Jayhawks hit the road for Oral Roberts
Sophomore outfielder Rudy Karre has hit safely in seven-straight games.
at ORAL ROBERTS
Zeferjahn vs. Michaels
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After an eight-game homestand, the Kansas baseball team heads back out on the road Wednesday, March 15, as the Jayhawks travel to Oral Roberts in midweek action.
KU (7-8) and ORU (9-6) met earlier this season on Feb. 28, where the Golden Eagles came out on top, 12-1.
Fans can watch the game live on ESPN3, or tune into the live audio broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official “Kansas Jayhawks” mobile app.
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,862-1,792-18 (.510).
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 658-639-4 (.507).
- Price (442-410-3 [.519]) is KU’s new all-time winningest coach, surpassing legendary skipper Floyd Temple (438).
- KU’s first game in the month of March came in 1959 when the Jayhawks shutout Washburn, 7-0, on March 30.
- Kansas holds an all-time record of 483-395-4 (.550) in the month of March with a mark of 143-120 (.544) under Price.
- On March 15, KU has played a combined 35 games in program history and holds a record of 15-20 and 1-8 under Price in those contests.
- The Jayhawks and Golden Eagles have met once before on March 15 in 2003, also in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Oral Roberts came out on top, 7-6.
- Two of the last three games Kansas has played against ORU at J.L. Johnson Stadium were decided by one run.
- In the last 10 games played at Oral Roberts dating back to 1996, the Jayhawks have compiled a record of 4-6, and have been outscored by the Golden Eagles, 53-45.
- On the road in 2017, KU holds a record of 1-3 and bats just .165 and averages 2.3 runs per contest while allowing opponents to bat .282 and average five runs per contest.
FOURTEEN YEARS AGO
No. 17 Kansas trekked down to Oral Roberts for game two of a three-game weekend set (March 15, 2003) against the Golden Eagles where the Jayhawks won the series two games to one. Then-second baseman, now assistant coach, Ritchie Price (2-for-4) and Major Leaguer Travis Metcalf (3-for-4) combined for five of the squad’s 12 hits, however, it wouldn’t be enough. After scoring five runs in the first inning, the Jayhawks were held scoreless the next six frames until the eighth inning when they retook the lead. That lead didn’t last long as Oral Roberts used small ball in the bottom half of the frame to seal its victory over Kansas, 7-6.
Senior closer Stephen Villines picked up his third save of the season against Houston Baptist (March 10) to push his career total to 29. Currently, he sits in sole possession of second place on the Jayhawks’ all-time saves chart and is just three saves away from becoming the program’s all-time leader, as Don Czyz (31) holds the top spot.
When junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin was kept out of the lineup in the series finale against Houston Baptist (March 12), his consecutive-start streak ended at 75 games. McLaughlin started all 56 games in 2016 and had started all games this season leading into Sunday’s victory against the Huskies. His 121 career starts are 52 more than the second most on the team in sophomore outfielder Devin Foyle (69).
Centerfielder Rudy Karre had a stagnant start to his sophomore campaign as he batted just .083 (2-for-24) through eight starts including a double and a RBI. Since then, Karre has strung together a seven-game hitting streak where he led the team with a .409 (9-for-22) batting average including a home run and four RBIs. The turnaround increased his season average to .239 (11-for-46) and rose his on-base percentage to .444 which ranks second on the team to Matt McLaughlin‘s .485 clip.
Sophomore Jackson Goddard turned in a career performance in his first start on the mound in 2017 pitching Kansas to victory in the series clincher against Houston Baptist (March 12). Goddard tossed a career-high seven innings and struck out a personal-best six batters, all without allowing a single walk or run in the 99-pitch effort. That start by Goddard marked the first where he pitched at least five scoreless innings without allowing a walk. In fact, that was just his second start of five or more innings where he didn’t surrender a free pass and the first that he won.
THE ALL-TIME WINNER
Head coach Ritch Price became 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 442 wins account for 23.7 percent of the program’s 1,862 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 trek south to open up Big 12 Conference play at No. 3 TCU, March 17-19, at Lupton Stadium. Saturday’s game can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest, while Sunday’s contest is available on Fox Sports Southwest Plus.
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