Kansas Hits the Road for Non-Conference Series at Samford
Notes Game Notes
Stats Live Stats
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team takes a break from Big 12 Conference play and heads to Birmingham, Alabama, for a three-game weekend series at Samford.
The Jayhawks (16-20, 3-8 Big 12) and Samford (21-17, 6-6 SoCon) have never played a game against one another in the history of the two programs with Friday night’s contest marking the first. Game time for Friday is slated for 6 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday’s contests are set to being a 2 p.m. and 12 p.m., respectively.
JAYHAWK RADIO NETWORK
All three games can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio with Saturday’s game also on the dial on KJHK 90.7 FM. Steven Davis and Mitchell Glessner will call the action.
ON THE WEB
Kansas Jayhawks app – search “Kansas Jayhawks”
SoCON DIGITAL NETWORK
All three games against the Bulldogs can be seen on the SoCon Digital Network. For more info visit: http://www.socondigitalnetwork.com.
- Kansas enters the non-conference weekend series against Samford with an all-time record of 1,851-1,769-17.
- Head coach Ritch Price is in his 22nd season as a Division I head coach with a record of 647-616-3 (.512).
- Price holds a record of 431-387-2 (.527) at Kansas, and is just eight wins away from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach (Floyd Temple, 438).
- Friday’s (April 22) game against the Bulldogs marks the first time in the history of the two programs that the two will face off against one another on the diamond.
- Kansas has only played one game against a current Southern Conference member and that came on March 16, 1979, when the Jayhawks lost to East Tennessee State, 9-1.
- KU has won just two true road games this season (at Baylor and at Texas) in 11 tries, with both those victories coming on a Friday.
- The last non-conference road series Kansas played in during the 2016 season came March 18-20 at Stanford, where the Cardinal took three games from the Jayhawks.
- KU holds the third-best batting average in the Big 12 Conference hitting .287 as a team.
- In addition to the third-best batting average in the league, the Jayhawks have also struck out the fewest among conference foes (211).
Friday’s (April 22) game against the Jayhawks and Bulldogs marks the first time in the history of the two programs that the two teams will meet on the diamond. Kansas has played one game in its history against a current Southern Conference member when it lost to East Tennessee State, 9-1, March 16, 1979.
SAMFORD HEAD COACH CASEY DUNN
Casey Dunn is in the midst of his 12th season at the helm of the Samford baseball program. Under his hand, the Bulldogs have posted 30-plus wins in eight of the last 10 seasons. After his first season, Dunn and his staff signed the largest recruiting class in Samford baseball history with 29 players. In his second season as head coach, the Bulldogs captured the Ohio Valley Conference league’s regular-season championship and the top seed in the league’s postseason tournament. Samford won a then school-record 34 games and Dunn was named the OVC’s Coach of the Year. Under Dunn’s leadership, the Bulldogs posted back-to-back winning seasons in 2006-07 for the first time in more than 40 years. Dunn has seen seven of his former players be selected in the MLB draft.
Samford enters the weekend with a 21-17 record and 15-8 clip at home this season. The Bulldogs boast offensive numbers such as a .308 batting average and 50 home runs – 37 hit inside Joe Lee Griffin Field – all while averaging 7.5 runs per contest. Heath Quinn leads the team with a .353 batting average including a team highs in runs (42), hits (53), home runs (15) and RBIs (50). All nine position starters bat .286 or higher. On the mound, Samford holds a 4.33 ERA and lead the SoCon with the fewest earned runs allowed (160). The Bulldogs will throw three right-handers this weekend in Stephen Jones (3-0, 3.56 ERA), Jared Brasher (2-4, 4.95 ERA) and Connor Radcliff (2-3, 6.75 ERA). Opponents hit .263 off the staff and score an average of 5.0 runs per game.
In its last two games – including a resumption game from a March 23 contest against Baker played April 20 – Kansas has seen an increase in its power numbers. Prior to Tuesday’s contest against Wichita State (April 19) the Jayhawks had hit eight home runs on the season. Against the Shockers, KU blasted two home runs – one from junior catcher Michael Tinsley and the other from sophomore designated hitter TJ Martin. On Wednesday (April 20), two different Jayhawks hit home runs in the resumption game against Baker in senior second baseman Colby Wright and freshman Ty Denzer. Those four home runs in two days were half of the season total through 34 games and were the second and third times, respectively, this season Kansas hit two home runs in a single game.
Freshman Ty Denzer hit the first home run of his career – a grand slam – against Baker Wednesday (April 20) as part of an official game started March 23. He became the second freshman in as many years to hit a grand slam in his rookie season as then-freshman TJ Martin accomplished the same feat at Northwestern (May 6, 2015).
WE’RE GOING STREAKING
Junior catcher Michael Tinsley is riding an 11-game hitting streak spanning April 3-19. During that time, Tinsley is batting .512 (21-for-41) with five doubles, one home run, nine RBIs and 16 runs scored. He drove in the winning run in extra innings against Omaha (April 13) and matched a career-best four runs scored in an 11-5 victory at Texas (April 15). He is the second Jayhawk this season to record a double-digit hitting streak as senior second baseman Colby Wright hit safely in 13-straight games from March 12-April 1.
Senior right fielder Joe Moroney found himself in a new role after freshman Rudy Karre was sidelined with an injury (April 3). Since then, Moroney has embraced his new role as the Jayhawks’ lead-off hitter by hitting his first career home run in his first at bat in that position. That bomb marked the start of something great as he has gone on to bat .353 (12-for-34) in his last eight games since taking over, including a double, a home run, six runs scored and four RBIs to go along with a .436 on-base percentage.
KEEPIN’ IT FRESH
Freshman left fielder Devin Foyle exploded during week nine of the season and was instrumental in both of KU’s wins over Omaha (April 13) and Texas (April 15). Against the Mavericks, Foyle came off the bench in the eighth inning to tie the game with a pinch-hit RBI-double. At Texas, the rookie boasted a five RBI night that included a two-out three-run double in the top of the fifth inning that turned out to be the dagger in KU’s 11-5 win. During the four-game week, Foyle batted .500 (6-for-12) with four doubles, eight RBIs – five with two outs – and two runs scored. He led the conference in RBIs and doubles, while ranking fifth in average and slugging, respectively.
The Jayhawks return home for a Tuesday (April 26) game against Grand Canyon before heading to Kansas City for the College Baseball Hall of Fame Game at Kauffman Stadium against former Big 12 rival Nebraska (April 27).
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