Jayhawks Return to Big 12 Play Against Oklahoma
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – After a bye weekend where Kansas played a three-game series at Samford, the Jayhawks shift their focus back to Big 12 Conference play as the team hosts Oklahoma, April 29 – May 1 at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (17-23-1, 3-8 Big 12) welcome the Sooners (20-20-1, 6-9 Big 12) for a three-game weekend set in which OU has won the last six-straight series. Kansas’ last series win against Oklahoma came May 1-3, 2009, while its last home series win happened May 2-4, 2008.
JAYHAWK RADIO NETWORK
All three games of the Oklahoma series can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network with Saturday’s game also available on the dial on KJHK 90.7 FM. Mitchell Glessner will call the action.
On the web
Kansas Jayhawks app – search “Kansas Jayhawks”
JAYHAWK TELEVISION NETWORK / ESPN3
All three games against the Sooners can be seen on ESPN3 with Saturday and Sunday’s games also on the Jayhawk Television Network. Steven Davis (play-by-play) and Kevin Wheeler (analyst) will have the call. Visit KUAthletics.com/JTV for info on affiliates.
ESPN3 on TV
Amazon Fire TV; Apple TV; Chromecast; Roku; Xbox One; Xbox 360.
ESPN3 on the web
ESPN3 on mobile/tablet devices
WatchESPN app; ESPN app
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,852-1,772-18.
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record at Division I level: 648-619-4 (.511).
- Price (432-390-3) is just seven wins from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach (Floyd Temple, 438).
- The Jayhawks and Sooners have played at least one game against one another in each of the last 39 seasons dating back to May 18, 1977.
- In fact, the two teams have played annually in all but three seasons (1976, 1946, 1942) since 1925 in which both schools fielded a baseball team (KU did not have a team in 1933-36, 1943 & 1945).
- Kansas was held to no extra-base hits vs. Nebraska (April 27) for the first time since April 9 against TCU and for the fourth time all season (at Stanford [March18] and West Virginia [March 25] being the other two).
- Junior catcher Michael Tinsley ranks third in the Big 12 in average (.369), fourth in hits (58) and fourth in doubles (14).
According to the Kansas archives, Kansas and Oklahoma have faced off against one another 251 times in the history of the two programs with the Sooners leading the all-time series 160-90-1. In games played in Lawrence, the Jayhawks are 41-66-1 against OU and in total hold a 14-27 record in the Ritch Price era. The Jayhawks and Sooners have played at least one game against one another in each of the last 39 seasons dating back to May 18, 1977 and have played annually in all but three seasons (1976, 1946, 1942) since 1925 in which both schools fielded a baseball team (KU did not have a team in 1933-36, 1943 & 1945). KU has won just two of the last 20 games played and is currently riding a three-game winless streak after being swept in Norman a year ago. The last series win for Kansas against Oklahoma came in Norman, May 1-3, 2009. The last time the Jayhawks won a game against OU came on March 30, 2014 in Lawrence. Kansas hasn’t won a series at home against the Sooners since a three-game sweep, May 2-4, 2008.
Oklahoma arrives in Lawrence with second worst team batting average (.257) and fourth-best team ERA (4.06) in the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners hold a 20-20-1 record and sit in sixth place in the league standings with a 6-9 conference record. Just two OU regulars bat over .300 with shortstop Sheldon Neuse leading the way with a .367 (54-for-147) batting average with team highs in runs (24), doubles (12), triples (5), home runs (6) and RBIs (28). Two other Sooners boast 20-plus RBIs in infielder Jack Flansburg (25) and outfielder Hunter Haley (24). Infielder Alex Wise is the only other Oklahoma player with an above-.300 average heading into the weekend as he holds a .308 (48-for-156) clip. On the mound, Kansas will see three right-handed pitchers in Chris Andritsos (4-3, 2.85 ERA, 34-K), Jake Elliott (0-1, 5.08 ERA, 29-K) and Jake Irvin (2-1, 4.85 ERA, 35-K). With the help of their pitching staff, the Sooners were able to win three of their last four conference series heading into the weekend, all of them at home. On the road in league play, OU holds a record of 0-6 after being swept at Texas Tech and TCU.
In its first 34 games, Kansas hit a total of eight home runs – an average of one home run every 4.25 games. In the seven games that followed – including a resumption game from March 23 against Baker – the team hit a total of seven home runs, nearly doubling its season total. Kansas belted at least one home run in four of the seven games and hit two home runs in three of those contests. Eight different players have now hit at least one home run with six Jayhawks tied for the team lead with two round trippers to their name.
In his last two plate appearances in week 10 of the season (April 19-24), freshman Ty Denzer hit back-to-back grand slams with the most notable coming Sunday (April 24) at Samford. With the score tied 5-5 and all the momentum with the Bulldogs in the top of the ninth inning, KU skipper Ritch Price needed some magic. That burden fell to the switch-hitting Denzer, who entered the day with just three hits in 11 at bats. On the third pitch he saw, Denzer smoked the ball deep over the wall in right field for his second grand slam in as many at bats during the week. The last three grand slams the Jayhawks have hit have come from a freshman with now-sophomore TJ Martin hitting one at Northwestern May 6, 2015. Denzer’s performance in those two at bats earned him his first career start Tuesday (April 26) against Grand Canyon.
SAY IT’S SO JOE
Senior right fielder Joe Moroney continues to embrace the role as the Jayhawks’ new leadoff man. Moroney has started 12 of the last 13 games Kansas has played and in each of those 12 contests batted No. 1 in the lineup. KU is 5-7-1 in those games and Moroney is batting .340 with two home runs, seven RBIs and 12 runs scored. Prior to taking over in the leadoff spot, Moroney started 17 games and hit .311 with nine RBIs and 12 runs scored. His two home runs are tied for the team lead while his nine doubles rank fourth. His recent success has bolstered his season average to .325 and ranks third on the squad.
“WRIGHT” ON TRACK
Senior second baseman Colby Wright holds the longest active hitting streak for the Jayhawks at eight games and the longest on the season at 13 games. During his current eight-game streak, Wright is batting .347 with two doubles, five RBIs and six runs scored. He has also reached base safely in his last 11 games, second only to junior catcher Michael Tinsley who is riding out a 16-gamer.
FIVE FOR FOYLE
Freshman left fielder Devin Foyle is one of six players to boast multiple five-plus RBI games in a career during the Ritch Price era as he ranks tied for second with three. What makes it unique is Foyle has had three five-RBI games in his freshman campaign while the rest of the chart spans three-to-four year careers. Erik Morrison had the most with four during his four-year career, while Travis Metcalf and Foyle are tied with three. There have been a total of 31 five-plus RBI games in Price’s tenure with 21 different players achieving the feat of having at least one.
The Jayhawks hit the road for a two-game midweek set at Minnesota, May 3-4, before returning home to Hoglund Ballpark for their last three home games of the season against conference foe Texas Tech, May 6-8.
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