No. 19 Jayhawks Continue Road Swing at Tulane
March 15, 2010
NEW ORLEANS, La. –
Kansas vs. Tulane
After taking two of three from top-ranked LSU, the Kansas Jayhawks will travel down I-10 to New Orleans to take on the Tulane Green Wave in a two-game midweek series at Turchin Stadium. The series will open on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m., and conclude Wednesday at 1 p.m.
Both games of the Tulane series will be broadcast at www.kuathletics.com with Tom Hedrick calling the action.
This will be the first meeting between the Green Wave and the Jayhawks on the baseball diamond. KU is 5-10-1 all-time against current members of Conference USA.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas is ranked as high as 19th in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Rivals.com polls after taking two of three from previously unbeaten LSU over the weekend. The Jayhawks have won six of seven games since dropping the second game of a doubleheader to Iowa on March 5.
KU’s offense has picked up in recent weeks, as the team has raised its batting average to .310 overall with 40 doubles and six homers. The Jayhawks are averaging 7.7 runs per game. First baseman Brett Lisher leads the squad with a .439 batting average, while Jimmy Waters has a team-best three homers and 19 RBIs.
On the mound, KU has been solid, sporting a 3.86 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 134 innings. Opposing teams are batting .253 against the Jayhawks’ staff. Senior Cameron Selik leads the team with a 4-0 record and a team-best 2.49 ERA.
Scouting the Green Wave
Tulane enters the midweek series having swept four games from Towson over the weekend. Since dropping two of three to Mississippi, the Green Wave have won five of their last six and hold the second-best record in Conference USA.
Tulane’s offense has been the driving force for the team this season. The Green Wave are batting .335 as a team and are averaging 7.1 runs per game. freshman catcher/infielder Blake Crohan leads the team with a .439 batting average, while sophomore infielder Rob Segedin is hitting .406 with a team-best 11 doubles and 16 RBIs.
The Green Wave pitching staff has posted a 4.66 ERA in 16 games this season and is allowing opponents a .268 batting average. The Jayhawks will likely see junior Gunner Wright on Tuesday evening. Wright has not received a decision this year, and has posted a 7.04 ERA in 7 2/3 innings pitched this season. The Green Wave has not named a starter for Wednesday’s game yet this season.
Tulane Head Coach Rick Jones is in his 18th season at Tulane and has a record of 683-337-2 at the school, and 950-426-3 overall in 24-plus years as a NCAA Division I head coach.
Last Time Out
Senior Robby Price went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI, while junior relief pitcher Brett Bochy earned his second save of the weekend as Kansas earned a series victory over top-ranked LSU with an 8-4 win Sunday in the rubber game of the three game series Sunday.
Kansas Sweeps Big 12 Weekly Awards
Kansas junior outfielder Casey Lytle and junior relief pitcher Brett Bochy have been named Big 12 Player and Pitcher of the Week for the week of March 15. This marks the first time each student-athlete has been selected to the conference’s weekly awards list.
Lytle hit .538 (7-for-13) against No. 1 LSU last weekend, including four doubles and scored six runs. Bochy collected two saves against the defending national champs, allowing no runs and no hits over 3 2/3 innings.
KU hasn’t swept the Big 12 weekly awards since Feb. 14, 2006, when Gus Milner and Don Czyz were the conference’s player/pitcher of the week recipients.
Kansas Baseball Moves Back into Top 25
Following the team’s series victory at previously unbeaten Louisiana State, the Kansas baseball team finds itself ranked as high as No. 19 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Rivals.com polls. This marks the third week this season that KU has been ranked in the Top 25 in at least one national poll, and its highest ranking since 2003.
Kansas is also ranked No. 27 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association poll, and is receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ poll.
Casey at the Bat
Junior right fielder Casey Lytle has swung a hot bat recently, hitting .419 over the team’s last nine games with six doubles, 10 RBIs and 13 runs scored. As the Kansas leadoff hitter, Lytle has done a tremendous job of setting the table for the middle of the lineup.
