Kansas Hosts No. 16 Missouri State in Midweek Action
Notes Game NotesStats Live StatsCalendar ScheduleRoster RosterTickets TicketsLAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team welcomes in No. 16 Missouri State Tuesday, March 29, for a midweek matchup at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (7-13) look to snap an eight-game winless streak against the Bears (19-4) and a five-game winless streak overall as Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Fans can watch the action live on ESPN3 or tune into a live audio broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
- Kansas enters the midweek contest against Missouri State with an all-time record of 1,842-1,762-17.
- Head coach Ritch Price is in his 22nd season as a Division I head coach with a record of 638-609-3 (.512).
- Price holds a record of 422-380-2 (.526) at Kansas, and is just 17 wins from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach (Floyd Temple, 438).
- The Jayhawks are 1-1 in true midweek games this season, outscoring their opponents 23-22.
- Kansas has lost its last five games and six of its last seven. During that span, KU has been outscored 52-35 while tallying almost the same exact number of hits (KU 68, Opp. 70).
- Senior second baseman Colby Wright has moved himself into the team lead in batting average with a .344 clip (21-for-61), including a team-high six doubles, and a team-leading slugging percentage (.525) and on-base percentage (.518) – ranks second in the Big 12.
- Freshman designated hitter/third baseman Rudy Karre has drawn a team-high 17 walks, scored a team-best 16 runs, has started all 20 games and has reached base safely in 15-straight games for the Jayhawks. His 17 free passes rank him fourth in the conference and are two off the pace of league leaders – Karre has done his in at least three fewer games.
Kansas and Missouri State have played 52 games against one another since the first meeting on April 12, 1988. The Bears have won eight-straight over the Jayhawks and hold a 28-24 advantage in the all-time series. In games played in Lawrence, Kansas is 15-12 against MSU with its last victory at Hoglund Ballpark coming March 21, 2010 by way of a 7-6 decision. During head coach Ritch Price’s tenure, KU holds a record of 9-12 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.
BEARS’ HEAD COACH KEITH GUTTIN
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.
Missouri State arrives in Lawrence with a 19-4 record and ranked among the top-25 in two different polls. The Bears are coming off their first back-to-back losses in 2016 after getting swept in a doubleheader on Saturday (March 26) against Minnesota. Prior to those losses, MSU was winners of 11-straight games following an extra-inning loss to Oklahoma State (March 8), 6-5. Missouri State is known for a high-potent offense that averages 8.3 runs per game to go along with a team slugging percentage of .530. Infielder Jake Burger has hit a team-high 11 home runs and driven in 36 RBIs en route to a MSU-best .442 batting average. Five other regulars boast batting averages over .300 with outfielder Hunter Steinmetz the only other batting over .400 with a .407 clip. As a squad, Missouri State has hit 52 doubles, 34 home runs and scored 191 runs. Its opponents have only scored 110 runs and hit 32 doubles and seven home runs.
On the mound, the Bears are going to throw junior Ryan Dunne. The righty has seen action in four games, making two starts, but has thrown just seven and 1/3 innings. Dunne has given up eight runs off eight hits, walked 10 batters and posted 10 strikeouts for a 8.59 ERA. Closer Bryan Young has racked up a nation’s fifth-best seven saves and holds a 0.64 ERA.
NO SAUER-“KRAUTH” HERE
Senior left-handed ace Ben Krauth tossed his third-straight game with nine or more strikeouts Friday night (March 25) in a 1-0 loss to West Virginia, fanning a career-best 12 batters. All but two of Krauth’s strikeouts were swinging and the Concord, California native’s performance against the Mountaineers completed a streak of three-straight starts throwing eight or more innings. Krauth pitched eight innings against WVU, allowing just one run off three hits with a personal-best 12 strikeouts – the most for a KU player since Frank Duncan tallied 14 in 2014 and the second-best mark this season in the Big 12 Conference. In his last three starts, Krauth has pitched 25-of-26 possible innings – including two complete games and a shutout – given up just three runs and held opponents to a .153 batting average, all while striking out 30 batters for a 1.08 ERA. Through six starts on the season, Krauth ranks first in the league with 42 innings pitched, tied for first with 42 strikeouts, first with two complete games and is the only pitcher to date who has thrown a complete-game shutout in the conference.
NINE TIMES IN A ROW
Senior second baseman Colby Wright is riding a nine-game hitting streak. During that span, Wright is batting .538 (14-for-26) with four doubles, a home run, seven RBIs, seven runs scored, an .808 slugging percentage, a .692 on-base percentage, nine walks and is a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases. As a result of the streak, Wright has moved himself into the team lead in batting average with a .344 clip (21-for-61), including a team-high six doubles, a triple, one home run and a team-leading slugging percentage (.525) and on-base percentage (.518). His on-base percentage ranks second in the league while his 16 walks ranks fifth.
BEST IN THE BIG 12 THAT WEEK
Senior lefty Ben Krauth pitched KU’s first complete-game shutout since 2014 (Jordan Piche’ at Baylor, April 25) when he blanked North Dakota, 7-0 (March 11). For his performance, Krauth was named the Big 12 Conference’s Pitcher of the Week. Krauth kick-started KU’s perfect 3-0 weekend in the Millard Management Classic when he threw the first complete-game shutout of his Jayhawk career. With that effort, he became the first and only pitcher in the Big 12 this season to toss a complete-game shutout. In fact, no one else in the league had even tossed a complete game until this past weekend – Krauth has two.
The Jayhawks continue Big 12 play on the road at Baylor, April 1-3, at Baylor Ballpark in Waco, Texas. All three games at Baylor can be seen on FOX Sports+ with a live audio broadcast available on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
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