Jayhawks open Big 12 Championship against No. 6 TCU


Senior closer Stephen Villines was named to the All-Big 12 First Team. 

vs. #6 TCU

Date May 24
Time 4 PM
Location Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Venue Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
Watch Fox College Sports
Audio Listen
Stats Live Stats
Notes Game Notes
Stats Bracket
 LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team opens up the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Wednesday, May 24, against the No. 2 seeded TCU Horned Frogs at 4 p.m.

Kansas (29-26, 11-13 Big 12) faces No. 6 TCU (39-14, 16-8 Big 12) for the fourth time this season, having played three games in Fort Worth, Texas, to open up conference play. The two squads have met just one time in the history of the conference tournament in 2013, where the Jayhawks won that contest, 4-0.

Fans can watch the game live on Fox College Sports, or tune to the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio or KLWN 1320 AM/101.7 FM for an audio broadcast.


  • Kansas punched its ticket to the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship for the first time since 2014 with a series win over in-state rival K-State in the annual Dillons Sunflower Showdown and enters as the No. 7 seed.
  • The Jayhawks hold an overall record of 16-33 in conference tournament play and a mark of 8-15 in the Big 12 Baseball Championship.
  • KU holds one conference tournament title in the history of the program, and that came in 2006 when the Jayhawks posted a perfect 4-0 record in the tournament, defeating then-No. 14 Nebraska, 9-7, in the championship game.
  • Kansas and TCU have met just one time in conference tournament play with KU wining that 2013 matchup, 4-0.
  • The Jayhawks have played the 14th-toughest schedule in the NCAA that also ranks second toughest in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma State (2nd).
  • Kansas has played the most games (24) in the NCAA against top-25 RPI teams.
  • Fifteen of KU’s 26 losses came against NCAA top-25 RPI teams
  • Kansas has won seven three-plus-game series on the season – four in Big 12 play – marking the most won in a season since 2014 when the Jayhawks claimed victories in eight series of three or more games.

The Big 12 Conference announced Tuesday that seven Kansas baseball players garnered All-Big 12 honors. Senior closer Stephen Villines was named to the first team, freshman second baseman James Cosentino to the second team and All-Freshman Team, while sophomores Jackson Goddard and Rudy Karre, and juniors Matt McLaughlin, Taylor Turski and Blake Weiman earned honorable mention nods. 

Kansas played the 14th-toughest regular-season schedule and the second toughest in the Big 12 Conference behind Oklahoma State (second). Thirty-four of the Jayhawks’ 55 games were against top-100 RPI teams, with 24 of those contests taking place against top-25 RPI teams – the most in the NCAA. 

Senior closer Stephen Villines is one save away from tying the all-time Big 12 Conference record set by Major Leaguer Huston Street (Texas, 2002-04) at 41. Villines holds the No. 2 and No. 3 season marks in KU history at 13 (2015) and 14, respectively, and ranks tied for 17th all-time in the NCAA record books with 40 saves. Since April 2 when he became the all-time saves leader in Jayhawk history, Villines has made 15 appearances, recorded eight saves and struck out 20 batters in 18 and 1/3 innings pitched.

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 has also been in the league 15 seasons, 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 (15 years)
2. 358 –Brad Hill, K-State (14 years)
3. 120 – Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (Five years)
4. 117 – Jim Schlossnagle, TCU (Five years)
5. 116 – Randy Mazey, West Virginia (Five years)

Eleven players were recognized by the Big 12 Conference as the league office unveiled its 2017 Academic All-Big 12 Baseball Team. Five Jayhawks were named as repeat honorees in junior Matt McLaughlin (business administration), junior Blake Weiman (health & physical education), redshirt-junior Sean Rackoski (mechanical engineering), junior Owen Taylor (sport management) and senior Marcus Wheeler (sport management). McLaughlin, Rackoski, Taylor and Weiman racked up Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors, while Wheeler earned Academic All-Big 12 Second Team recognition. Joining the foursome on the first team were seniors MJ Farthing (human biology) and Jeremy Kravetz (journalism). Sophomores Devin Foyle (sport management), Jackson Goddard (sport management) and Blake Goldsberry (sport management), and junior Tanner Gragg (business management), along with Wheeler, were all tabbed with second-team recognition.

Sophomore centerfielder Rudy Karre set a new Kansas record for hit-by-pitches in a season when he was plunked four times against Texas Southern (May 5-7). The new season mark has been set at 26 and counting. He ranks second in the nation and first in the league in that category.

Senior closer Stephen Villines picked up his 13th and 14th  saves against K-State during Senior Weekend to push his career total to 40. That number ranks first in the Big 12 Conference and first in the NCAA for the most saves in a career by an active pitcher. Villines is one of two Power Five closers in the top-10 in active career saves (10th – Troy Montemayor, Baylor [26]).

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 464 wins account for 25 percent of the program’s 1,884 victories spanning 125 seasons.

Barring the outcome of the first round of the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, Kansas could play either Oklahoma or Texas in the second round, slated for Thursday. If KU wins, it will play at 7:30 p.m., if the Jayhawks lose the first game, they will play at 12:30 p.m.
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