KU Baseball Hosts #13 Wichita State in Mid-Week Tussle

March 28, 2006


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Matchup: #13 Wichita State (21-5) at Kansas (17-10, 2-4 Big 12)
Dates/Times: Wednesday, March 29, 7 p.m.
Location: Lawrence, Kan.
Stadium: Hoglund Ballpark
Capacity: 2,500
Internet: GameTracker at KUathletics.com
Radio: KLWN (1320 AM) and online
Series: WSU leads 38-20
KU Coach: Ritch Price (12th season, 4th at Kansas)
Record: 336-325-2, 119-97-1 at KU
WSU Coach: Gene Stephenson (29th season at Wichita State and overall)
Record: 1,527-494-3 overall and at WSU
Streaks: KU won its last game
WSU won its last game
Starting Pitchers:
Brendan McNamara, RHP, Jr.
Max Hutson, LHP, So.

Leading Off
The University of Kansas (17-10, 2-4 Big 12) will host state rival Wichita State in a mid-week game on Wednesday, March 29. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark. Junior Brendan McNamara will toe the rubber for the Jayhawks. KU returns home to play nine of its next 10 games at Hoglund Ballpark.

Quick Hits
-KU’s RPI entering Wednesday’s game is 34th in the country while the Big 12 has the third best league RPI according to warrennolan.com.

-Kansas is 4-4 against the Shockers under Ritch Price. KU is 2-2 at Hoglund Ballpark during that time.

-Wednesday’s starting pitcher Brendan McNamara will be making his first Division One start. The junior college transfer from Palomar Community College as made six appearances out of the bullpen this season.

-Kansas will play nine of its next 10 games at home.

-As of Tuesday, senior closer Don Czyz was tied for second in the NCAA with nine saves. Cal State Fullerton’s Vinnie Pestano has 10 saves while UC Irvine’s Blair Erickson also has nine (boydsworld.com).

-KU opened the season with 23 of its first 27 games on the road.

-12 of the Jayhawks 17 wins have been come-from-behind victories.

-KU is 12-0 this year when leading after seven innings and 7-0 when holding its opponents to 2 or less runs.

A Look at Wichita State
Wichita State (21-5) will face Arkansas on Tuesday before traveling to Lawrence to face the Jayhawks. Ranked No. 13 by Collegiate Baseball, the Shockers took one of three from Southern Illinois in its Missouri Valley Conference opening series this past weekend.
Sophomore Damon Sublett leads the Shockers with a .435 average and five home runs. As a team, WSU is hitting .323 this season with 188 runs scored. Sublett leads the Shockers with five saves while the WSU staff carries a 2.81 ERA.

Mark Your Calenders
With the cancelation of KU’s March 22 game against Creighton in Omaha, Neb., the Jayhawks have announced an additional game. KU will host Tabor College at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19.

Road Warriors
In addition to playing 23 of its first 27 games on the road, the Jayhawks faced some of the stiffest competition in the country. KU has played three-game series at #8 Stanford, #2 Clemson, #18 Baylor and #2 Nebraska. The Clemson, Baylor and Nebraska series were back-to-back-to-back. KU also met #25 Southern California and #9 San Diego in Los Angeles and have played Vanderbilt of the powerful SEC twice this season, both KU victories.

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).

Senior Don Czyz has been untouchable out of the bullpen this season for the Jayhawks. The Overland Park, Kan., native has recorded saves in nine of KU’s first 17 victories. Czyz’s nine saves is tops in the Big 12. Below is a closer look at Czyz’s saves to date.
-Allowed 1 hit or less in 8 of his 9 saves.
-Has pitched more than an inning in 6 of his 9 saves.
-Recorded 17 strikeouts in 14 innings during his 9 save opportunities.

Meet the Coach
In his fourth season as the head coach of the University of Kansas baseball program, Ritch Price has led the Jayhawks to an unprecedented level during his first three years at the helm. Price and the Jayhawks have posted three-straight 30-win seasons for the first time in the history of Kansas baseball.
During the 2005 season, Price led Kansas to the Big 12 Tournament for the second time in his three year tenure. KU’s 36 victories last season were the most since the Jayhawks achieved 40 wins in 1994.
When the Jayhawks defeated rival Missouri in Columbia, Mo., on May 14, Price became the fastest coach in Kansas baseball history to achieve 100 victories. Price reached the milestone in just 184 games, 18 fewer than Kansas coaching legend Floyd Temple.
The Jayhawks were one of only two teams to win a series from eventual College World Series champion Texas during the 2005 campaign. KU did so on national TV, as ESPN2 and ESPNU broadcast the series live from Hoglund Ballpark.
Known around the collegiate baseball community as a tireless worker and enthusiastic recruiter, Price was named the 32nd head baseball coach at the University of Kansas on July 1, 2003.
In 2004, Price led the Jayhawks to a 31-31-1 overall record to give KU back-to-back 30-win seasons for only the third time in school history. In addition, the team led the Big 12 Conference in hitting, posting a .316 batting average. The 2004 season was highlighted by a late season sweep of in-state rival Kansas State and a series win over rival Missouri to clinch the season-long Border Showdown series between the schools.
Price spent eight seasons at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. In his last three seasons at Cal Poly, Price led the Mustangs to three-straight 30-win seasons, including a third-place finish in the Big West Conference in 2002. Price has been named conference Coach of the Year nine times during his time as a leader on the diamond.
Price, a Sweet Home, Ore., native and a 1978 graduate of Willamette University (Salem, Ore.), he received his master’s degree in physical education from Cal State Hayward in 1987.