Jayhawks Ready for No. 16 Missouri State

Watch WatchNotes Game NotesRadio ListenStats Live StatsCalendar ScheduleRoster RosterLAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team heads to Springfield, Missouri, to close out its home-and-home two-game series at No. 16 Missouri State.

The Jayhawks (11-15, 1-4 Big 12) defeated the Bears (23-5, 0-0 MVC) a week ago (March 29), 2-1, snapping an eight-game winless streak that dated back to April 13, 2010. Missouri State is riding its best start in school history and has won its last four games including a three-game sweep of Central Michigan this past weekend. First pitch from Hammons Field is slated for 6:30 p.m.

The game against Missouri State can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network with Steven Davis and Mitchell Glessner calling the action.


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The game against Missouri State can be seen live on Bears All-Access, a paid subscription site for MSU. For more information, visit: http://www.missouristatebears.com/collegesportslive/


  • Kansas enters the midweek game against Missouri State with an all-time record of 1,846-1,764-17.
  • Head coach Ritch Price is in his 22nd season as a Division I head coach with a record of 642-611-3 (.512).
  • Price holds a record of 426-382-2 (.527) at Kansas, and is just 13 wins from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach (Floyd Temple, 438).
  • The last time Kansas and Missouri State met, the Jayhawks upset the No. 16 Bears, 2-1, at Hoglund Ballpark (March 29).
  • That win over MSU a week ago snapped an eight-game winless streak for Kansas and marked the squads first victory over Missouri State since April 13, 2010.
  • The last time Kansas traveled to Springfield, Missouri (March 24, 2015), the Jayhawks scored three runs in each the first and second innings, but lost to the Bears, 15-9.
  • Since its last win at Missouri State (April 13, 2010), KU has given up an average of 8.75 runs per contest played at Hammons Field while scoring an average of 5.5 runs in those four games.
  • Junior catcher Michael Tinsley paced Kansas at the plate to a 4-2 mark in six games during the last week of play. The lefty bat led the Jayhawks with a .500 (10-for-20) average that included five doubles, eight RBIs, five runs scored, a .750 slugging percentage, .577 on-base percentage and five walks. His offensive effort helped KU snap an eight-game losing streak to then-No. 16 Missouri State and pick up a Friday night decision at Baylor to open up the conference road slate.

Kansas and Missouri State have played 53 games against one another since the first meeting on April 12, 1988. The Bears hold a 28-25 advantage in the all-time series after the Jayhawks snapped an eight-game winless streak with a 2-1 victory over MSU a week ago (March 29). In games played in Springfield, Kansas is 9-16 against Missouri State with its last victory at Hammons Field coming April 13, 2010, by way of a 6-4 decision. During head coach Ritch Price’s tenure, KU holds a record of 10-12 against the Bears that includes a streak of five-straight victories from May 9, 2007 – April 13, 2010.

Kansas and Missouri State only share one set of players that have seen each other on the diamond prior to joining their respective teams. KU freshman infielder Blake Shinkle and Missouri State’s Ben Whetstone faced off against one another in high school. Shinkle played for Blue Valley Southwest against Whetstone, who played at Rockhurst.

Keith Guttin inherited the reins of the Missouri State baseball program in 1983. As a former player and assistant coach, Guttin has been a part of the Bears’ baseball program for 38 of the program’s 52-year existence. Guttin has an impeccable 1,157 career wins, ranking him 11th among active Division I coaches as he entered the 2016 season. Under his command, the Bears have won 13 regular-season or conference tournament championships and made nine Division I NCAA Tournament appearances, including eight in the last two decades. In 2015, Guttin was inducted into both the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame. Additionally, Guttin surpassed the 1,100 career mark helping to earn him his fifth Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year award. In 2015, the Bears set a program record with 49 victories and swept the MVC regular-season and postseason tournament titles.

The Bears enter Wednesday’s contest with a 23-5 mark (their best start in school history) and a No. 16 national ranking. As a team, Missouri State bats .311 with 61 doubles, 12 triples, 35 home runs, 204 RBIs, a .506 slugging percentage and a .416 on-base percentage. Jake Burger leads the squad with a .400 average (46-for-115), including seven doubles and team highs in home runs (11), RBIs (39) and slugging percentage (.748). Hunter Steinmetz is second on the team with a .396 average and a team-high 35 runs scored and .518 on-base percentage, while three other regulars are batting over .300.

