Kansas Hits Road for Two-Game Set at Minnesota

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 LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Jayhawks hit the road for two as the Kansas baseball team faces No. 19 Minnesota at Siebert Field, May 3-4.
Kansas (19-24-1) look to use the momentum from a series win over Oklahoma this past weekend to propel them in the two-game set against a Gopher (27-13) team that ranks atop the Big Ten standings.
Both games against Minnesota can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network with Tuesday’s game on the dial at KLWN 1320 AM. Steven Davis and Mitchell Glessner will call the action.
On the web
Kansas Jayhawks app – search “Kansas Jayhawks”
Both games of the midweek series will be streamed on BTN Plus, a subscription based service, from a single-camera production. For more information visit: http://www.btn2go.com

  • Kansas’ all-time record: 1,854-1,773-18.
  • Head coach Ritch Price’s record at Division I level: 650-620-4 (.512).
  • Price (434-391-3) is just five wins from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach (Floyd Temple, 438).
  • Kansas won its first series and first conference series of the season in the same weekend after sweeping a Saturday doubleheader against Oklahoma (4/30) at Hoglund Ballpark.
  • That series win over the Sooners marked the first league series win for the Jayhawks since April 24-26, 2015, when Kansas took two games from West Virginia in Morgantown.
  • That series also marked the first home weekend series win for KU since April 10-12, 2015, when Kansas won the final two games of the weekend against then-No. 9 Oklahoma State.
  • KU is 34-25 all-time against current Big Ten schools in the Price era and 0-1 this season after losing to Nebraska, 3-1, at Kauffman Stadium in the College Baseball Hall of Fame Game on April 27.
  • In true midweek games this season, the Jayhawks hold a record of 7-3-1 and outscore their opponents 102-68, averaging 9.3 runs per contest.
  • Four different KU players bat over .400 in midweek games in sophomore Owen Taylor (.414), senior Colby Wright (.424), freshman Devin Foyle (.429) and junior Michael Tinsley (.500).
  • As a team, Kansas bats .343 in true midweek contests with 33 doubles, five triples and five home runs.
  • Tinsley leads the Jayhawk squad with a Big 12-best .393 batting average and leads the league in hits (66) and fewest strikeouts among leaders (13).

Kansas and Minnesota have met seven times in the history of the two programs with the Gophers leading the all-time series 4-3. The two teams first faced one another on the diamond March 4-5, 1990, when Minnesota won a three-game set against the Jayhawks in Lawrence. The following season, March 1-3, 1991, KU made the return trip to Minneapolis where the Gophers took two-out-of-three again. It would be 21 years before the two schools would meet again on March 10, 2012, when head coach Ritch Price’s Jayhawks defeated Minnesota, 9-4, in Minneapolis.
Minnesota enters the two-game midweek set with an overall record of 27-13 and a No. 19 national ranking. The Gophers are first in the Big Ten Conference with an 11-3 clip. Five Gophers bat over .300 with Matt Fiedler leading the way with a .396 average (63-for-159). Austin Athmann produces the most runs with a .368 (46-for-125) average including a team best in doubles (13), home runs (9) and RBIs (32). Five players boast 20-plus RBIs while Fiedler has scored a Minnesota-best 35 runs. On the mound, the Gophers hold a team ERA of 3.83 giving up an average of 4.2 runs per contest to their opponents. Kansas will see righty Tim Shannon in game one with Wednesday’s starter to be announced. Shannon is 0-0 on the season with a 6.41 ERA in 10 appearances. He has thrown 19 and 2/3 innings and struck out eight batters.
Senior second baseman Colby Wright is riding his second 11-game hitting streak of the season as he held a 13-game streak earlier in the year from March 12-April 1. Wright’s current streak started with back-to-back two-hit performances at Texas (April 15-16) before tallying just one hit in each of his last nine games. During the streak, Wright is batting .342 (14-for-41) with three doubles, two triples, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. During his 13-game streak earlier in the season, he batted .500 (19-for-38) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, nine RBIs and 12 runs scored.
Junior catcher Michael Tinsley bolstered his batting average 22 points during week 11 of the season to take sole possession of first place in the league in hitting. Tinsley entered the week with a .371 average and hit .588 through five games helping the Jayhawks to a 2-2-1 record and its first series win over Oklahoma since the 2009 season. His 10-for-17 effort with five runs and eight RBIs jumped his batting average to .393 – seven points higher than the next hitter – and rang his hit total up to a league-best 66. In his last 19 games, Tinsley has been red hot with hitting streaks of 11 and seven games during that span. His current seven-game hitting streak stretched his on-base streak to 19 games – second-best on the team. During that span, Tinsley batted .515 (35-for-68) with six doubles, one triple, one home run, 17 RBIs, 24 runs scored and 17 walks. He accumulated a .676 slugging percentage and a .605 on-base percentage.
For the second time this season, senior right fielder Joe Moroney led off a Big 12 Conference series opener at home with a home run – against then-No. 6 TCU and Oklahoma. Prior to Moroney, the last person to lead off a game with a home run was Tucker Tharp against Kansas State on April 25, 2012. In each of those games, Moroney’s home run came after each opponent sprung to score a run in the top of the first.
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 10 games that followed – including a resumption game from March 23 against Baker – the team hit a total of nine home runs, more than doubling its season total. Kansas belted at least one home run in six of the 10 games and hit two home runs in three of those contests. Eight different players have now hit at least one home run with seniors Joe Moroney and Colby Wright leading the team with three home runs apiece.
Junior catcher Michael Tinsely earned a spot on the 2016 Johnny Bench Award watch list, bestowed annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher. Tinsley leads the Jayhawks with a .393 average (first in the Big 12), 15 doubles (second in the Big 12), 34 RBIs and is 7-for-8 in stolen bases. His 39 runs scored rank first on the team, while his 66 hits are 19 more than any other KU player and rank him first in the conference.
The Jayhawks return home to close out Big 12 play at Hoglund Ballpark May 6-8 against Texas Tech. Sunday’s contest of the series will serve as Senior Day. All three games can be seen on ESPN3 with Saturday and Sunday’s contests also available on the Jayhawk Television Network.
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