Kansas travels to in-state rival No. 24 Wichita State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the 19th-consecutive year, Kansas will face off against in-state rival No. 24 Wichita State, when the Jayhawk baseball team travels to Tyler Field at Eck Stadium on Wednesday, April 18 for a 6 p.m. first pitch.
Kansas (19-16) and Wichita State (24-9) have played at least one game a season dating back to 2000, with the midweek matchup serving as the 79th meeting between the two schools.
Fans can watch the action live on COX Kansas or tune into an audio broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,904-1,829-18 (.510)
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 701-674-4 (.510)
- Price’s record at Kansas: 484-446-3 (.520)
- Kansas has won six of the nine weekend series it has played including sweeps over then-No. 20 St. John’s and Texas Southern.
- The Jayhawks have had a total of nine games affected in some way by the weather this spring including four cancellations and five alterations.
- KU ranks third in the Big 12 in batting average (.278), fifth in slugging percentage (.414) and fourth in scoring (6.0).
- Sophomore second baseman James Cosentino ranks third in the nation and first in the Big 12 Conference with 16 hit-by-pitches on the season.
- Sophomore designated hitter Brett Vosik ranks sixth in the Big 12 in batting average with a .354 clip.
- Junior closer Zack Leban leads the league with 10 saves that also ranks him No. 9 in the country.
- Sophomore righty Ryan Zeferjahn ranks third in the conference in strikeouts (56) and fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.80).
Kansas turned a season-high four double plays in Saturday’s (April 14) loss to TCU – the most since April 5, 2016. In head coach Ritch Price‘s tenure, the Jayhawks have accomplished that same feat on three other occasions and eight times in school history – it stands as the school record. On the season, KU has turned 34 double plays and ranks third in the conference in that category with Texas leading the way at 37.
SWINGING FOR THE FENCES
Sophomore outfielder Mateo Zunica blasted his first-career home run in Saturday’s (April 14) loss to TCU. Zunica came on as a defensive replacement and during his first at bat in the bottom of the ninth, he stroked a 2-0 pitch off the scoreboard in right field at Hoglund Ballpark.
Kansas has scored in 105 of the 303 innings it has come to the plate. Of those 105 innings, the Jayhawks have scored two or more runs in 55 of those frames – 52.4 percent of the time the Jayhawks score, they score more than one run. Of those multi-run innings, KU plates three or more 50.9 percent of the time. Kansas’ biggest inning of 2018 came on Wednesday, April 10, at Omaha, when the Jayhawks plated eight runs in the top of the ninth with two outs.
KU has played nine midweek games in 2018 and holds a record of 4-5 in those contests. Six different hurlers have started at least one of those games, as the staff has combined for a 6.35 ERA through those nine matchups. Opponents have outscored the Jayhawks during the week, 78-56, while compiling a .294 batting average, compared to the .270 that Kansas has tallied.
FIVE FOR FOYLE
Junior left fielder Devin Foyle matched a career-high five RBIs for the fourth time during his three-year tenure as a Jayhawk when he drove in a quintet of Jayhawks at Creighton (April 11). The last time he knocked in five runs came almost two years ago from that date (April 23, 2016) during his rookie season. In that campaign, Foyle reached that mark on three separate occasions.
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
At Omaha (April 10), the Jayhawks erased a four-run deficit in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Mavericks, 9-5. Kansas scored eight runs all with two outs in that final frame to earn the come-from-behind victory. That eight-spot is the most runs KU has scored in an inning all season, and the most runs in a single frame since May 5, 2017, when it plated 11 runs in the fourth against Texas Southern.
With a 17-3 thumping of then-No. 5 Texas Tech on Sunday (April 8) head coach Ritch Price earned his 700th-career victory at the Division I level. Only 18 other active Power Five coaches can say they have accomplished that feat. Already the all-time winningest coach in Kansas history, Price has amassed 484 wins during his 16-year stint as the Jayhawks’ skipper, accounting for 25.4 percent of the program’s 1,904 victories spanning 126 seasons played.
THE DEAN OF BIG 12 BASEBALL
Kansas head coach Ritch Price is the most tenured skipper in the Big 12 Conference as he has coached in 392 league games – 22 more than any other current coach. Now in his 16th season in the league, he has one more than Kansas State’s Brad Hill and 10 more than the majority of the conference’s head coaches.
1. 390 – Ritch Price, Kansas (16th season)
2. 368 – Brad Hill, K-State (15th season)
3. 132 – Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (Sixth season)
4. 130 – Jim Schlossnagle, TCU (Sixth Season)
5. 127 – Josh Holliday, Oklahoma State (Sixth Season)
6. 125 – Randy Maze, West Virginia (Sixth Season)
7. 60 – Steve Rodriguez, Baylor (Third Season)
8. 38 – David Pierce, Texas (Second Season)
9. 12 – Skip Johnson, Oklahoma (First Season)
TOUGHING IT OUT
Kansas has played 23 home games, including seven weekend series thus far with an average mean temperature on those days coming in at 41.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The Jayhawks have won five of those seven weekend series, posting a record of 15-8 in those 23 contests. KU is no stranger to cold weather and its three-game series against then-No. 5 Texas Tech registered an average mean temperature of 33.3 degrees, with the Sunday (April 8) contest exhibiting snow, sleet and freezing rain.
MOVING ON UP
Righty Ryan Zeferjahn continues to string together one of the top sophomore campaigns a Jayhawk has ever had. Zeferjahn ranks first in the Big 12 and 20th in the nation with six victories; third in the league in strikeouts (56); and fourth in the conference in strikeouts per nine innings (10.80). No Kansas pitcher has ever finished atop the league in strikeouts or strikeouts per nine innings, and the last KU hurler to lead the Big 12 in wins was Drew Morovick (10) in 2014.
SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE
Kansas is a perfect 14-0 when leading after six innings; 15-0 when leading after seven innings; and 16-0 when leading after eight innings. Those numbers reflect how head coach Ritch Price has aligned his bullpen to close out games. Redshirt-sophomore Ryan Cyr and junior closer Zack Leban have done the bulk of the work in those innings. The duo has made 13 appearances during the team’s 18 wins, thrown a combined 42 and 1/3 innings and struck out 40 hitters. En route, Cyr has picked up four wins, while Leban leads the Big 12 and ranks fourth in the nation with 10 saves.
Junior closer Zack Leban is a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities. During those 10 outings, Leban has thrown 13 innings and struck out 11 batters, without surrendering a walk. He is the fastest to record 10 saves in the Price era, and ranks atop the Big 12 Conference and fourth in the nation in that category.
Kansas continues its trek south into Oklahoma where the Jayhawks will play Oklahoma State April 20-22, at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater.
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