Jayhawks Set to Host Sunflower State Rival Wichita State
April 5, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
After posting a series-opening victory in its first two Big 12 series of the season, the University of Kansas baseball team will take a break from league play as it entertains in-state rival Wichita State at Hoglund Ballpark on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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The game is the first of four scheduled contests between the two schools this season. KU will again host the Shockers on April 20 at Hoglund Ballpark and WSU’s Eck Stadium will be the site of two games — April 13 and May 4.
The Jayhawks enter the contest with a 22-12 overall record this season and a 2-4 mark in Big 12 play, while the Shockers have compiled a 23-9 overall record this season and a 1-2 record inside the Missouri Valley Conference.
A pair of freshman has paced the Jayhawk offense in recent weeks. Freshman designated hitter John Allman has compiled 16 hits in his last 35 at bats for a .457 batting average. Allman currently leads Kansas with a .377 clip at the plate. Freshman second baseman Ryne Price has also been hot at the plate for KU, batting .486 during the month of March and adding his third home run of the season in last weekend’s series with No. 16 Texas A&M.
During the A&M series, Kansas also got contributions offensively from senior catcher Sean Richardson, who tallied a team-high four RBI in the series, and senior infielder Mike Dudley, who belted his third home run of the season in the series finale.
Wichita State enters the series having lost three of it slast four games, including dropping two of three games in their Missouri Valley Conference opening series with Evansville last weekend.
Last season the Jayhawks and Shockers split a pair of meetings, with each team winning on its home field.
Wichita State Shockers (23-9; 1-2 MVC)
Kansas Jayhawks (22-11; 2-4 Big 12)
Hoglund Ballpark (April 6)
Site: Hoglund Ballpark (2,500) — Lawrence, Kan.
Game Time (CST): Wednesday, (April 6), 7 p.m.
Rankings: Kansas enters the series unranked, while Wichita State is ranked 34th by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA)
Coaches: Kansas head coach Ritch Price is 88-72-1 in his third year at KU and 305-299-1 in his 11th overall year of coaching at the Division 1 level. Wichita State’s Gene Stephenson is in his 28th season at the helm of the Shockers and has compiled a 1,478-474-3 record during that time.
WSU leads 34-19
Audio: KLWN (1320 AM)
Television: Metro Sports (Kansas City) and Cox Cable (Wichita)
A Closer Look at Wichita State
After a 15-1 start to begin the season, the Shockers have compiled only an 8-8 record in their last 16 contests. Last weekend, WSU fell in two out of three games to Evansville at Eck Stadium to drop its first Missouri Valley home conference series since April of 2003.
At the plate, the Shockers are hitting .298 as a team and are led by senior outfielder Phil Napolitan, who is batting .353 with one home run and 13 RBI. Senior catcher Joe Muich leads WSU with four home runs, as the Shockers have only hit nine home runs as a team.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Max Hutson will get the nod for WSU in the game. Hustson, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., will take a 1-0 record and a 4.22 ERA to the mound against the Jayhawks on Wednesday.
Head coach Gene Stephenson is in his 28th season at the helm of Wichita State and has compiled a 1,478-474-3 overall record during his tenure.