Jayhawks Face Missouri at Kauffman Stadium
April 24, 2007
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The Kansas baseball team takes on Border Showdown rival Missouri in a non-conference game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Wednesday evening. The Jayhawks and Tigers will meet for the fourth time this season at the home of the Kansas City Royals at 7 p.m. <?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Scouting the Tigers
Missouri enters Wednesday’s non-conference game with KU having won two out of three at Baylor over the weekend. Since taking two from the Jayhawks at the end of March, MU has gone 7-4 during the month of April.
Junior outfielder Evan Frey leads the Tigers with a .354 batting average, 51 hits and 45 runs scored. Frey hit the game-winning home run in the series finale with KU on April 1. Freshman catcher Trevor Coleman has provided the Mizzou lineup with some punch, belting a team-high five homers and leading the team with a .530 slugging percentage.
The Tigers will start Stephen Holst on Wednesday. The senior righty is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five starts this season. Opponents are batting .289 against him. MU closer Kyle Gibson is 5-3 in 20 appearances this season and has a 3.26 ERA and seven saves.
Head coach Tim Jamieson is in his 13th season at MU and has a record of 427-302-2 at the school. Jamieson’s team returns six starting position players from last year’s squad, which finished 35-28, but advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.
MU leads the all-time series with KU, 194-121. The Tigers took a pair of one-run victories from KU in Columbia earlier this year.
Last Time Out
The Jayhawks salvaged the final game of its three-game set at Texas Tech Sunday. After struggling with the bats for much of the weekend, KU broke out with eight runs on 11 hits in an 8-1 triumph. Junior John Allman led the way, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs, while senior Kyle Murphy went 3-for-5 in the game. Freshman Wally Marciel earned the win on the mound, scattering eight hits over 5 2/3 innings and allowing just one run.
Get Your Radio On
KU’s game against Missouri will be broadcast on KLWN (1320 AM) as well as on kuathletics.com. KLWN Sports Director Brian Hanni will call the action along with veteran play-by-play man Tom Hedrick.
Freshman Wally Marciel has found a groove in the month of April. The lefty has made six appearances this month, and has allowed just one earned run and 17 hits in 20.0 innings. Most importantly, Marciel has shown an ability to get ahead in the count and avoid walks. During April, Marciel has walked only three batters and struck out 14.
The freshman earned his first conference win of the season, and fourth overall, in defeating Texas Tech Sunday in Lubbock, Texas.
Senior center fielder Kyle Murphy went 3-for-5 and scored a pair of runs in the series finale against Texas Tech to raise his season batting average back to .315. Murphy’s season average has not dipped below the .300 mark since he went 1-for-4 against Wichita State on March 14.
Since the beginning of conference play the following weekend, Murphy has hit in 20 of 24 games, including 10 games with two hits or more. He leads the team with 15 multi-hit games.
Sophomore Andy Marks was a tough-luck loser in Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Texas Tech. However, the 6-foot lefty struck out four Red Raiders to give him 72 for the season.
Marks moved into a second-place tie with Texas’ James Russel for the conference lead in k’s. He leads Big 12 starting pitchers in strikeouts per nine innings, fanning 10.51 per game.
Kansas players have shown a knack not only for getting hits, but also getting hit this season. So far, the Jayhawks have been hit by pitch 70 times in the team’s first 42 games, averaging 1.56 hit batsman/game. The team record for most times hit by pitch in a season is 91, set by the 2005 Kansas squad.
Juniors John Allman and Ryne Price are also challenging Ritchie Price’s school record of 18 times hit in a single-season. Ryne Price has been hit 15 times this season, while Allman has been plunked 14 times.
With KU’s triumph over Texas Tech, head coach Ritch Price moved to within one win of third place in all-time wins at the University of Kansas. Price is chasing former KU coach Bobby Randall, who had 166 career wins with the Jayhawks from 1996 to 2002. Floyd Temple holds the program record with 438 wins.
Around the Horn
– The Jayhawks held Texas Tech to a season-low five runs in a three-game series last weekend. The previous low this season was nine runs in the South Dakota State series.
– The Jayhawks’ bullpen did not give up a run in 8 2/3 innings of work. The trio of Andres Esquibel, Hiarali Garcia and Paul Smyth held the Red Raiders scoreless on six hits.
– Sophomore catcher Buck Afenir rebounded from a rough start to the weekend with a pair of hits in Sunday’s win at Texas Tech. Afenir has 10 multiple hit games this season, including five against Big 12 opponents.
– Senior Dylan Parzyk drove in a run in the ninth inning of Sunday’s 8-1 win. This should come as no surprise, as the senior backstop is batting .750 (3-for-4) in the ninth inning this season.
– Junior Casey Larson made his first start at first base this season in Sunday’s win over Texas Tech. Larson is the fourth different player that has started at first this year. The Jayhawks started three different first basemen this weekend in the absense of starter Preston Land.
– Junior Ryne Price has devoured Missouri pitching the last two seasons. Since 2006, Price is batting .466 (7-for-15) with four home runs against the Tigers.
– Junior Erik Morrison drove in the winning run in Sunday’s 8-1 triumph over Texas Tech. Though not an official stat, Morrison leads the team with six game-winning RBIs, including four in Big 12 games.
– Freshman Robby Price drove in KU’s only run in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Texas Tech. During the month of April, Price is batting .354 with eight runs scored and eight RBIs.
