Jayhawks Take On Non-Conference Foe Alabama A&M This Weekend

May 12, 2011

Alabama A&M (10-33) at Kansas (22-27)

Hoglund Ballpark (2,500) – Lawrence, Kan.

Friday-Sunday, May 13-15 – 6 p.m., 2 p.m. (DH), 1 p.m.

Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


Friday, May 13:

– Live Video

Radio Coverage

– Gametracker

Saturday, May 14:

Game 1

– Live Video

Radio Coverage

– Gametracker

Game 2

– Live Video

– Gametracker

Sunday, May 15:

– Live Video

Radio Coverage

– Gametracker

Kansas baseball will look to get back on track this weekend when the Jayhawks host non-conference foe Alambama A&M in a four-game series at Hoglund Ballpark. The Jayhawks and Bulldogs will meet at 6 p.m. Friday, before playing a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The teams will wrap up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Three of the four games will be carried live on KLWN radio (1320 AM), which can also be heard via internet broadcast at www.klwn.com. Vetertan play-by-play man Tom Hedrick and Kyle West will call the action.

Series History

Kansas and Alabama A&M will be meeting for the first time on the baseball field. The Jayhawks are 2-0 all-time against current members of the Southwest Athletic Conference.

About the Jayhawks

Kansas returns home after being swept in back-to-back weekend series on the road. Home cooking might be just what the team needs to get back on track as the Jayhawks have gone 15-9 at Hoglund Ballpark this year, including 8-4 in non-conference home games.

The Jayhawks are averaging 4.1 runs per game and batting .259 as a team with 27 homers and 43 stolen bases. Senior outfielder Casey Lytle leads the team with a .302 batting average, including a .341 average against Big 12 foes. On the mound, KU has a 3.95 team ERA and has held opponents to a .262 batting average. Senior T.J. Walz is the staff ace with five wins and a 3.71 ERA in 12 starts.

Scouting the Bulldogs

Alabama A&M enters the weekend series with Kansas at 10-33 overall after taking one-of-three from Jackson State during the week. The Bulldogs have been decent at home, going 7-13, but are just 2-19 in their away contests.

The Bulldogs’ offense averages 3.3 runs per game and is batting .250 as a team with eight home runs and a .306 on-base percentage. Senior outfielder Kency Duarte leads the team with a .318 batting average and has seven doubles, two homers and 16 RBIs. Sophomore infielder Norbert Riggins is the team’s top run producer with 18 RBIs and is batting .196 with three homers.

On the mound, the Bulldogs have posted a 9.61 ERA with 208 strikeouts in 322 1/3 innings. Sophomore right-hander Manny Lora leads the team with a 5.31 ERA in 10 starts, while junior left-handed pitcher Sanchez Tucker is tops on the team with three wins.

Head coach Ed McCann is in his first year with the Bulldogs after coming to Alabama A&M from Centenary, where he spent 12 seasons as head coach of the Gents.

Last Time Out

Junior Zac Elgie tied a Kansas record with three doubles, and senior Brandon Macias hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning which tied the score. However, Oklahoma’s Ricky Eisenberg helped the Sooners complete the three-game sweep with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth as OU downed Kansas, 11-7, on May 8 at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Kansas-AAMU Connections

– Alabama A&M head coach Ed McCann was the assistant coach at Cal Poly during KU head coach Ritch Price’s first year with the Mustangs.

Wonder Walz

Kansas senior pitcher T.J. Walz will look to tie the school’s career record for victories (26) on Friday against the Bulldogs. The senior right-handed pitcher already owns the career marks in school history for innings pitched (315.1), strikeouts (296) and games started (48).

Walz is also looking to become just the 10th pitcher to record 300 career K’s at a Big 12 institution since the conference was formed in 1997. Currently, the senior is tied for fifth in the league with 74 strikeouts this season, including 49 in his nine conference starts.

Dynamic Duo

While offensive numbers are down across college baseball this season, production at the plate has gone up for KU’s catchers this year. Junior James Stanfield and sophomore Alex DeLeon are both hitting over 100 points higher than they did last season.

Stanfield leads all of KU’s regulars with a .340 batting average and has a .450 slugging percentage. He is also sixth on the team with 12 multi-hit games. DeLeon is tied for the team lead with five homers and is batting .289 after batting just .143 in limited time last year.

Double Trouble

Junior first baseman Zac Elgie tied a Kansas record on Sunday afternoon, collecing three doubles in the 11-7 loss at Oklahoma. Elgie became the first Jayhawk to double three times in a game since David Narodowski turned the trick against Chicago State on April 28, 2009.

