Jayhawks Take to the Road to Battle SMS
May 10, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Fresh off its first series victory over a ranked opponent in Big 12 play and victories in nine of its last 11 contests, the University of Kansas baseball team looks to continue its winning ways as it travels to Springfield, Mo., to battle SMS in a 7 p.m. match-up at Hammons Field on Wednesday.
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The Jayhawks will look to avenge an early season loss to SMS. The Bears came into Lawrence and escaped with an 8-4 victory on March 1. In the contest, KU was only able to manage three hits and committed season-high six errors. Junior Gus Milner was the only offensive bright spot in the contest as he collected a double and drove in three runs.
Recently, the Jayhawk pitching staff has been impressive. Sophomore Sean Land is coming off of the best outing of his career, as he pitched five innings and yielded only one earned run on three hits. Land’s outing was followed by another outstanding start by KU senior lefty Mike Zagurski. In game two of the series, the Omaha, Neb., native tossed 7 1/3 innings, while scattering five hits and one unearned run. Junior closer Don Czyz was dominant on the mound as he collected three saves in three chances last weekend, including two against the Longhorns. For his efforts, Czyz was honored on Tuesday as the Co-Big 12 Pitcher of the Week.
At the plate, junior first baseman Jared Schweitzer used a fourth inning home run in Saturday’s contest to set the school record for a hitting streak as he collected a base hit for the 22nd consecutive game. Entering Wednesday’s contest, Schweitzer’s hitting streak is alive and well at 23 games.
Kansas Jayhawks (33-22; 8-12 Big 12)
SMS Bears (17-29; 4-14 MVC)
Site: Hammons Field (2,500) — Springfield, Mo.
Game Time (CST) — Pitching Match-Up
Wed. (May 11) 7 p.m. — RHP Tyson Corley (1-1) vs. TBA (0-0)
Rankings: Kansas is receiving votes in the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Poll this week. SMS enters the series unranked.
Coaches: Kansas head coach Ritch Price is 99-81-1 in his third year at KU and 316-309-1 in his 11th overall year of coaching at the Division 1 level. SMS’s Keith Guttin enters the game with a 799-480 career record in 23 seasons at SMS.
SMS leads 20-18
A Closer Look at SMS
The Bears enter the week having won three of their last four contests, including a 10-6 victory at Missouri last Tuesday. SMS is 3-0 against Big 12 teams this season, having defeated Missouri twice and Kansas back on March 1.
In the first meeting between the Jayhawks and Bears, Kansas committed a season-high six errors and was limited to only three hits by a pair of SMS pitchers. Centerfielder Jacob Hilgendorf was the offensive star of the day, driving in a game-high three runs for the Bears.
SMS head coach Keith Guttin stands on the verge of a coaching milestone as he needs only one win to reach 800 for his career. In 23 seasons at the helm of the Bears, Guttin has compiled a 799-480 career
Series Record: SMS leads 20-18
Last Meeting: SMS defeated KU 8-4 on March 1 of this season Lawrence
In Lawrence: KU leads 11-10
In Springfield: SMS leads 10-7
Price vs. SMS: 3-2
Kansas Baseball Notes
Czyz Named Co-Big 12 Pitcher of the Week
After collecting three saves in a trio of KU victories last week — including two against No. 2 Texas, junior closer Don Czyz was selected as the Co-Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on May 10. Czyz became the first KU hurler to earn the accolade since Brandon Johnson was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on April 14, 2003.
The Overland Park, Kan., native enters the week in second place in the Big 12 with 10 saves, trailing only J. Brent Cox of Texas, who has tallied 12 this season.
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 setting a new school-record 23-game hitting streak, which is still active heading into this week’s game with SMS.
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 was the KU record holder prior to Schweitzer’s run, 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 10 saves this season, breaking Brandon Johnson’s mark for most saves by a junior. The 10 saves also places Czyz in 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.