Jayhawks open nine-game homestand with Creighton
Kansas started freshman Ryan Zeferjahn in all four midweek games so far and he has pitched the squad to a 3-1 record.
Zeferjahn vs. Lacy
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team opens a nine-game homestand Wednesday, March 22, when the Jayhawks play host to Creighton at Hoglund Ballpark at 3 p.m.
It has been almost three years to the day since Kansas (9-10, 1-2 Big 12) and the Bluejays (4-11, 0-0 Big East) faced one another, with the last outing ending in an 11-0 KU throbbing of Creighton (March 26, 2014) at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
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: 1,864-1,794-18 (.509).
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 660-641-4.
- Price (444-412-3) is KU’s new all-time winningest coach, surpassing legendary skipper Floyd Temple (438).
- Kansas holds an all-time record of 20-12 in games played on March 22, with a 3-2 clip in head coach Ritch Price’s tenure.
- Having played Creighton in each season from 2010-14, the Jayhawks and Bluejays meet for the first time since then, in almost exactly three years (1,093 days).
- Since 2009, Kansas has only beaten Creighton four times, including just one of its last six contests against the nonconference foe.
- The last time these two teams met, Kansas shutout Creighton, 11-0, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
- The Jayhawks haven’t won a home game against the Bluejays since March 23, 2010, by a score of 5-4.
- Kansas has played four true-midweek games this season and holds a record of 3-1 in those contests with freshman righty Ryan Zeferjahn starting each.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST CREIGHTON
Kansas used three pitchers who combined to throw a four-hit shutout on a cold, blustery Wednesday night (March 26, 2014) at TD Ameritrade Park (home of the College World Series). The Jayhawks set a then-stadium record blasting 16 hits en route to a 11-0 throbbing over the Bluejays. Three different players boasted multi-RBI games while Dakota Smith and Tucker Tharp led all hitters with 3-for-5 efforts and three runs scored each. On the mound, Drew Morovick pitched himself to victory with five and 1/3 innings of three-hit baseball. Then-freshman Stephen Villines – who is the only member of the current Jayhawk squad to have any experience against Creighton – tossed two and 1/3 innings of relief, allowing just one base hit.
FOUR COMPLETE STARTS
Arguably one of its toughest weeks to date in the 2017 season, the Kansas baseball team needed four quality starts from its pitching staff as the Jayhawks traveled to Oral Roberts (March 15) and to then-No. 3 TCU (March 17-19). The foursome of Ryan Zeferjahn (March 15), Sean Rackoski (March 17), Taylor Turski (March 18) and Jackson Goddard (March 19) rose to the occasion and turned in one of the best pitching weeks head coach Ritch Price could remember. Combined, the quartet pitched a possible 24-of-34 innings, allowing just 11 hits in 82 at bats to hold opponents to a .134 average on the week. Of those 82 at bats, 29 entered the score book as strikeouts, with career-high efforts by Zeferjahn (9), Turski (9) and Goddard (7).
Sophomore righty Jackson Goddard turned in the best performance he has had to date as a Jayhawk when he toed the rubber at then-No. 3 TCU (March 19). Goddard dominated the Horned Frogs’ lineup through seven innings and took a no-hit bid with him into the eighth. TCU tagged him for its first hit after he recorded the first out of the eighth frame. He exited the game to a standing ovation from the crowd after the 119-pitch affair where he gave up three runs off one hit and six walks.
ACE ON THE HILL
Junior Taylor Turski rose to the occasion at then-No. 3 TCU (March 18) with his best performance to date in a Kansas uniform. The left-handed transfer from Palomar Community College tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits against the Horned Frogs in his Big 12 debut, before giving way to a Jayhawk reliever after allowing a run with one out in the seventh inning. Turski’s final line against Big 12 power TCU included a season-high nine strikeouts and just three walks. Leaving the game with two runners on base, Turski was tagged for three earned runs off four hits in the contest after KU relievers couldn’t strand the base runners. Turski’s stellar performance matched that of one of the top pitching staffs in the country that saw its ace, Jared Janczak, enter the eighth inning with a perfect game intact.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Redshirt-junior righty Sean Rackoski did exactly what head coach Ritch Price asked him to do in Friday’s (March 17) Big 12 Conference opener at then-No. 3 TCU – turn the ball over to the bullpen with a lead. Rackoski did that and then some, until TCU knocked him out of the game after five and 1/3 innings and a questionable safe call at first base that ended up being the tying run in the frame. In stead of nobody on and two outs, Price was forced to make the call to his bullpen, that surrendered two more runs in the loss. Rackoski allowed just the one run off four hits, while striking out four batters, without allowing a free pass.
Freshman righty Ryan Zeferjahn matched his career-high five innings pitched at Oral Roberts (March 15) and punched out a personal-best nine batters. In the 111-pitch effort, Zeferjahn threw up five zeros en route to picking up his third win of the season. It was quite the turnaround since the last time he faced the Golden Eagles two weeks ago – he recorded just two outs and gave up five runs in the process.
Kansas has played four true-midweek games thus far in 2017 and owns a record of 3-1 in those contests. Sophomore righty Ryan Zeferjahn has started each of those four games where his record mirrors that of the team’s. Five different Jayhawks are batting over .300 in those games with junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin (4-for-10) and freshman second baseman James Cosentino (7-for-17) leading the way with averages of .400 and .412, respectively. On the mound, junior lefty Blake Weiman has seen most of the relief action with eight innings logged where he has given up two runs while striking out nine batters.
The Jayhawks continue their nine-game homestand beginning with a three-game series against Samford March 24-26.
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