Kansas opens homestand with Oral Roberts Tuesday
Sophomore outfielder Devin Foyle leads the Big 12 with a .536 on-base percentage.
Zeferjahn vs. McGregor
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team returns to Hoglund Ballpark to open an eight-game homestand starting with Oral Roberts, Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m.
Kansas (2-5) and the Golden Eagles (6-1) last met March 11, 2014, where ORU came out on top, 8-7. The two schools have faced off against each other 41 times with the Jayhawks trailing the all-time series, 22-19.
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,857-1,789-18 (.509).
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 653-636-4 (.507).
- Price (437-407-3 [.518]) is just two wins from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach (Floyd Temple, 438).
- KU holds an all-time record of 134-106-1 in the month of February, with the first recorded contest played in the month coming on February 28, 1986, where the Jayhawks swept a doubleheader against Missouri Southern.
- Since Price took over the program in 2003, KU has played 19 home games in the month of February, and holds a record of 17-2 in those contests.
- In games played on February 28, Kansas holds an all-time record of 6-8, with a 3-2 mark in the Price era.
- The Jayhawks and Oral Roberts have met one other time in the month of February (2007) with the Golden Eagles winning that contest, 9-1.
- KU has lost the last four meetings against ORU, with three of those games decided by one run. In addition, two of those contests took bonus baseball to decide a winner – both in 2004.
- Against current Summit League schools, the Jayhawks hold a record of 45-23.
A LITTLE PATIENCE
Junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin continues to show why he is the Jayhawks’ leadoff man, especially after seeing 65 pitches in 12 at bats Stanford (Feb. 24-26). In the first two games of the weekend, McLaughlin saw just under 20 percent of the total number of Cardinal pitches, and finished the three-game series having seen 16.7 percent of the pitches thrown on the weekend (390). In addition, in 32 plate appearances on the season, McLaughlin has seen 150 pitches, averaging just under five per at bat (4.7).
SEVEN IN A ROW
Sophomore outfielder Devin Foyle leads the Big 12 Conference with a .536 on-base percentage. Of his 28 plate appearances, Foyle has reached safely 15 times, including eight hits and seven walks. Foyle also leads Kansas with a .381 batting average (8-for-21) with three doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored. The next closest Jayhawk in on-base percentage is Matt McLaughlin, who boasts a .406 clip.
THE REAL DEAL
In his first collegiate start, freshman righty Ryan Zeferjahn showed why he was so highly touted coming out of high school. The rookie arm sat 94-96 MPH with his fastball in his abbreviated start Tuesday (Feb. 21) against Omaha. In the outing, he pitched three innings and struck out four batters for his first-career win. He allowed just one lone run off five hits and a walk in the 68-pitch effort.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW
All 10 freshmen on head coach Ritch Price’s active roster have found their way onto the field in KU’s first four contests. In fact, all 14 newcomers have made an appearance thus far in the season, accounting for 34.2 percent (24-of-70) of the Jayhawks starts (including DH).
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER
If making your first Division I start as a freshman wasn’t enough, rookie second baseman James Cosentino will remember his first collegiate base hit even more. In just his second plate appearance in a Jayhawk uniform, Cosentino laced a fastball deep over the wall in right field for his first-career hit and home run, pacing Kansas to a six-run fifth inning at The Citadel (Feb. 17). That three-run blast propelled the Jayhawks to an opening day win over the Bulldogs, 7-5, and solidifying his spot in the lineup. Cosentino went on to start all three contests of the weekend at second base.
Redshirt-junior righty Sean Rackoski toed the rubber at The Citadel (Feb. 17) for the first time in 642 days with his last start coming on May 17, 2015, against Kansas State. The 6-foot-7-inch power arm missed all of 2016 after he broke his thumb in preseason preparation. In his first outing back, Rackoski gave up two runs in five innings of work to pick up his first win since April 21, 2015, when Kansas defeated Wichita State, 11-6.
Senior closer Stephen Villines iced The Citadel (Feb. 17) to pick up career save 27 and move into a tie for No. 2 all-time in career saves with Paul Smyth. In his first outing, Villines recorded the final seven outs in 32 pitches, including three strikeouts. Villines needs five more saves to become KU’s all-time saves leader, as Don Czyz (31) currently holds the top spot.
THE QUEST FOR 439
Kansas head coach Ritch Price stands two wins away from becoming KU’s all-time winningest coach. Currently, the title is held by legend Floyd Temple, who amassed 438 wins in his 28-year tenure with the Jayhawks. The earliest Price could achieve this feat is Friday against Northwestern State (March 3).
HE’S GOT TENURE
Kansas skipper Ritch Price is the most tenured head coach in the Big 12 Conference as he enters 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
WATCH OUT FOR VILLINES
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named closer Stephen Villines to the 2017 Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List. In its 13th year, the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Villines has racked up the second-most saves in Kansas history (27) and is just four behind KU great Don Czyz (31) – who won the Stopper of the Year Award in 2006.
Kansas continues its eight-game homestand when the Jayhawks play host to Northwestern State for a three-game series at Hoglund Ballpark March 3-5.
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