Elgie is currently second in the conference with 18 two-base hits on the season, including a league-best 10 during Big 12 games. Heading into the season, the junior had just five doubles in 189 career at bats. This season, he has 18 doubles in 180 at bats, meaning he’s become a more complete hitter.

Diamond Notes

– Kansas will host Alabama A&M in the team’s final non-conference games of the year. The Jayhawks are 13-12 in non-conference games this season, including 8-4 at Hoglund Ballpark.

– KU has been tough to beat (or tie) at home this season, posting a 15-9 record at Hoglund Ballpark. As a team, the Jayhawks have hit .273 at home with 11 homers and 107 runs scored. The Jayhawks’ pitching staff has posted a 3.61 ERA and held opponents to a .256 batting average.

– Four runs scored has been the magic number for the Jayhawk offense this season. KU is 21-6 when the team scores four runs or more and 1-21 when scoring three runs or less.

– Driving in runs in clutch situations has been paramount to KU’s success this season. The Jayhawks have 63 two-out RBIs, including 37 since April 1. The Jayhawks are also batting .271 (145-for-536) as a team with two outs in an inning.

– Junior Zac Elgie leads the team with 13 two-out RBIs and has hit .314 (22-for-70) with two outs in an inning.

– The Jayhawks have run more than in previous seasons. KU has swiped 43 bases in 70 attempts after stealing just 29 bases all of last season.

– Following KU’s series at Oklahoma, the NCAA released its seventh statistics report of the season and Kansas is ranked in the top 100 in a few categories. The Jayhawks rank 89th in the country in home runs (27), 84th in times hit by pitch (52), 79th in ERA (3.92) and 81st in hits allowed per nine innings (8.88).

– Individual players appearing among the NCAA statistical leaders include: junior Zac Elgie ranks 39th in the country in doubles (18), junior Colton Murray ranks 70th in saves (seven) and senior T.J. Walz ranks 70th in the nation in strikeouts (74).

– Several KU players rank in the top 10 in the Big 12 in individual statistics. Offensively, Zac Elgie is second in the league in doubles (18). On the mound, T.J. Walz ranks seventh in innings pitched (77.2) and tied for fifth in strikeouts (74). Colton Murray is fifth in the league with seven saves.

– Several KU players rank among the league leaders in conference-only stats: senior Casey Lytle ranks 10th in batting average (.341) and eighth in on-base percentage (.438), Brandon Macias is tied fifth in runs scored (18) while Jimmy Waters is tied for second in RBIs (20). Zac Elgie leads the league in doubles (10).

– Pitching-wise in conference-only stats, T.J. Walz is tied for eighth in wins (three), third in innings pitched (53.1), third in strikeouts (49) and 10th in opponents’ batting average (.224). Freshman Frank Duncan is tied for third in appearances (13) and Colton Murray is tied for seventh in saves (three).

Oklahoma Series Leftovers

– Kansas was swept in a three-game series for the third time this season – all three of which have come on the road.

– The Jayhawks’ loss to OU on Sunday dropped the team to 4-13 against Top 25 teams and 2-12 against teams ranked in the Top 10.

– For the second time in as many weeks, the Jayhawks erased a ninth-inning deficit on get-away-day, only to lose in the bottom of the inning. KU trailed by a 5-4 score at Texas Tech on May 1 and scored three runs, and trailed 7-4 at Oklahoma on May 8 and scored three runs to tie the game.

– During KU’s ninth inning rally on May 8, junior Chris Manship hit his first career home run to leadoff the inning. Manship had gone the first 228 at bats of his college career before homering.

– Senior Jimmy Waters enjoyed a productive series, going 4-for-12 with a homer and four RBIs. Waters plated KU’s only run in Friday night’s game with his fifth home run of the year.

– Waters also tied Sunday’s game with a two-run single with the bases loaded. As a team, KU has 10 hits with the bases loaded this year, four of which are by Waters.

– Junior Zac Elgie tied a KU record with three doubles in Sunday’s loss at Oklahoma. Elgie is the 15th Jayhawk to accomplish this feat since 1974.

– KU scored in the first inning of all three games at OU, and has tallied opening frame runs in each of its last four contests.

– The Jayhawks’ loss to Oklahoma on Sunday marked the team’s first defeat in a game started by a left-handed pitcher since an opening day loss at then-No. 1 TCU and ace pitcher Mark Purke.

– KU dropped to 4-16 in games when wearing blue uniforms. The team is 18-11 in games that it wears either crimson or white.

Up Next
The Jayhawks will close out the regular season against Sunflower Showdown rival Kansas State with a three-game series split between Lawrence and Manhattan. The Jayhawks and Wildcats will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20 at Tointon Family Stadium, before completing the series on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 at Hoglund Ballpark. Both games in Lawrence will begin at 6 p.m.