– Junior John Allman scored a pair of runs in Sunday’s win over Texas Tech to become the 32nd player in KU history to score 100 or more runs in their career. KU’s left fielder is one RBI away from 100 for his career.
– Center fielder Kyle Murphy has been a road warrior this season, batting .364 away from Hoglund Ballpark with four doubles and all three of his home runs coming on the road.
– Junior right fielder Brock Simpson had two of KU’s eight hits in Saturday’s game. Simpson’s hits have come in bunches as he is fifth on the team in hits (40), and second in multi-hit games (14).
– Junior infielder Matt Berner doubled in Saturday’s game at Texas Tech. It marked Berner’s first extra base hit of the season and first hit in a conference game this year.
– Junior Zach Ashwood has done a good job of getting out of innings this year. The 6-foot-3 lefty has allowed a .200 batting average (12-for-60) with two outs this season.
– Junior Andres Esquibel has not allowed a run in his last four appearances, spanning 10.1 innings.
– Kansas is 6-4 in games started by Zach Ashwood this season, including 4-1 in Big 12 games started by the junior southpaw.
– Sophomore lefty Andy Marks leads the Big 12 with an 11.12 K/9IP ratio. He also has a 3.4 strikeouts to walks ratio, with 68 k’s and 20 walks this season.
– Sophomore Paul Smyth earned his third victory in relief last Sunday against Baylor. Smyth leads the bullpen with three victories in relief this season and five saves.
– Former Jayhawk Tom Gorzelanny earned his third win of the season Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 6-foot-2 lefty, who pitched at KU in 2002, went six innings, allowing five hits, three runs and a season-high six strikeouts. This season, Gorzelanny is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 17 k’s in 26.1 innings.
– Former Jayhawk Brent Del Chiaro went 3-for-4 with two runs scored Sunday. Del Chiaro, who played at KU from 2000-01, is in AAA with the Salt Lake Bees.
– Another ex-Jayhawk, Sean Land, who played at KU from 2004-06, earned his first win of the season for Single-A Beloit on Friday.
– Jared Schweitzer hit his first home run of the season on Friday. The former Jayhawk infielder, who played at KU from 2004-06, is playing for Single-A Quad Cities in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Remembering the Victims
During KU’s recent series at Texas Tech, the Jayhawks and Red Raiders wore maroon and orange tops during batting practice to honor the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech on April 16. The teams also observed a moment of silence before Friday’s game.
Oh, What a Night
On March 17, Kansas and eighth-ranked Texas A&M competed in a baseball battle of epic proportions. The teams combined for 30 runs and 33 hits in 11 innings, that ended after KU’s Erik Morrison, Dylan Parzyk and Justin Ellrich drove in runs in the top of the 11th and Jayhawk reliever Paul Smyth retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning.
KU held a 10-2 lead after the top of the fifth, but surrendered eight runs in the bottom of the inning. The Jayhawks took the lead twice before extra innings, only to be equalized again in the next half-inning.
The Jayhawks’ top three in the batting order: Kyle Murphy, Robby Price and John Allman combined for nine hits, seven runs scored and seven RBIs.
Lights, Camera, Jayhawks
KU is scheduled to make three television appearances this season, including one national TV appearance. The Jayhawks’ game against in-state rival Kansas State on May 5 will be seen across the country on Fox Sports Net.
The Jayhawks appeared on Fox College Sports Central in a non-conference game against K-State on April 3 and on the same station last Friday at Texas Tech.
Up All Night
KU’s three-game series against South Dakota State was played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The Jayhawks and Jackrabbits opened play on Saturday morning with a doubleheader at 1:30 a.m. The second game of the twinbill was suspended due to time constraints and completed Sunday morning at 3:30 a.m., prior to the third game of the series.
The unusual starting times for the three contests were due to the Hurricane Winter Invitational which was already scheduled in the dome that weekend. The invitational featured NCAA Division II and NAIA teams from neighboring states.
Major League Bloodlines
Several players on the 2007 Jayhawk baseball team have relatives who have played in the major leagues. They include:
– Buck Afenir’s uncle, Troy Afenir, played in four major league seasons for Houston, Oakland and Cincinnati.
– Brett Bochy’s father, Bruce Bochy, played in the major leagues from 1978-87 for Houston, San Diego and the New York Mets. He also managed the Padres from 1995-2006, and is the current manager of the San Francisco Giants.
– Casey Larson’s father, Dan Larson, played in the major leagues from 1967-82. He played for Houston, Philadelphia and the Chicago Cubs.
– Joe Servais’ cousin, Scott Servais, played in the major leagues from 1991-2001 for Houston, Colorado, San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs.
A handful of Jayhawks have also followed older siblings onto the KU baseball team. They include:
– Nick Czyz’ older brother Don pitched at KU from 2003-06. Don was drafted by the Florida Marlins after last season.
– Preston Land’s brother, Sean, pitched for the Jayhawks from 2004-06. Sean was drafted by the Minnesota Twins at the conclusion of the 2006 season.
– Ryne and Robby Price’s older brother, Ritchie, also played at KU from 2003-06. Ritchie was drafted by the New York Mets last season.
Kansas travels to No. 27 Oklahoma this weekend for a three-game series against the Sooners. The Jayhawks face OU at 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.