Jayhawks Open 2015 Season at No. 2 LSU
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas baseball opens the 2015 season Friday, February 13, when it faces the No. 2-ranked LSU Tigers in the first of a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Led by 13th-year head coach Ritch Price, KU will face LSU for the first time since 2010, when the Jayhawks won the series in Baton Rouge against a No. 1-ranked Tiger squad.
Although it has been five years since Kansas has traveled back to the Bayou, Price couldn’t be more excited to get back to the Mecca of college baseball.
“If you are competitive, there isn’t a better place in America to play than Alex Box Stadium,” Price said. “I am hopeful that our players rise to the challenge. The reason I put it on the schedule was so they had the opportunity to play in that great environment, but also for the growth that would take place for our club over the three days.”
Senior outfielder Dakota Smith led last year’s squad with a .337 batting average (min. 100 AB) and can’t wait to lace up the spikes in front of a sold-out crowd for the weekend series against the Tigers.
“It is a lot of fun to play in that kind of environment,” Smith said. “You feel a little more excited and it is fun to play at a place where the fans get into the game like that.”
Senior shortstop Justin Protacio is also excited to play at “The Box” and thinks it will be a great experience for the young players on the team to learn quickly what college baseball is all about.
“I got my first start as a freshman at Mississippi State, which is a similar environment to LSU,” Protacio said. “I was pretty shaken up and couldn’t really think. I think I will have a good time talking to the young guys starting in the field, telling them what I went through, what to expect and how we can overcome that as a team.”
Although the stadium will provide a hostile environment, the trip will be business as usual for the Jayhawks.
“We are going to go down there and try to play the same level they play at and find a way to grind through and win the series,” Price said. “One of the great things we have done with our players over my tenure here is we are really professional. We go about our business every day and we prepare properly. I think that is the reason why we have been successful.”
The Jayhawks and Tigers face off Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and conclude the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.
All three games of the series can be seen on the SEC Network+ and on ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app on smart devices, online at WatchESPN.com or on Apple TV. In addition, all three games can be heard live on the Jayhawk Radio Network through KUAthletics.com/radio.
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