Conference play continues for Kansas at No. 19 Oklahoma
Junior lefty Taylor Turski will start on the hill Friday night for the Jayhawks.
at #19 OKLAHOMA
Date April 21-23
Time 6:30 PM, 2 PM, 1 PM
Location Norman, Okla.
Venue L. Dale Mitchell Park
Watch FOX College Sport-Atlantic
Watch FOX College Sport-Central
Stats Live Stats
Notes Game Notes
Turski vs. Irvin
Goddard vs. Tyler
Zeferjahn vs. Grove
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas continues Big 12 Conference play April 21-23 at L. Dale MItchell Park as the Jayhawks open a five-game road swing with No. 19 Oklahoma.
Kansas (17-19, 6-6 Big 12) won the series last year against the Sooners (27-13, 5-4 Big 12) but haven’t won the best of three in Norman, since 2009.
Fans can watch Friday and Sunday’s games on FOX College Sport-Atlantic and FOX College Sport-Central, respectively, with Saturday’s game on SoonerSports.tv. In addition, all three games can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio and on the dial at: KLWN (Fri); KJHK (Sat); and KWOD (Sun).
- Kansas and Oklahoma have played at least a two-game series in each of the past 38 seasons, and have played at least one game against each other every year dating back to 1977.
- Since Big 12 play began in baseball in 1997, Kansas has only won six series against the Sooners, with its last coming in 2016.
- In series played in Norman, Oklahoma, the Jayhawks have won just three – in 2003, 2007 and 2009.
- Since 2010, KU holds a record of 4-18 against Oklahoma with two of those wins coming in 2016.
- Since 2011, KU has won just one game out of nine played at L. Dale Mitchell Park after having been swept in 2011 and 2015.
- The Sooners enter the weekend series having lost seven of their last eight games, but hold a record of 20-3 in games played at home.
- Oklahoma’s last home loss came on April 1 when it dropped a Saturday contest to Texas Tech, 9-4.
- The Jayhawks hold a record of 1-6 against ranked opponents with this weekend’s series being the third time KU played three games against a top-25 team on the road this year.
- Kansas is 5-8 on the road in 2017 with its last victory coming on April 9 at West Virginia, 7-2.
- KU has not won a series on the road since April 24-26, 2015, when it beat West Virginia two games out of three.
- Prior to that road series win, it was a three-game sweep at Baylor almost exactly a year prior (April 26-28, 2014) that stood as the last away three-game set victory.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST OKLAHOMA
Due to inclement weather, Kansas and Oklahoma were forced to play a Saturday doubleheader that proved to be the right decision for head coach Ritch Price and his Jayhawks as they went on to sweep the two games and win their first series against the Sooners since 2009. Catcher Michael Tinsley led the way with a .727 (8-for-11) average in the series with one double, six RBIs and four runs scored. Shortstop Matt McLaughlin batted .455 (5-for-11) with one RBI and a run scored while centerfielder Joven Afenir blasted three doubles and drove in four runs.
BEST IN THE BIG 12 LAST WEEK
The Big 12 Conference named freshman second baseman James Cosentino the league’s co-Newcomer of the Week for his performances last week against Wichita State (April 11) and Oklahoma State (April 13-15). Cosentino helped Kansas to a 3-1 record last week with tremendous presence at the plate. He posted a .417 batting average in four starts that included two doubles, three runs, three RBIs, four walks, a .583 slugging and a .579 on-base percentage. Against Oklahoma State, Cosentino made 15 trips to the plate, and reached base safely in 10 of them (five hits, three walks and two hit-by-pitches) while recording a team-high two doubles, .667 on-base percentage and .778 slugging percentage, respectively. In addition, his .556 (5-for-9) average against the Cowboys was .192 points higher than the next Jayhawk, freshman right fielder Brett Vosik, who batted .364.
Freshmen second baseman James Cosentino and right fielder Brett Vosik used the first 25 games of the season to find their way at the Division I level, and since then, have been two of head coach Ritch Price’s best at the plate throughout the month of April. The duo has started all 11 games the Jayhawks have played in the month, helping the team to a 7-4 record in those contests. Cosentino leads the squad in April with a .368 (14-for-38) average with a team-high three doubles, four RBIs, five runs scored, a .447 slugging percentage and a team-best .457 on-base percentage. Vosik posted a .314 (11-for-35) average in those 11 games with one home run, two doubles, six runs scored, a .457 slugging percentage and a .400 on-base percentage. Prior to the month starting, Cosentino and Vosik were batting just .217 and .211, respectively, but now hold averages of .262 and .250, that rank second and third on the squad.
