Kansas welcomes Omaha in midweek action
Freshman catcher Jaxx Groshans leads Kansas with eight RBIs and has hit safely in five-straight games.
Zeferjahn vs. Meltz
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas baseball hosts Omaha in midweek action Wednesday, March 8, at 3 p.m., as the Jayhawks continue its eight-game homestand at Hoglund Ballpark.
KU (4-7) and Omaha (1-11) met just 14 days ago in Lawrence, where Kansas extended its winning streak over the Mavericks to four games after an 11-1 throbbing.
Fans can watch the game 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.
- Kansas’ all-time record: 1,859-1,791-18 (.509).
- Head coach Ritch Price’s record in Division I: 655-638-4 (.507).
- Price (439-409-3 [.518]) 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 480-394-4 (.549) in the month of March with a mark of 140-119 (.541) under Price.
- The Jayhawks hold a record of 16-5 all-time in games played on March 8, with a 4-2 mark under Price.
- Kansas has outscored Omaha 30-16 in four previous meetings dating back to April 24, 2001, and 18-7 in the Price era (two games).
- In true midweek games, KU is batting .319 with a .453 on-base percentage, including three doubles and a triple.
- In games played at Hoglund Ballpark, the Jayhawks bat .320 with 10 doubles, two triples and one home run, and outscore their opponents 37-29.
- When Kansas scores six or more runs, it has won 67 percent of its games (4-for-6), but when it scores two or fewer runs, it has lost all five contests.
THE ALL-TIME WINNER
With Saturday’s (March 4) 11-7 victory over Northwestern State, head coach Ritch Price became KU’s new all-time winningest coach with 439 wins, 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 439 wins account for 23.6 percent of the program’s 1,859 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.
SIX-STRAIGHT FOR FIVE
Junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin led all Kansas hitters with a .438 batting average (7-for-16) in four starts last week (Feb. 28-March 5) and posted a .571 on-base percentage where the Jayhawks finished 2-2 in four games played. In 21 plate appearances, McLaughlin reached base safely 12 times including seven base knocks and five walks – he didn’t strikeout once. In addition, he has now hit safely in six-straight games and was a perfect 2-for-2 in stolen bases during the week, while scoring a team-high four runs. During his six-game hitting streak, McLaughlin boasts a .458 average (11-for-24) with a double, a triple, five runs scored and five walks compared to one strikeout. He posted a .583 slugging percentage and a .552 on-base percentage in those six contests while driving in one RBI.
Freshman catcher Jaxx Groshans started all four games for Kansas that went 2-2 last week, and led the Jayhawks with seven RBIs that included a huge two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning to send KU’s Sunday finale against Northwestern State (March 5) into extra innings. His .429 (6-for-14) average and his .500 slugging percentage both ranked second on the team while he threw out 50 percent of base runners attempting to steal (2-for-4). He has now hit safely in five-straight games where he boasts a .389 batting average (7-for-18) with two doubles, a walk, eight RBIs and one run scored. In addition, he holds a .500 slugging and .421 on-base percentage in those five starts.
ON THE RISE
Centerfielder Rudy Karre had a stagnant start to his sophomore campaign as he batted just .083 (2-for-24) through eight starts leading into last weekend against Northwestern State. Impressively enough, Karre found his rhythm at the dish and boasted two multi-hit games while hitting safely in all three. On the weekend, he batted an even .500 (5-for-10) with a home run, four RBIs and four runs scored for a .800 slugging and .667 on-base percentage. That performance jumped his season numbers up .123 points to .206 (7-for-34), as he is riding a three-game hitting streak.
When it comes to reaching base safely in consecutive games, no one does it better than sophomore outfielder Devin Foyle. The switch hitter started all 11 games for Kansas and has safely made it to first base in each of those contests. His .438 on-base percentage ranks second on the team only to junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin (.472).
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
Kansas wraps up its eight-game homestand when the Jayhawks play host to Houston Baptist March 10-12 at Hoglund Ballpark. All three games can be seen on ESPN3 or heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official “Kansas Jayhawks” mobile app.
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