ESPN Comes to Lawrence as Jayhawks Host Texas
May 5, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. –For the first time in school history, the University of Kansas baseball team will be exposed to a national television audience as ESPN comes to Lawrence this weekend when the Jayhawks host No. 3 Texas in a three-game series at Hoglund Ballpark.
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Friday and Saturday’s contests are slated for 6 p.m. starts, while Sunday’s game will begin at Noon. All three games of the series can be seen live on ESPNU, ESPN’s newest network devoted to collegiate athletics. In addition, Sunday’s contest will also be replayed later that evening on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. (CST).
The Jayhawks enter the series hot, winning seven of their last eight contests. Junior first baseman Jared Schweitzer continues to be one of KU’s best hitters, carrying a career-long hitting streak of 20 games into the Texas series. The Sherwood Park, Alberta, native sits only one game away from the school record for hitting streak, which is held by Ryan Baty, who hit safely in 21 consecutive games to close the 2004 season.
Junior A.J. Van Slyke has been impressive at the plate this season, leading the team with 11 home runs and 53 RBI. Van Slyke is also currently on a career-long streak at the plate, having hit safely in his last 10 contests.
On the hill, junior pitcher Kodiak Quick picked up his ninth win of the season on Wednesday against Wichita State and moves within one win of the school record 10 wins in a season, which is held by three KU players.
Junior closer Don Czyz has been dominant in his last four appearances, closing the door in each of the contests with a save. Czyz enters the series with eight saves this season, the most ever by a Kansas junior and only three off the all-time KU single season mark for saves.
Texas Longhorns (38-9; 13-7 Big 12)
Kansas Jayhawks (31-21; 6-11 Big 12)
Site: Hoglund Ballpark (2,500) — Lawrence, Kan.
Game Time (CST) — Pitching Match-Up
Fri. (May 6) 6 p.m. — Sean Land (4-4) vs. Kyle McCulloch (8-2)
Sat. (May 7) 6 p.m. — Mike Zagurski (5-4) vs. Adrian Alaniz (3-2)
Sun. (May 8) 12 p.m. — Kodiak Quick (9-5) vs. Randy Boone (5-3)
Rankings: Texas enters the weekend series ranked in the top three in all four major college baseball polls — 2nd in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and 3rd in the Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, and Sports Weekly/ESPN Coaches
Coaches: Kansas head coach Ritch Price is 97-80-1 in his third year at KU and 314-308-1 in his 11th overall year of coaching at the Division 1 level. Texas’ Augie Gurrido holds a 1,524-710-8 overall mark in 37 years of coaching.
Texas leads 24-7
Audio: KLWN (1320 AM)
Television: May 6-8 ESPNU (live) & May 8 ESPN2 (tape-delay) 5 p.m.
A Closer Look at Texas
The Longhorns enter the weekend with a 38-9 overall record and rank third in the Big 12 with a 13-7 league mark. Texas was the preseason number one team chosen by several college baseball polls and has been consistently ranked in the top five all season long.
Senior infielder Seth Johnson paces the `Horns offense with a .403 average at the plate and a team-high 40 RBI. Outfielder Drew Stubbs leads the team with 10 home runs this season, and is also among UT’s leaders with a .320 clip at the plate.
The strength of Texas is its pitching staff, which holds a team ERA of 2.65 and features five players wilth ERA’s of under 2.50. Sophomore pitcher Kyle McCulloch is tied for the team lead with eight wins this season and will take the mound for the `Horns in the series opener. Closer J. Bret Cox leads the Big 12 with 11 saves this season and holds a 6-1 record with a 1.81 ERA in 28 appearances this season.
Head Coach Augie Gurrido is in his ninth season at Texas and has compiled a 373-186-1 record during his tenure in Austin. In addition, Gurrido is 1,524-710-8 record in 37 years of coaching.
First Game: Texas 4, Kansas 2 on March 26, 1906 in Austin, Texas
Last Meeting: Texas swept a three-game series from KU in Austin last season
In Austin: Texas leads 14-5
In Lawrence: Texas leads 10-2
Price vs. Texas: 1-5
Kansas Baseball Notes
Schweitzer Continues Streak at the Plate
Junior Jared Schweitzer continues to be one of KU’s most consistent players this season and has shown that consistency by posting a career-high 20-game hitting streak, which is still active heading into this weekend’s series with Texas.
The Sherwood Park, Alberta, native’s streak began on March 16 as he collected two hits in a win over Baker. The hitting tear is the longest this season by a Jayhawk and the longest in the Big 12 this season. The previous high in the league belonged to Nebraska’s Joe Simokaitis, who hit safely in 18 consecutive games earlier this season.
Ryan Baty currently holds the Kansas school record for hitting streak, as he hit safely in 21 consecutive games to close the 2004 season.
Ryne Price Posting Record-Breaking Freshman Campaign
In only his first season at KU, freshman second baseman Ryne Price is already leaving his mark on the Jayhawks’ record books.
In a career-high four RBI performance against Kansas State on April 30, Price raised his RBI total to 34, the most by a freshman in Kansas baseball history. The previous mark was held by Brian Gray who drove in 33 in 1978.
Price is also approaching several other freshman offensive records. He needs only two home runs and one double to equal the school record for a freshman in those categories.
Czyz Enjoying Record-Setting Season
Junior closer Don Czyz has been a work horse for head coach Ritch Price in his three seasons at KU and when he came out of the bullpen against New Mexico State on April 26 he became a part of the KU record books by breaking the school record for appearances on the mound for the Jayhawks.
Czyz’s appearance was the 80th of his career and moves him past Jimmy Walker, who had 79 appearances for the Jayhawks between 1990 and 1993.
The Overland Park, Kan., native has collected eight saves this season, breaking Brandon Johnson’s mark for most saves by a junior. The eight saves also places Czyz in a tie for second on the all-time KU single-season save list. Only Walker has collect more saves in a season, as he tallied 11 during the 1993 campaign.
Jayhawks Post School-Record Third Consecutive 30+ Win Season
When the Jayhawks defeated Saint Mary’s on May 3, they were able to accomplished something that had never been done before in school history as they posted a third consecutive season of at least 30 wins.
KU has topped the 30-win plateau in every season since head coach Ritch Price joined the program prior to the 2003 season. In Price’s first season, the Jayhawks tallied a 35-28 record and qualified for the Big 12 Tournament for the first time and followed up on the success the next season by posting a 31-win campaign.