Jayhawks Ready for Midweek Bout with Creighton
Watch WatchNotes Game NotesRadio ListenStats Live StatsCalendar ScheduleRoster RosterTickets TicketsLAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team continues its homestand Tuesday, March 8, as the Jayhawks play host to Creighton in midweek fashion at Hoglund Ballpark. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
The Jayhawks (3-7) look to win its second-straight game over the Bluejays (6-3) and snap a three-game winless streak after being swept by BYU this past weekend. Creighton visits Lawrence and a six-game winning streak and swept its last two opponents in Stetson and Murray State, respectively.
- Kansas enters the weekend with an all-time record of 1,838-1,756-17.
- Head coach Ritch Price is in his 22nd season as a Division I head coach with a record of 634-603-3 (.513).
- Price is in his 14th year at Kansas with a record of 418-374-2 (.528), and is just 21 wins from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach (Floyd Temple, 438).
- Since Price took control of the program in 2003, Kansas and Creighton have met 11 times with the Jayhawks holding the edge in the series, 6-5.
- Since 2011, KU has won just one game against the Bluejays in six tries. The victory came on March 26, 2014, in shutout-fashion, 11-0.
- That March 26, 2014, game was the last time the two teams faced one another and prior to the 2015 season, have played one another in consecutive years since 2009.
- Kansas gave up an average of 14.67 hits and 8.67 runs per game in its three-game winless streak to BYU (March 3-5). However, it wasn’t lack of hitting by Kansas as it tallied 9.33 knocks per game. KU just couldn’t get the timely hit as it stranded an average of 11 runners on base in each contest, and tied its season-high 12 left on base in its first two matchups with the Cougars.
Kansas and Creighton have met 34 times in the history of the two programs with the Bluejays leading the all-time series, 22-12. The two teams first met in 1903 when Kansas came out on top, 15-13. It would be 77 years until April 22, 1980 when the two squads would meet again. The Jayhawks are 6-5 under head coach Ritch Price, but have only won one of their last six games against Creighton. That last win for KU came on March 26, 2014, when KU set a then-TD Ameritrade Park record for hits in a game at 16.
Two Jayhawks who have seen a familiar face in Creighton’s Alex Trautner. Junior catcher Michael Tinsley faced Trautner in high school play. The two matched up in 2013 when San Ramon Valley played Tinsley’s Serra Padres, who came away with the win, 5-2. Sophomore righty Casey Douglas also faced off against Trautner and The SRV Wolves. Douglas’ high school, Saint Francis, won by a score of 8-4.
BLUEJAYS’ HEAD COACH ED SERVAIS
Ed Servais has been at the helm of the Creighton baseball program for 12 seasons. Entering his 13th season with the Bluejays, Servais is the winningest coach in program history. His teams have averaged just over 35 wins per season under his 12-year leadership. Prior to being named the skipper at Creighton in 2003, Servais served as the program’s interim coach for the previous month. He was an assistant on Creighton’s staff for six years and spent time as the hitting and first-base coach as well as the defensive infield coach. Servais was also the recruiting coordinator. Before Creighton, Servais spent two years as an assistant coach at Iowa State. During his tenure at ISU, Servais served as a recruiting coordinator, hitting instructor and infield and outfield coach. Servais was the head coach at Division III St. Mary’s in Minnesota for seven years where he compiled a record of 159-76-1.
SCOUTING THE BLUEJAYS
Creighton enters Tuesday’s midweek battle with a record of 6-3 and has won six-straight, including three-game sweeps over Stetson and Murray State. The Bluejays have outscored their opponents 47-29 and average 5.2 runs and 9.6 hits per game. Junior outfielder Daniel Woodrow leads the offense with a .415 batting average (17-for-41) with a triple, five RBIs and seven runs scored. Senior outfielder Brett Murray leads the team with a .563 slugging percentage that includes two doubles, two triples and Creighton’s lone home run on the season. Collectively, CU holds a .276 team average with four players batting over .300. In addition, Creighton has stolen 17 bases, with Woodrow leading the way a perfect 7-for-7.
One the mound, Kansas will see senior Connor Miller. The righty has thrown seven and 2/3 innings on the season in three appearances, allowing five hits and four walks while striking out 10 batters. He has given up just one extra-base hit and hasn’t allowed a run this season. In the backend of the bullpen, the Jayhawks may see the likes of closer David Gerber who has racked up two saves already in five appearances. In 2015, Gerber led the team with nine saves, made 25 appearances and finished the season with a 1.69 ERA.
Senior third baseman Ryan Pidhaichuk started all three contests against BYU (March 3-5) and led Kansas with a .400 (4-for-10) average on the weekend that included two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks. His .500 on-base percentage topped KU’s charts in the three-game series. In his four starts, Pidhaichuk is batting .333 (4-for-12) with a double, two RBIs, two runs scored and a team-high two sacrifice bunts. In 2015, Pidhaichuk started just seven games for the Jayhawks and finished the season with six hits.
Since opening weekend, the Jayhawks have been steadily improving their approach at the plate. The first weekend, Kansas batted just .222 (20-for-90) and since then, hit .238 (31-for-131) the second weekend and .259 (28-for-108) this past weekend. Though the average is improving, Kansas still finds itself lacking the timely hit averaging 9.7 runners left on base per game, and have reached the 12 LOB plateau four times this season – twice against BYU (March 3-4). With runners on base, KU is hitting .184 and with runners in scoring position, the team is batting .164. Sophomore shortstop Matt McLaughlin leads the Jayhawks with a .357 batting average with runners in scoring position while junior catcher Michael Tinsley boasts a team-best .273 average with runners on base.
MR. TOUGH GUY
Sophomore shortstop Matt McLaughlin leads Kansas with .325 average in 46 plate appearances and is yet to strikeout. He is one of only 18 players in the NCAA that averages a minimum of 2.5 at bats per game that hasn’t struck out. He dons the title as one of the toughest players in Division I college baseball to strike out, and leads both the Big 12 and nation in that category. In addition, McLaughlin led off the fifth inning of Saturday’s game against BYU (March 5) with the Jayhawks’ first home run of the season. Prior to that, Kansas had played nine games without hitting one out of the park while its opponents had hit 12.
Kansas continues its nine-game homestand as it plays host to North Dakota, Saint Louis and Purdue for the Millard Management Classic (March 11-13). All games of the homestand can be seen live on ESPN3. Fans can also listen to the games live on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
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