Jayhawks back to Texas for neutral site bout with Northern Illinois
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team travels back to Texas for a three-game series against Northern Illinois March 1 & 3 at AirHogs Stadium in Grand Prairie.
The Jayhawks (5-3) and Huskies (2-6) will play a doubleheader on Friday, starting at 12 p.m., before finishing the series on Sunday at 11 a.m.
All three games of the weekend can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio with Nick Springer calling the action.
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,917-1,846-18
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 714-691-4
- Price’s record at Kansas: 497-463-3
- KU and Northern Illinois will meet for the first time in the Ritch Price era and the third time overall when the two squads face off at the AirHogs Stadium March 1 & 3 in Grand Prairie, Texas.
- The Jayhawks and Huskies last played a game against each other on March 15, 1980 – almost 39 years to the day.
- Kansas averages 6.4 runs per contest while Northern Illinois scores an average of 3.6 runs per game. Additionally, KU holds its opponents to five runs per game while NIU’s opposition has scored an average of 7.5.
- The series move to Grand Prairie, Texas, guarantees the Jayhawks will not play a home contest until March 29 against Baylor.
- As a result of the site change, Kansas will play its first 24 games of the season away from Hoglund Ballpark – that ranks as the most contests away from home to open up a season in program history.
- Kansas holds an all-time record of 498-411-4 (.548) in the month of March.
- Twenty-four of the Jayhawks’ 56 games slated for 2019 will be against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams, including six against squads that advanced to the College World Series.
Kansas sophomore left-handed pitchers Daniel Hegarty and Steve Washilewski have been staples thus far out of the bullpen. Combined, the duo has made five appearances and struck out 19 batters for an average of 3.8 strikeouts per outing.
MAKING THE MOST OF IT
Freshman infielder Dylan Ditzenberger garnered his first-career start against Texas Southern (Feb. 23) and he made the most of it by going 4-for-4 from the plate – becoming the first Jayhawk to accomplish this feat since Brendt Citta on May 13, 2018.
BACK ON THE FIELD
Redshirt-senior reliever Ryan Ralston made his first appearance on the mound since May 20, 2016 (1,008 days or two years, nine months and two days) when he toed the rubber against Texas Southern (Feb. 22). Ralston missed all of 2017 and 2018 with injuries.
SIX HOME RUNS
Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans hit six home runs in his first eight games of 2019, including two, two-bomb efforts. Those multi-home run games mark the first time someone recorded more than one multi-home run game in a season since 2009 when Tony Thompson (3) and David Narodowski (2) accomplished the same feat. Those six home runs also rank first in both the NCAA and Big 12 Conference.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After a three-home run performance opening weekend, junior catcher Jaxx Groshans was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week (Feb. 18). Groshans reached base seven times in 13 plate appearances, including four hits and three walks during the first three games of the Jayhawks’ season-opening series at USC Upstate. Groshans finished with a league-best three homers and six RBIs in those three contests, while batting .400 (4-for-10). In addition, Groshans scored the second-most runs in the conference on the weekend at four. In the Monday finale, Groshans batted 1-for-1 with a single and a RBI while drawing a career-high three walks. He is the first Kansas Big 12 Player of the Week since 2013 when Michael Suiter earned the same distinction (March 11).
THREE WINS AWAY
After a 5-3 mark to open up 2019, head coach Ritch Price is three wins away from reaching No. 500 as the Jayhawks’ skipper. Price is already the all-time winningest coach in Kansas history with 59 more victories than legendary coach Floyd Temple (1954-81).
Junior righty Ryan Zeferjahn became the first Kansas baseball player to earn a Preseason All-America Team recognition from Baseball America when the publication announced he landed on its third team. Zeferjahn was one of 42 players from around the country representing 35 different schools to be honored.
Preseason All-Big 12
Junior right-handed pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn earned his second preseason recognition when the league’s coaches voted him to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. The team consists of 18 players from across the conference with Zeferjahn earning one of the six pitching spots.
KANSAS PICKED EIGHTH
With 22 letterwinners, five position starters and two starting pitchers returning from 2018, the Big 12 Conference coaches picked the Jayhawks to finish eighth in the annual preseason poll.
- Texas Tech
- Oklahoma State
- West Virginia
PRICE NAMES 2019 CAPTAINS
Head coach Ritch Price announced that James Cosentino, Ryan Cyr and Rudy Karre will represent the 2019 squad as captains. 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.
THE DEAN OF BIG 12 BASEBALL
Kansas head coach Ritch Price is the most tenured skipper in the Big 12 Conference as he has coached in 404 league games – 260 more than any other current coach.
- 404 – Ritch Price, Kansas (17th season)
- 144 – Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (Seventh season)
- 142 – Jim Schlossnagle, TCU (Seventh Season)
- 140 – Randy Maze, West Virginia (Seventh Season)
- 139 – Josh Holliday, Oklahoma State (Seventh Season)
USA, USA, USA
The Kansas baseball team represented the United States at the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) Sixth World University Baseball Championships (WCB) in Chiayi City, Taiwan, July 6-15, 2018. The Jayhawks were just the third team (Cal State Fullerton, 2015; Iowa, 2017) to represent the country as a collegiate national team and the first to wear the Red, White and Blue in the WCB. KU played six total games and finished with a record of 3-3:
- July 5 vs. HONG KONG: W, 16-1 (6)
- July 6 vs. JAPAN: L, 1-5 (7)
- July 9 vs. RUSSIA: W, 12-2 (8)
- July 10 vs. CHINESE TAIPEI: L, 7-8 (12)
- July 13 vs. KOREA: W, 3-2
- July 14 vs. KOREA: L, 4-7
JAYHAWK DUO INVITED TO SPRING TRAINING
Two former Kansas baseball players got the call to Major League Spring Training as non-roster invitees. Blake Weiman of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Stephen Villines of the New York Mets will be learning from the big-league guys in their month-long stint in Florida. Both Villines and Weiman were drafted in the top-10 rounds of the 2017 MLB Draft and have perfected their crafts all the way to their respective Double-A affiliates.
FOUR DRAFTED IN 2018
The Jayhawks saw four players get their names called in the 2018 MLB Draft: righty Jackson Goddard, third round, Arizona Diamondbacks; closer Zack Leban, 12th round, Miami Marlins; Devin Foyle, 17th round, Oakland Athletics; and Brendt Citta, 38th round, Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Jayhawks travel to Port Charlotte, Florida, to play five games against five different opponents in the Snowbird Classic March 8-13.
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