Kansas welcomes in Bulldogs for weekend set
Since becoming a starter, righty Jackson Goddard has posted a 1.88 ERA in 14 and 1/3 innings pitched, while holding opponents to a .104 batting average.
Rackoski vs. Cazenave
Turski vs. McCord
Goddard vs. Jones
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Jayhawk baseball team continues its nine-game homestand when Kansas plays host to Samford for a three-game series at Hoglund Ballpark March 24-26.
With the threat of inclement weather on Friday, Kansas (9-11) officials have elected to move up the game time from a 6 p.m. to a 3 p.m. start.
The Jayhawks and Bulldogs (13-8) first met in 2016 when Kansas traveled to Birmingham for a three-game set at Joe Lee Griffin Field. Samford leads the all-time series, 2-1.
Fans can watch all three games live on ESPN3, or tune into the live audio broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official “Kansas Jayhawks” mobile app.
- 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).
- The Jayhawks have only played five games against current Southern Conference (SoCon) teams, including an opening-day victory at The Citadel (Feb. 17).
- Against current SoCon schools, KU holds a 2-3 mark that includes two losses to Samford in a three-game series in 2016.
- Kansas’ first-ever game against a SoCon opponent came on March 16, 1979, in a loss to East Tennessee State, 9-1.
- Four of Samford’s 13 victories came against current Power 5 schools where they hold an even .500 record against them (4-4).
- Kansas has played 7-of-20 games against top-25 opponents while the Bulldogs have played just 3-of-21.
- Thirteen current Jayhawks have experience against the Bulldogs including sophomore righty Jackson Goddard, who started and pitched five innings in 2016.
LAST TIME AT SAMFORD
The Jayhawks traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to play their first-ever series against a current Southern Conference school when they took on Samford April 22-24, 2016 at Joe Lee Griffin Field. The Bulldogs took the series 2-1 after winning the first contest 3-2 in 10 innings and doubling up Saturday with a 13-9 victory. The Jayhawks came back in the series finale thanks to a pinch-hit grand slam by current sophomore Ty Denzer in the top of the ninth inning to break the 5-5 tie and give Kansas the win, 9-5. Current senior Stephen Villines pitched three shutout innings in the finale to preserve the win and avoid the sweep.
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE SOCON
In school history, Kansas has played five total games against current Southern Conference teams. In those five contests, the Jayhawks are batting .234 (39-for-167) with 28 runs scored, an average of 5.6 runs per outing. On the hill, KU has logged 41 and 1/3 innings, allowing 35 runs off 46 hits and 23 walks for a 6.10 ERA. Opponents hit .274 (46-for-108) off the Jayhawks and average 7.0 runs per contest.
WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND AT HOME
In true weekend series against the same opponent, Kansas holds a 5-7 record with a 4-2 clip at Hoglund Ballpark. In those six games at home, the Jayhawks have outscored their opponents 33-23, averaging 5.5 runs per contest compared to the 3.8 by opposing teams. At the plate, KU bats 54 points higher than the opposition at a .281 average (55-for-196) with 13 doubles, one triple, one home run and 10 stolen bases. On the mound, Kansas hurlers have combined for a 3.11 ERA, allowing just 19 earned runs in 55 innings pitched.
Sophomore righty Jackson Goddard turned in the best performance he has had to date as a Jayhawk when he toed the rubber at then-No. 3 TCU (March 19). Goddard dominated the Horned Frogs’ lineup through seven innings and took a no-hit bid with him into the eighth. TCU tagged him for its first hit after he recorded the first out of the eighth frame. He exited the game to a standing ovation from the crowd after the 119-pitch affair where he gave up three runs off one hit and six walks.
ACE ON THE HILL
Junior Taylor Turski rose to the occasion at then-No. 3 TCU (March 18) with his best performance to date in a Kansas uniform. The left-handed transfer from Palomar Community College tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits against the Horned Frogs in his Big 12 debut, before giving way to a Jayhawk reliever after allowing a run with one out in the seventh inning. Turski’s final line against Big 12 power TCU included a season-high nine strikeouts and just three walks. Leaving the game with two runners on base, Turski was tagged for three earned runs off four hits in the contest after KU relievers couldn’t strand the base runners. Turski’s stellar performance matched that of one of the top pitching staffs in the country that saw its ace, Jared Janczak, enter the eighth inning with a perfect game intact.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Redshirt-junior righty Sean Rackoski did exactly what head coach Ritch Price asked him to do in Friday’s (March 17) Big 12 Conference opener at then-No. 3 TCU – turn the ball over to the bullpen with a lead. Rackoski did that and then some, until TCU knocked him out of the game after five and 1/3 innings and a questionable safe call at first base that ended up being the tying run in the frame. In stead of nobody on and two outs, Price was forced to make the call to his bullpen, that surrendered two more runs in the loss. Rackoski allowed just the one run off four hits, while striking out four batters, without allowing a free pass.
FOUR COMPLETE STARTS
Arguably one of its toughest weeks to date in the 2017 season, the Kansas baseball team needed four quality starts from its pitching staff as the Jayhawks traveled to Oral Roberts (March 15) and to then-No. 3 TCU (March 17-19). The foursome of Ryan Zeferjahn (March 15), Sean Rackoski (March 17), Taylor Turski (March 18) and Jackson Goddard (March 19) rose to the occasion and turned in one of the best pitching weeks head coach Ritch Price could remember. Combined, the quartet pitched a possible 24-of-34 innings, allowing just 11 hits in 82 at bats to hold opponents to a .134 average on the week. Of those 82 at bats, 29 entered the score book as strikeouts, with career-high efforts by Zeferjahn (9), Turski (9) and Goddard (7).
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.
The Jayhawks continue their nine-game homestand with a two-game midweek matchup against Minnesota March 28-29 at Hoglund Ballpark.
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