Kansas opens Big 12 play at No. 3 TCU
Sophomore pitcher Jackson Goddard tossed seven scoreless innings last time out.
at #3 TCU
Rackoski vs. Lodolo
Turski vs. Janczak
Goddard vs. Howard
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following a 7-2 victory over Oral Roberts Wednesday night, the Kansas baseball team continues its road swing and opens up Big 12 Conference play at No. 3 TCU, March 17-19, at Lupton Stadium.
Kansas (8-8) has won six of its last eight games including back-to-back series victories. TCU (12-4) enters the weekend losing three of its last four games, including a 7-0 shutout at Long Beach State Tuesday, March 14.
All three games of the weekend series against the Horned Frogs can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio or the official “Kansas Jayhawks” app, with Friday’s game also on the dial at KWOD 1660 AM. In addition, Saturday and Sunday’s contest will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Southwest+, respectively.
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,863-1,792-18 (.510).
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 659-639-4 (.507).
- Price (443-410-3 [.519]) is KU’s new all-time winningest coach, surpassing legendary skipper Floyd Temple (438).
- KU’s first game in the month of March came in 1959 when the Jayhawks shutout Washburn, 7-0, on March 30.
- Kansas holds an all-time record of 484-395-4 (.550) in the month of March with a mark of 144-120 (.544) under Price.
- Under Price, Kansas has won a total of 23 series in the month of March, including two in 2017 (at least two wins in a three-game series or three wins in a four-game series against the same opponent).
- The Jayhawks haven’t won a series on the road since 2015 at West Virginia (April 24-26) and haven’t beaten a top-10 opponent since taking 2-of-3 games against then-No. 10 Texas in 2014 (March 14-16).
- That win over the Longhorns also marked the last time KU opened Big 12 Conference play with a series win.
- The last time Kansas played at TCU in 2015, the Horned Frogs were also ranked No. 3 – KU lost both games with the third game getting rained out (May 8-9).
OPENING UP WITH TCU
The last time Kansas opened up Big 12 Conference play at a top-10 ranked opponent, the Jayhawks took 2-of-3 games from then-No. 10 Texas in 2014. The year prior, KU opened up league play at TCU, almost four years to the day (March 15-17, 2013) and won its inaugural series against the new league foe two games to one. Kansas lost the Friday night tilt, 8-1, but battled back to take the next two. In the final two games of the series, the Jayhawks outscored TCU, 10-4, and batted .278 compared to the Horned Frogs’ .208.
Freshman righty Ryan Zeferjahn matched his career-high five innings pitched at Oral Roberts (March 15) and punched out a personal-best nine batters. In the 111-pitch effort. Zeferjahn threw up five zeros en route to picking up his third win of the season. It was quite the turnaround since the last time he faced the Golden Eagles two weeks ago – he recorded just two outs and gave up five runs in the process.
Centerfielder Rudy Karre had a stagnant start to his sophomore campaign as he batted just .083 (2-for-24) through eight starts including a double and a RBI. Since then, Karre has strung together an eight-game hitting streak where he led the team with a .423 (11-for-26) batting average including a home run and five RBIs. The turnaround increased his season average to .260 (13-for-50) and rose his on-base percentage to .456 which ranks second on the team to Matt McLaughlin‘s .485 clip.
Senior closer Stephen Villines picked up his third save of the season against Houston Baptist (March 10) to push his career total to 29. Currently, he sits in sole possession of second place on the Jayhawks’ all-time saves chart and is just three saves away from becoming the program’s all-time leader, as Don Czyz (31) holds the top spot.
When junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin was kept out of the lineup in the series finale against Houston Baptist (March 12), his consecutive-start streak ended at 75 games. McLaughlin started all 56 games in 2016 and had started all games this season leading into Sunday’s victory against the Huskies. His 121 career starts are 52 more than the second most on the team in sophomore outfielder Devin Foyle (69).
Sophomore Jackson Goddard turned in a career performance in his first start on the mound in 2017 pitching Kansas to victory in the series clincher against Houston Baptist (March 12). Goddard tossed a career-high seven innings and struck out a personal-best six batters, all without allowing a single walk or run in the 99-pitch effort. That start by Goddard marked the first where he pitched at least five scoreless innings without allowing a walk. In fact, that was just his second start of five or more innings where he didn’t surrender a free pass and the first that he won.
THE ALL-TIME WINNER
Head coach Ritch Price became KU’s new all-time winningest coach at 439 wins after an 11-7 win over Northwestern State (March 4), surpassing legendary skipper Floyd Temple (438). It took Temple 28 seasons to set that standard, before Price eclipsed that mark in just his 15th year at the helm of the program. Price’s 443 wins account for 23.7 percent of the program’s 1,863 victories spanning 125 seasons. Temple averaged 15.6 wins per season playing an average of 30 games a year. Price averages 31 victories a year playing about 60 games a season.
HE’S GOT TENURE
Kansas skipper Ritch Price is the most tenured head coach in the Big 12 Conference as he is in his 15th season at the helm of the Jayhawks. TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle and K-State’s Brad Hill are second on the list, as both are in their 14th season. In addition, Price has coached in more Big 12 contests than any other active skipper in the league:
1. Ritch Price (KU), 357
2. Brad Hill (KSU), 332
3. Tim Tadlock (TTU), 96
4. Jim Schlossnagle (TCU), 95
5. Josh Holliday (OSU), 93
The Jayhawks return home for a nine-game homestand beginning with Creighton on March 22 and ending with Texas April 2.
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