Since the beginning of the Iowa series, Lytle is reaching base at a .525 clip, drawing five walks and being hit by pitch three times. His numbers have been even better when he leads off an inning, reaching base 14 of 26 times (.538).
Kansas junior relief pitcher Brett Bochy has dominated opposing hitters this season out of the bullpen. Coming into the year, head coach Ritch Price planned to use Bochy and sophomore Colton Murray as the closer-by-committee. However, the junior righty has earned the job, allowing just one unearned run in 10 1/3 innings this season, including a pair of saves at LSU last weekend.
Bochy leads the team’s relief pitchers with 19 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. Throughout his career, Bochy has had a knack for recording a big strikeout. The junior righty has 91 career strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings in a Jayhawk uniform, or 12.73 strikeouts per nine innings.
Four On the Floor
Four-hit games have become common in the early part of the season for the Jayhawks this year. Three different Kansas hitters have recorded four-hit performances this season, including Brett Lisher and Jake Marasco last weekend against Iowa.
Sophomore catcher Chris Manship started the four-hit party with a 4-for-4 night against Sacramento State on Feb. 27.
Lisher and Marasco followed with four-hit games on March 6 and 7 against the Hawkeyes last weekend. Prior to this season, none of the three players had as many as two hits in a single game. KU players had just seven games with four hits or more all of last year.
Senior right-handed pitcher Cameron Selik gutted through six innings against LSU on Sunday to earn his fourth victory of the season in four starts. Selik allowed a season-high four runs on six hits, but kept his team in the game after surrendering three runs in the first two innings.
Selik is the first Jayhawk starter to win his first four starts since Kodiak Quick opened the 2005 season at 4-0 with wins over Hawaii-Hilo (twice), South Dakota State and Northern Colorado.
Selik’s four wins are tied for second in the conference, while his 2.49 ERA ranks 12th in the Big 12.
All About Quality
Kansas starting pitchers have recorded quality starts in eight of the team’s first 15 games this season, going at least six innings and allowing three runs or less. Senior Cameron Selik and junior T.J. Walz have three quality starts each, while senior Brett Bollman allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings against No. 1 LSU for his second quality start of the year.
Last season, Jayhawk starters collected 22 quality starts and earned wins in 17 of those games. Walz led the staff with seven quality starts in 2009.
Around the Horn
– Kansas will take on Tulane this week in a two-game midweek series. This marks the first time the two teams have met on the baseball field, and KU’s first meeting with a member of Conference USA since dropping a pair of one-run games at Memphis last year.
– Kansas won two of three games over the weekend at No. 1 LSU, becoming the first team to defeat the Tigers in a three-game series since last March when the 2009 national champs lost a series to Illinois.
– The series marked the second-straight season that KU has faced a No. 1-ranked team. The Jayhawks have gone 5-1 in those games, after sweeping then-No. 1 Texas last year. The Jayhawks are 6-3 all-time against top-ranked teams.
– Jumping out to an early lead has been KU’s M.O. this season. The Jayhawks have outscored their opposition 57-14 in the first three innings of a game this year, including 22-2 in the second inning of games. On Friday against LSU, KU scored six runs in the second inning en route to an 11-9 victory.
– Freshman Alex DeLeon hit his first collegiate home run March 10 against Tabor College. The freshman catcher went hitless in his first 14 at bats, but has two hits in his last five at bats.
– Kansas catcher Chris Manship enjoyed a productive series against LSU last weekend. The sophomore batted .333 (4-for-12) against the Tigers with a pair of RBIs. Due to an injury to an injury to Jimmy Waters early in the series, Manship was moved up to cleanup in the batting order, and produced run-scoring hits in each of the last two games of the series.
– Senior Brett Lisher continues to produce from the No. 5 spot in the batting order. Lisher leads the team in batting average (.439), which ranks sixth in the Big 12. Lisher has hit .429 (9-for-21) with runners in scoring position.
