Big 12 Play Continues for Jayhawks with No. 8 Texas Tech
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas closes out its Big 12 Conference home slate May 6-8 when the Jayhawks play host to No. 8 Texas Tech at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (19-26-1, 5-9 Big 12) hold a 15-9-1 record at home this season and look to use a series win over Oklahoma (April 30-May 1) to propel them into the weekend against a red-hot Red Raider (34-13, 14-4 Big 12) team that has won 17 of their last 22 games, which included three sweeps.
Saturday’s contest will be the “Jayhawks for a Cure” game while Sunday, May 8, will serve as Senior Day and Bud Walker Caring for Kids Day. Prior to the start of the series finale, Kansas will recognize its seven seniors for their contributions to the program over the past four years. In addition, the Jayhawks will also recognize three senior members of the support staff who have played integral roles in helping KU’s success on and off the field.
In addition, with Sunday being Mother’s Day, all moms are admitted free and will receive carnations upon entry.
JAYHAWK RADIO NETWORK
All three games of the Texas Tech series can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network with Mitchell Glessner calling the action.
On the web
Kansas Jayhawks app – search “Kansas Jayhawks”
JAYHAWK TELEVISION NETWORK / ESPN3
All three games against the Red Raiders can be seen on ESPN3 with Saturday and Sunday’s games also on the Jayhawk Television Network. Steven Davis (play-by-play) and Kevin Wheeler (analyst) will have the call. Visit KUAthletics.com/JTV for info on affiliates.
ESPN3 on TV
Amazon Fire TV; Apple TV; Chromecast; Roku; Xbox One; Xbox 360.
ESPN3 on the web
ESPN3 on mobile/tablet devices
WatchESPN app; ESPN app
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,854-1,775-18.
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record at Division I level: 650-622-4 (.511).
- Price (434-393-3) is just five wins from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach (Floyd Temple, 438).
- Kansas is 4-1 in Friday night series openers with ace senior lefty Ben Krauth on the hill.
- In those five games, KU has outscored its opponents 28-12 and out hit them .301 to .256.
- The Jayhawks are 15-1-1 when leading after six innings and just 2-23 when trailing after the sixth.
- Kansas enters the weekend in seventh place in the Big 12 standings and will play its 10th, 11th and 12th games of the season against a top-25 opponent.
- Junior catcher Michael Tinsley leads the Jayhawk squad with a Big 12-best .393 batting average, leads the league in hits (70) and holds the second-fewest strikeouts among leaders (15).
Kansas and Texas Tech will play a series for the 20th-straight season and 21st overall when the Red Raiders travel to Lawrence this weekend. The two teams have played 79 games against one another with TTU leading the all-time series 35-24. The Jayhawks have won eight of the last 12 games including three of the last four series. KU holds a record of 14-13 in games played at Hoglund Ballpark and a 19-19 clip under head coach Ritch Price. The last two times Texas Tech visited Lawrence (2012 & 2014), Kansas claimed both series and has won five of the six games that included a three-game sweep in 2014 over a then-No. 19 TTU team. Of the last five series played between to two teams at Hoglund Ballpark, the Jayhawks have won four of them with their only loss coming in 2010.
Texas Tech enters the weekend with the best record in the Big 12 Conference (34-14) and a two-game lead in the league standings. The Red Raiders have been nationally ranked the last five weeks with their highest ranking coming on April 18 at No. 7 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. Currently, TTU holds a No. 8 ranking by Baseball America after winning 17 of its last 22 games that included series victories over Kansas State (sweep), Oklahoma State (sweep), Sam Houston State, San Diego State (sweep) and TCU. Texas Tech holds the second-best offense and fourth-best pitching staff in the league with a .301 team batting average and 4.18 team ERA. Tanner Gardner leads the squad with a .382 average (63-for-165) with 12 doubles, five triples, 26 RBIs and 41 runs scored. Cory Raley is second with a .337 clip while Eric Gutierrez and Stephen Smith have each hit nine home runs and bat .335 and .332, respectively. More impressively, the top three spots in the league in RBIs belong to TTU in Tyler Neslony (42), Gutierrez (42) and Raley (40), while four of the top-10 in runs scored also belong to the Red Raiders. On the mound, Kansas will see righty Davis Martin (7-0, 2.28 ERA) on Friday, and lefties Steven Gingery (3-1, 3.15 ERA) and Ty Damron (4-1, 5.40 ERA) on Saturday and Sunday.
TWICE AS NICE
Senior second baseman Colby Wright is riding his second 13-game hitting streak of the season as he held his first earlier in the year from March 12-April 1. Wright’s current streak started with back-to-back two-hit performances at Texas (April 15-16) before tallying just one hit in the next nine games and rounding it out with two-hit performances in each game at Minnesota. During the streak, Wright is batting .370 (18-for-46) with two doubles, two home runs, 13 RBIs and 13 runs scored. During his 13-game streak earlier in the season, he batted .500 (19-for-38) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, nine RBIs and 12 runs scored. Combined in the 26 games that spans both streaks, Wright batted .429 with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, 22 RBIs and 25 runs scored.
CAN’T TOUCH THIS
Junior catcher Michael Tinsley has reached base safely in his last 21 games, besting the 20-game streak set by freshman Rudy Karre earlier this season. During the 21 games, Tinsley compiled multiple hitting streaks of 11 and nine games, respectively, with a hitless performance sandwiched between vs. Nebraska (April 27) at Kauffman Stadium. Tinsley has batted .500 (39-for-78) during the on-base streak with six doubles, one triple, two home runs, 21 RBIs, 27 runs scored, a .679 slugging percentage and a .583 on-base percentage. In his last nine games, the lefty bat is hitting .545 (18-for-33) with one double, one triple, one home run, 12 RBIs and 11 runs scored. He leads the Big 12 Conference with a .393 batting average and 70 hits.
BANGING IT AROUND
Kansas has hit two or more home runs in a game five times, including a season-best three at No. 19 Minnesota (May 3). Sophomore Matt McLaughlin hit a solo shot off the foul pole in the first, senior Colby Wright drove one out in the second while junior Michael Tinsley hit a three-run shot over the scoreboard in right field in the third.
For the second time this season, senior right fielder Joe Moroney led off a Big 12 Conference series opener at home with a home run – against then-No. 6 TCU and Oklahoma. Prior to Moroney, the last person to lead off a game with a home run was Tucker Tharp against Kansas State on April 25, 2012. In each of those games, Moroney’s home run came after each opponent sprung to score a run in the top of the first.
UPPING ITS HOME RUNS
In its first 34 games, Kansas hit a total of eight home runs – an average of one home run every 4.25 games. In the 12 games that followed – including a resumption game from March 23 against Baker – the team hit a total of 12 home runs, more than doubling its season total. Kansas belted at least one home run in seven of the 12 games and hit two or more home runs in four of those contests. Eight different players have now hit at least one home run with senior second baseman Colby Wright leading the way with four.
Kansas takes a break from midweek action so the Jayhawks can focus on finals before hitting the road for a three-game set at in-state rival Kansas State, May 13-15. All three games of the series can be seen on COX Kansas with Saturday and Sunday’s games also on ESPN3.
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