Kansas Baseball Hosts OSU to Close Regular Season
May 18, 2005
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Looking to secure a berth in the Big 12 Baseball Tournament for the second time in three seasons, the University of Kansas baseball team will close out the 2005 regular season by hosting Oklahoma State in a three-game series at Hoglund Ballpark over the weekend.
The Jayhawks enter the weekend with a solid hold on the eighth spot in the conference standings, leading both Texas A&M and Kansas State by 1.5 games. The Jayhawks trail Texas Tech for the seventh spot in the league by only a half game. Oklahoma State enters the weekend with a 32-20 overall record and an 11-13 mark in Big 12 play, placing it in a tie for fifth place in the conference.
Last weekend, KU head coach Ritch Price led the Jayhawks to a 9-3 victory over rival Missouri and in doing so became one of only four other coach to capture 100 victories at the helm of the Kansas baseball program. The win was also the first for the Jayhawks against the Tigers in Columbia, Mo., since the 1997 season.
On the hill senior lefty Mike Zagurski turned in a stellar performance, tossing his second complete game of the season, while striking out 12 batters and walking none. The 12 strikeouts gives the Omaha, Neb., native 104 this season and places him with only three other KU pitchers who have collected over 100 K’s in a season. Heading into this weekend’s start against OSU, Zagurski trails Roger Slagle, who struck out 111 batters in 1976, by seven for the Kansas single-season strikeout record.
Oklahoma St. Cowboys (32-21; 11-13 Big 12)
Kansas Jayhawks (34-25; 9-14 Big 12)
Site: Hoglund Ballpark (2,500) — Lawrence, Kan.
Game Time (CST) — Pitching Match-Up
Fri. (May 20) 7 p.m. — LHP Sean Land (5-5) vs. TBA
Sat. (May 21) 6 p.m. — LHP Mike Zagurski (7-4) vs. TBA
Sun. (May 22) 1 p.m. — RHP Kodiak Quick (9-5) vs. TBA
Rankings: Kansas is receiving votes in the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Poll this week. Oklahoma State enters the series unranked.
Coaches: Kansas head coach Ritch Price is 100-84-1 in his third year at KU and 317-312-1 in his 11th overall year of coaching at the Division 1 level. Oklahoma State’s Frank Anderson is 70-45 in his second season at the helm of the Cowboys.
Oklahoma St. leads 123-44
Audio: KLWN (1320 AM)
A Closer Look at Oklahoma State
The Cowboys enter the weekend series in a tie for fifth place in the Big 12 with in-state rival Oklahoma. The two teams share identical 11-13 conference records, but the Sooners hold the tie breaker in the series after they defeated OSU in two-of-three games last weekend.
Left-handed pitcher Thomas Cowley tops the OSU pitcher rotation as he owns a 9-4 record this season and a 2.41 ERA. Closer Scott Richmond is holding opponent batters to a .190 average this season and has compiled six saves.
Cowboy first baseman Adam Carr leads the Big 12 with 17 home runs and 73 RBI.
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’s Impressive Streak at the Plate
Junior Jared Schweitzer continues to be one of KU’s most consistent players this season and showed that consistency by setting a new school-record 24-game hitting streak
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. The streak came to an end on May 13 as Schweitzer wend 0-for-2 with a pair of walks in an 8-0 loss to No. 20 Missouri.
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 has also collected 11 doubles this season, tying him with brother Ritchie Price and Matt Tribble for the freshman record for doubles.
Price is also approaching several other freshman offensive records. He needs only two home runs and five games played to tie the freshman mark 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.