas will see right-handed pitcher T.J. Forrest in Tuesday’s game. Forrest, a 6-foot-5 senior, has made two relief appearances this season and has allowed one run on seven hits over eight innings of work. As a team, the Razorbacks have posted a 3.33 ERA and have posted 63 strikeouts compared to 16 walks in 54 innings pitched.
Arkansas was picked to finish second in the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division in the SEC coaches’ preseason poll.
Last Time Out
Sophomore catcher Chris Manship went 4-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, while Brian Heere and Jason Brunansky collected three hits a piece as the 25th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks collected a season-high 18 hits in a 10-4 victory over Sacramento State Saturday at the Peoria College Baseball Showdown.
A big reason for the Jayhawks’ 4-1 start has been the team’s starting pitching. In all five games, KU’s starters have gone at least six innings and held the opposition to three runs or less, giving them five quality starts.
As a staff last season, KU pitchers had 22 quality starts and claimed wins in 17 of those contests. This year, KU starters have posted a 1.69 ERA with eight walks and 24 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched.
You Da Man-Ship
Sophomore catcher Chris Manship returned to his home state of Arizona and recorded a 4-for-4 effort against Sacramento State on Feb. 27.
Manship actually started the contest on the bench, but entered the game in the third inning as a pinch hitter for starting catcher James Stanfield. The sophomore collected his first hit of the season, when he singled up the middle. An inning later, Manship drove in two runs with a double to left.
The four-hit game from the Cave Creek, Ariz. native was the first four-hit game by a Jayhawk since Nick Faunce collected five hits against Kansas State on Senior Day last season.
Brett the Jet
Kansas senior Brett Lisher provided an offensive spark against Gonzaga, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs on Feb. 27. The Lawrence, Kan. native matched his extra-base hit total from a year ago in just one game.
In a limited number of plate appearances last year, Lisher batted an even .300 with nine hits in 30 at bats. However, one of his biggest hits came against Arkansas last year, when his two-out pinch-hit single in the ninth inning brought home the tying run.
Kansas senior Cameron Selik was once again a dominant force on the mound at the Peoria College Baseball Showdown. The senior held Sacramento State to one run on six hits over 7 1/3 innings in his longest outing in a Jayhawk uniform. Selik is currently seventh in the Big 12 with an 0.68 ERA, allowing just one earned run this year in 13 1/3 innings.
He was named Big 12 Co-Pitcher of the Week on Monday, sharing the award with Texas righty Cole Green.
Selik, who had season-ending surgery prior to the 2008 season, had an up-and-down first year with Kansas last season. However, he seemed to turn a corner with his start against the Chanticleers in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Over his last 20 innings, Selik has allowed just two earned run on 13 hits with four walks and 12 strikeouts.
Kansas will return to the friendly confines of Hoglund Ballpark this weekend when it hosts Iowa in a four-game series beginning Friday, March 6 at 3 p.m. The Jayhawks and Hawkeyes will play a doubleheader beginning at noon on Saturday and finish the series with a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday.