Baseball homestand continues with Monday matchup against Omaha
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After winning its first two series of the season, the Kansas baseball team continues its homestand Monday, Feb. 26 with a single game against Omaha at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (4-2) have won back-to-back home series averaging 6.7 runs and 10.8 hits per contest, while the Mavericks (2-4) come to Lawrence averaging five runs and eight hits per game.
Fans unable to attend can listen to the game on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,889-1,815-18 (.510)
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 686-660-4 (.510)
- Price’s record at Kansas: 469-432-3 (.521)
- For the second-consecutive season, Kansas won its first two home series after taking 2-of-3 from Murray State (Feb. 16-18) and 2-of-3 from Northwestern (Feb. 23-25).
- Through six contests, the Jayhawks are averaging 6.7 runs and 10.8 hits per game.
- In its four wins, KU averages nine hits and 5.75 runs per game, and in its two losses, 14.5 hits and 8.5 runs per game.
- Through six games, only two players on the 35-man roster have not seen any action while every position player has seen the field at least once.
- No other team in the 126-year history of the Kansas baseball program opened the season with more consecutive home games than the 2018 squad will do (10).
- The Jayhawks will play 33 home games – the most since 1991 when the same number was reached.
- Thirty-one of KU’s 56 games slated for 2018 will be against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams, including five games against opponents that advanced to the College World Series a year ago.
- Kansas returns its entire starting rotation and nine of its 10 position starters from the 2017 squad that finished seventh in the Big 12 Conference with an overall record of 30-28.
Junior left fielder Devin Foyle led the Jayhawks to a series win over Northwestern after posting a .667 batting average (8-for-12) in three starts, including four doubles, one home run and seven RBIs. In the final two games of the series, Foyle recorded two doubles in each. He also finished the weekend a perfect 2-for-2 in stolen bases.
In an explosive weekend against Northwestern, Kansas saw two of its major contributors hit home runs in sophomore catcher Jaxx Groshans and junior left fielder Devin Foyle. In 2017, both Foyle and Groshans each hit one home run. It took Groshans 187 at bats into his rookie season to hit his first career home run, and Foyle hit just one four bagger in all of 204 AB’s a year ago. Six games into the 2018 season, and both rank in the top-three on the team in batting with Foyle leading in every offensive category except triples, walks and hit-by-pitches.
Kansas scored 26 runs against Northwestern in a three-game set at Hoglund Ballpark. Those 26 plated mark the most for a Jayhawk team in a three-game set against a Power Five team at home since May 7-9, 2010, when they scored 28 runs in a three-game sweep of Missouri. The last time Kansas scored a total of 26 runs against a Power Five team all time came in 2017 at No. 19 Oklahoma (April 21-23), where it won the series.
The Jayhawks have won both weekend series to start the 2018 campaign and hold an overall record of 4-2 in those six contests. Despite winning both weekend series, Kansas struggled in the Saturday contest of the three-game sets. In its four combined wins on Friday and Sunday, KU has outscored its opponents 23-9 and hold the opposition to a .186 batting average. In the two Saturday losses, the Jayhawks have been outscored 28-17 with their opponents batting .305.
THE MAN LEBAN
Junior closer Zack Leban has made four appearances in 2018 and it happens those were the four games Kansas has won. In those four contests, Leban has recorded three saves and is a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities. In four and 2/3 innings pitched, he has allowed just two hits while striking out six of the 16 batters he has faced. In addition, Leban is the quickest Jayhawk to three saves in a season in the Ritch Price era in terms of the number of appearances it took to reach that numbers –he has done it in the least amount of appearances as possible (3).
LONG TIME COMING
Redshirt-sophomore outfielder Brendt Citta had to wait 633 days to step back on the diamond after transferring from San Jose State following the 2016 season. That time off was well spent as Citta roped the Jayhawks’ first home run of the season with a two-run blast over the wall in left center. That four-bagger came on the first pitch he saw as a Kansas player. Prior to that, his last at bat came on May 25, 2016.
JAYHAWKS PICKED SIXTH
With 24 letterwinners, nine position starters and its entire weekend rotation returning from 2017, the Big 12 Conference coaches picked Kansas to finish tied for sixth in the preseason poll.
1. Texas Tech (5) 61
2. TCU (4) 60
3. Texas 42
4. Oklahoma 40
5. West Virginia 38
6. Kansas 26
Oklahoma State 26
8 Baylor 22
9. K-State 9
PRICE NAMES 2018 CAPTAINS
Head coach Ritch Price announced that seniors Tanner Gragg and Owen Taylor, and redshirt-sophomore Brendt Citta will handle captains’ duties for the 2018 season. The trio is each holding the honor of captain for the first time in their careers and represents what the Kansas baseball program is all about.
STARS AND STRIPES
The Kansas baseball team will represent the United States at the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) Sixth World University Baseball Championships (WCB) July 6-15, 2018, in Chiayi, Taiwan. The Jayhawks were selected by the United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) to represent the United States. They are the first collegiate team to wear the red, white and blue in the WCB and are the third team overall to represent the country as a collegiate national team, joining Cal State Fullerton (2015) and Iowa (2017) who played in the World University Games.
HE’S GOT TENURE
Kansas head coach Ritch Price is the most tenured skipper in the Big 12 Conference as he has coached in 381 league games – 23 more than any other current coach. He starts his 16th season in the league, one more than Kansas State’s Brad Hill and 10 more than the majority of the conference’s head coaches.
1. 381 – Ritch Price, Kansas (16th season)
2. 358 –Brad Hill, K-State (15th season)
3. 120 – Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (Sixth season)
4. 117 – Jim Schlossnagle, TCU (Sixth season)
5. 116 – Randy Mazey, West Virginia (Sixth season)
THE ALL-TIME WINNER
Head coach Ritch Price became KU’s all-time winningest coach at 439 wins after an 11-7 win over Northwestern State (March 4), 2017, surpassing legendary skipper Floyd Temple (438). Price’s current 469 win total accounts for 25 percent of the program’s 1,889 victories spanning 126 seasons played. In addition, Price is 14 wins away from eclipsing the 700-win mark at the Division I level, a feat only 15 other active Power Five coaches have achieved.
Kansas continues its 10-game homestand when it welcomes in Texas Southern, for a three-game set March 2-4 at Hoglund Ballpark.
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