– Senior Robby Price got back on track last week, hitting safely in five of his last six games. The senior second baseman recorded multiple hits in three of those games, including a 3-for-5 effort on Sunday at LSU.
– Sophomore James Stanfield has been tough with two outs in an inning. The catcher/third baseman is batting .429 (6-for-14) with two outs in an inning.
– Junior Brandon Macias has picked up his offense in the last week. Since going 0-for-3 in the March 6 game against Iowa, the junior shortstop has raised his batting average by 56 points, going 6-for-18 in KU’s last six games.
– Junior Jimmy Waters went 2-for-5 on Friday against LSU, collecting both hits as part of the Jayhawks’ six-run second inning in an 11-9 win.
– Sophomore Jason Brunansky tallied his second three-hit game of the season on March 5 against Iowa. In 53 games last year, Brunansky had nine multiple-hit contests; while this year he has three in just six starts.
– Center fielder Brian Heere has also overcome a slow start, hitting safely in KU’s last seven games. Since going 0-for-4 in the second game of a doubleheader with Iowa on March 5, Heere is 11-for-23 with four doubles, a homer and six RBIs.
– Right fielder Casey Lytle recorded multiple hit games in all three contests against previously No. 1-ranked LSU last weekend. The junior is tied for fifth on the team with four multi-hit games this season.
– Sophomore Jordan Dreiling tallied his second career multi-hit game on Sunday against No. 1 LSU. The Lawrence, Kan., native’s two hits helped the Jayhawks start rallies, which helped them erase a 3-1 deficit.
– Junior pitcher T.J. Walz earned the win over No. 1 LSU Friday for his seventh career victory over a Top 25 opponent. Walz led the team last year, defeating nationally ranked Arizona State (No. 4), Baylor (No. 9), Oklahoma State (No. 17), Oklahoma (No. 11) and Kansas State (No. 9).
– Senior Cameron Selik battled shoulder issues to pick up his fourth win of the season Sunday at LSU. Dating back to last year’s NCAA Tournament, Selik has won his last five starts and has posted a 2.25 ERA in those five starts with 12 walks and 20 strikeouts.
– Senior right-handed pitcher Brett Bollman suffered another tough-luck loss at LSU Saturday, allowing just three runs in 6 2/3 innings to the top-ranked Tigers.
– Freshman Tanner Poppe bounced back from a rough outing by pitching five hitless innings against Saint Mary on March 9. Poppe picked up his first collegiate win, allowing no runs on no hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
– Redshirt freshman Thomas Taylor earned his first collegiate victory on March 10 against Tabor College. Taylor, who missed the entire 2009 season with an injury, went three innings against the Bluejays and allowed no runs on four hits with four strikeouts.
– Senior Travis Blankenship made a scoreless appearance Sunday at LSU, earning a hold. Blankenship entered the game with a two-run lead and allowed no runs on two hits over 1 2/3 innings.
– Junior Brett Bochy has been the Jayhawks’ top relief pitcher this year, holding opponents to an .061 batting average with 19 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.
– Junior Scott Heitshusen made his first appearance in a Kansas uniform March 9, pitching a scoreless eighth inning against Saint Mary.
– Redshirt freshman Jordan Jakubov pitched two scoreless innings March 9 against Saint Mary. Jakubov recoreded three strikeouts in his outing.
– Junior Matt Kohorst made his third-straight scoreless relief appearance March 10, allowing no runs on one hit to Tabor.
– Sophomore right-handed pitcher Colton Murray recorded his best outing of the season against No. 1 LSU Saturday. The second-year pitcher held the Tigers scoreless on one hit over 1 2/3 innings to keep the deficit to just two runs. It was Murray’s second-straight scoreless relief appearance.
Kansas will play its final weekend series against a non-conference opponent when it travels to Saint Louis for a two-game series beginning Saturday, March 20. Both games of the series will be carried via internet webcast at www.kuathletics.com.