FAST START IN LEAGUE PLAY
Since Big 12 play started in baseball in 1997, Kansas has only started conference play 6-6 or better in seven of those seasons – this is the 21st season of Big 12 baseball. In 1997, 2009 and 2013, the Jayhawks started league play 7-5 through the first 12 games; and in 2006, 2011, 2014 and 2017, KU posted a 6-6 mark. Two of those seasons (2009 and 2014), Kansas finished with a winning record in the league, and in three of those seasons (2006, 2009 and 2014), advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Kansas has already played series against two of the top-four teams (at TCU and at West Virginia), with matchups at Oklahoma (April 21-23) and at Texas Tech (May 18-20) remaining.
GODDARD KNOWS HOW TO DEAL
Sophomore righty Jackson Goddard paced Kansas to a Saturday victory over Oklahoma State (April 17) to clinch the Jayhawks’ second conference series win of the season and fifth-straight over OSU played at Hoglund Ballpark. Goddard struck out a career-high 13 batters – the most for a KU player since 2014 and second-most ever in the Ritch Price era (2003-present) – and did not surrender a walk in the 111-pitch effort that spanned six innings. His only true blemish came in the top of the sixth inning where he gave up a solo shot amounting to his lone earned run of the contest. He exited the game with a 3-2 lead, and that is all the KU bullpen needed to solidify Goddard’s third win of the season. Final line: 6.0 IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 13K.
Senior closer Stephen Villines is 6-for-6 in his last six save attempts dating back to April 1. During the streak, Villines has thrown seven innings, allowed six hits, one run, and struck out 11 batters for a 1.29 ERA. Prior to the month of April, Villines made 13 appearances and recorded four saves throwing 20 and 1/3 innings, and giving up 12 runs while striking out 28 hitters for a 4.43 ERA. Throughout April, Villines has made seven appearances, recorded those six saves and posted a 1.12 ERA. He averages just under 2.0 strikeouts per appearance coming in at 1.95. He became KU’s all-time saves leader on April 2 surpassing the great Don Czyzand currently holds that mark at 36 career saves.
RECORD BY NUMBERS
Kansas is a perfect 9-0 when it holds opponents to two runs or less and is 6-1 in games decided by one run. The Jayhawks are 13-2 when leading after six innings, 15-2 when leading after seven innings and a perfect 16-0 when they have the lead after eight. On the contrary, when KU scores two or fewer runs, it holds a 2-13 mark, and when opponents score first, that record becomes 3-15.
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE
Kansas has played 36 games so far in 2017 and only three Jayhawks have started each of those contests. Sophomore Devin Foyle made all 36 of his starts in the outfield – 27 in left, one in center and eight in right – while freshman James Cosentino is the staple at second base. Sophomore Rudy Karre rounds out the trio having made 33 starts in center field, two at designated hitter and one at third base.
HE’S GOT CLASS
Kansas baseball senior closer Stephen Villines was named one of 30 candidates to be considered for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate baseball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. Villines is the fourth Jayhawk to be considered for this award during the 2016-17 school year, joining Cassie Wait (volleyball), Fish Smithson(football) and Frank Mason III (men’s basketball) as Kansas nominees. Villines is just one of four Big 12 baseball players to appear on the list of 30. Joining him are Tyler Buffett (Oklahoma State), Jackson Cramer (West Virginia) and Matt Menard (Baylor).
THE ALL-TIME WINNER
Head coachRitch Pricebecame KU’s new all-time winningest coach at 439 wins after an 11-7 win over Northwestern State (March 4), surpassing legendary skipper Floyd Temple (438). It took Temple 28 seasons to set that standard, before Price eclipsed that mark in just his 15th year at the helm of the program. Price’s 452 wins account for 24 percent of the program’s 1,872 victories spanning 125 seasons. Temple averaged 15.6 wins per season playing an average of 30 games a year. Price averages 31 victories a year playing about 60 games a season.
Kansas continues its road swing when it heads to Arizona for a two-game midweek matchup at Grand Canyon, April 25-26, before returning home to open up a 10-game homestand starting with Baylor (April 28-30).
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