Jayhawks travel to Cincinnati for nonconference matchup
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team travels to Cincinnati, Ohio for a three-game nonconference series against the Bearcats at Marge Schott Stadium April 27-29.
Kansas (19-21) looks to snap an eight-game skid when the squad takes the field against Cincinnati (19-19) this weekend.
All three games can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio with Friday’s (KLWN) and Saturday’s (KJHK) games also on the airwaves. In addition, fans can tune into Bearcats TV to watch a live stream of the contests.
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,904-1,834-18 (.509)
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 701-679-4 (.508)
- Price’s record at Kansas: 484-451-3 (.518)
- Kansas has won six series on the year including sweeps over then-No. 20 St. John’s and Texas Southern.
- The Jayhawks have had a total of nine games affected in some way by the weather this spring, including four cancellations and five alterations.
- KU’s eight-game winless streak is the longest such streak since April 3-14, 2012, when the Jayhawks also lost eight in a row (at Creighton , at Oklahoma State , Wichita State  and then-No. 2 Texas A&M ).
- The Jayhawks are 0-2 against the American Athletic Conference in 2018 with both losses coming to Wichita State.
- Of the 21 losses by the Jayhawks this season, five have been by two or less runs, while eight have been by 10 or more runs.
- On the flip side, of KU’s 19 victories, 10 have come by three or more runs with Kansas winning five games by five or more runs, including two 10-plus run victories.
- Sophomore second baseman James Cosentino ranks eighth in the nation and first in the Big 12 Conference with 17 hit-by-pitches on the season.
- Junior closer Zack Leban leads the league with 10 saves, that also ranks him No. 12 in the country.
- Sophomore righty Ryan Zeferjahn ranks first in the conference with six victories.
During its eight-game winless streak, Kansas is averaging 3.5 runs per contest. Prior to the start of that eight-game span, the Jayhawks averaged 6.1 runs per game in their first 32 matchups of the year. That is a run differential of 2.6. In addition, opponents have outscored KU 76-28 during the eight-game skid, averaging 9.5 runs per contest.
The Jayhawks have played 26 games outside of league play and hold a record of 16-10 in those contests. Kansas bats .290 against non-Big 12 teams, averaging 6.2 runs per contest. Six of the eight regulars in the KU lineup hold averages over .300 in nonconference play with sophomore designated hitter Brett Vosik leading the way with a .377 average in 22 of those games played. On the mound, Kansas tallied a 5.08 ERA in those 26 contests and has limited opponents to a .260 batting average.
Junior right hander Jackson Goddard made his first start in conference play this season at Oklahoma State (April 22) and his first start since March 9, 2018. That marks a stretch of 44 days between starts as Goddard was out of the rotation due to a strained oblique. In his first start back from injury, Goddard retired the first seven hitters he faced via the strikeout. It took Goddard just 34 pitches to record those seven K’s. His season high entering the game was also seven, and he broke that with an eight-strikeout performance in his four-inning abbreviated start.
Junior left fielder Devin Foyle hit two home runs at Oklahoma State – a solo shot in both game one (April 20) and game three (April 22) – to push his season total to seven. Those seven four baggers mark the most for a KU hitter since the 2015 season when Blair Beck (8) and Dakota Smith (7) achieved the same feat.
WATCH OUT FOR LEBAN, ZEFERJAHN
The College Baseball Foundation released its initial Pitcher of the Year Award Watch List on Thursday (April 19), highlighting 78 of the top arms in the country that includes two Kansas baseball hurlers – junior Zack Leban and sophomore Ryan Zeferjahn. Kansas is one of 15 schools out of the 298 that sponsor Division I baseball to have two or more names represented on the list of 78.
Kansas turned a season-high four double plays in Saturday’s (April 14) loss to TCU – the most since April 5, 2016. In head coach Ritch Price‘s tenure, the Jayhawks have accomplished that same feat on three other occasions and eight times in school history – it stands as the school record. On the season, KU has turned 34 double plays and ranks third in the conference in that category with Texas leading the way at 37.
SWINGING FOR THE FENCES
Sophomore outfielder Mateo Zunica blasted his first-career home run in Saturday’s (April 14) loss to TCU. Zunica came on as a defensive replacement and during his first at bat in the bottom of the ninth, he stroked a 2-0 pitch off the scoreboard in right field at Hoglund Ballpark.
Kansas has scored in 114 of the 346 innings it has come to the plate. Of those 114 innings, the Jayhawks have scored two or more runs in 57 of those frames – 50 percent of the time the Jayhawks score, they score more than one run. Of those multi-run innings, KU plates three or more 50.8 percent of the time. Kansas’ biggest inning of 2018 came on Wednesday, April 10, at Omaha, when the Jayhawks plated eight runs in the top of the ninth with two outs.
FIVE FOR FOYLE
Junior left fielder Devin Foyle matched a career-high five RBIs for the fourth time during his three-year tenure as a Jayhawk when he drove in a quintet of Jayhawks at Creighton (April 11). The last time he knocked in five runs came almost two years ago from that date (April 23, 2016) during his rookie season. In that campaign, Foyle reached that mark on three separate occasions.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT
At Omaha (April 10), the Jayhawks erased a four-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Mavericks, 9-5. Kansas scored eight runs, all with two outs, in that final frame to earn the come-from-behind victory. That eight-spot is the most runs KU has scored in an inning all season, and the most runs in a single frame since May 5, 2017, when it plated 11 runs in the fourth against Texas Southern.
With a 17-3 thumping of then-No. 5 Texas Tech on Sunday (April 8), head coach Ritch Price earned his 700th-career victory at the Division I level. Only 18 other active Power Five coaches can say they have accomplished that feat. Already the all-time winningest coach in Kansas history, Price has amassed 484 wins during his 16-year stint as the Jayhawks’ skipper, accounting for 25.4 percent of the program’s 1,904 victories spanning 126 seasons played.
THE DEAN OF BIG 12 BASEBALL
Kansas head coach Ritch Price is the most tenured skipper in the Big 12 Conference as he has coached in 395 league games – 24 more than any other current coach. Now in his 16th season in the league, he has one more than Kansas State’s Brad Hill and 10 more than the majority of the conference’s head coaches.
1. 395 – Ritch Price, Kansas (16th season)
2. 371 – Brad Hill, K-State (15th season)
3. 135 – Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (Sixth season)
4. 133 – Jim Schlossnagle, TCU (Sixth Season)
5. 130 – Josh Holliday, Oklahoma State (Sixth Season)
6. 128 – Randy Maze, West Virginia (Sixth Season)
7. 63 – Steve Rodriguez, Baylor (Third Season)
8. 38 – David Pierce, Texas (Second Season)
9. 15 – Skip Johnson, Oklahoma (First Season)
Kansas hits the road for a nonconference matchup at Missouri State (May 2), before resuming Big 12 play against WVU at Hoglund Ballpark (May 4-6).
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