As a pitching staff, Missouri State has five hurlers that have thrown at least 20 innings with three of them registering ERAs under 3.00. Sam Perez has appeared in 17 games in relief and thrown 40 and 1/3 innings. Perez has struck out 55 batters and holds opponents to a .155 batting average while compiling a 2.45 ERA. Jake Fromson has made 11 relief appearances, thrown 26 and 2/3 innings, struck out 25 batters and holds a 2.70 ERA. The Bears’ starter for the midweek contest with Kansas is TBA.

Time and time again, senior lefty Ben Krauth (2-4) turns in stellar performance after stellar performance for the Jayhawks, and Friday night at Baylor (April 1) was no different. The southpaw pitched equally as well as he did in his last three starts, chalking up another 11 strikeouts to his name. Krauth paced Kansas through seven innings and gave up just six hits and one unearned run, en route to KU’s first conference win of the season, 6-1. His 11 strikeouts rank second-most in his career and completes a string of four-straight starts with nine or more punch outs. Combined in his last four starts, Krauth has thrown 32 innings and allowed just three earned runs for a 0.84 ERA. During that span, he has struck out 41 batters and averaged 10.3 strikeouts per start, all while holding opponents to a .168 batting average. He leads the Big 12 Conference in innings pitched (49.0), strikeouts (53), complete games (2) and shutouts (1).

Junior catcher Michael Tinsley paced Kansas at the plate to a 4-2 mark in six games during the last week of play. The lefty bat led the Jayhawks with a .500 (10-for-20) average that included five doubles, eight RBIs, five runs scored, a .750 slugging percentage, .577 on-base percentage and five walks. His offensive effort helped KU snap an eight-game losing streak to then-No. 16 Missouri State and pick up a Friday night decision at Baylor to open up the conference road slate. He leads the Jayhawks in average (.323), hits (32), doubles (10), RBIs (18) and has struck out the fewest times (5) among KU regulars in the lineup.

Prior to his injury at Baylor (April 3), freshman Rudy Karre had reached base safely in 20-straight games including the last six by way of a base hit. He had started all 25 games he had played to that point, including the last 21 as KU’s leadoff hitter. Karre batted .375 (6-for-16) during the last week with a double, home run, five RBIs and two runs scored. His three-run home run at Baylor (April 1) helped the Jayhawks to a crucial Friday night win over the Bears and a 3-2 record on the week – he tallied a career-high four RBIs in that game. In Sunday’s contest (April 3), Karre led off the game with a single to right field, but exited right after, jamming his shoulder sliding back into first base on a pickoff attempt.

Freshman left fielder Devin Foyle is riding a 14-game on-base streak and a four-game hitting streak. He hit his second-career home run  – this one out of the park – to lead off the eighth inning at Baylor (April 3), in an attempt to spark a late KU rally. During five games from March 15-20, Foyle drove in a team-high seven RBIs and led KU with a .800 slugging percentage after hitting a double, a triple and a home run to go along with three singles. That home run marked the first of his career and was the first inside-the-park home run for Kansas since Robby Price hit one in 2009. Foyle boasted career numbers vs. Murray State (March 16). Foyle reached base in five of his six plate appearances, driving in a run in each successful trip. He finished the day 3-for-4 with a RBI-single, a RBI-double, home run and two RBI-walks for five RBIs on the day. His only blemish came in the seventh inning when he struck out swinging after a six-pitch at bat.

For the first time since March 11-12, Kansas saw its three weekend starters work at least five innings into their respective games at Baylor. Senior lefty Ben Krauth tossed seven innings Friday night (April 1), sophomore left-hander Blake Weiman threw six and 1/3 innings on Saturday (April 2) and freshman righty Jackson Goddard finished five and 1/3 innings on Sunday (April 3). Krauth gave up one unearned run off six hits and a walk, striking out 11 batters. Weiman struck out five batters, giving up two runs off eight hits, while Goddard allowed four runs off four hits and five walks. The trio combined for a 2.89 ERA in 18 and 2/3 innings on the weekend and struck out a total of 17 Baylor hitters.

The Jayhawks return to Hoglund Ballpark to continue Big 12 play as it hosts TCU April 8-10. All three games can be seen on ESPN3 with Saturday and Sunday’s contests also on the Jayhawk Television Network.

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