Jayhawks to Host Longhorns in Weekend Series
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team looks to redeem itself after dropping a midweek tilt to No. 15 Missouri State, as it hosts Big 12 foe Texas for a weekend series, April 17-19 at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (15-22, 3-6 Big 12) saw only two hits in Wednesday night’s loss, which proved to be a tough pill to swallow for the club who had previously led the Big 12 in hitting. One of those hits came from sophomore catcher Michael Tinsley who leads the pack with 10 hits in the last seven games, amassing a .385 average (10-for-26) in that span.
The Kansas pitching staff that struggled early in the season has started to iron out the wrinkles and is becoming more consistent with each game.
Ben Krauth (5-3) will be the first Kansas hurler to take the mound against Texas in Friday night’s contest after pitching six innings against Oklahoma State last weekend, where he recorded a season-high nine strikeouts. The game against OSU was the first loss Krauth had suffered in seven starts, however, and the lefty is looking to get back on the right track.
Senior righty Drew Morovick (3-3) is coming off an impressive win over Oklahoma State last Saturday after he pitched a season-high seven scoreless innings and matching a season-high five strikeouts in the win.
On the hill for the Jayhawks Sunday afternoon is freshman Blake Weiman who earned his first career victory last Sunday over the Cowboys in the series-clincher, after pitching five and one-third innings. Weiman has begun to find his groove over the last few weeks, giving him and the rest of the Kansas baseball club confidence.
Texas (19-17, 6-6 Big 12) will enter the weekend series coming off of a two game losing streak after also dropping its midweek game Tuesday against Sam Houston State.
Junior Ben Johnson leads the Longhorns with a .348 batting average, including topping the Big 12 charts with seven triples.
In the past two seasons, Kansas has won the weekend series over Texas and the Jayhawks look to continue that streak, as they have not lost a series to the Longhorns in Lawrence since the 2011 season.
On the mound for Texas Friday night will be righty Parker French (2-2) who owns a 2.15 ERA. The senior hurler is third in the conference with 19 career wins, coming in behind KU’s Morovick who tallies 20. He leads the Big 12 with a total of 303 career innings pitched.
Sophomore Kacy Clemens holds a 4.14 ERA and 3-2 record through 41 and one-third innings pitched will get the start for Texas on Saturday night after getting the win against Oklahoma last weekend. Clemens is the son of former MLB all-star Roger Clemens.
All three games against the Longhorns can be watched live on ESPN3 through WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the Watch ESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox Live to Gold Members and on Apple TV. As an added bonus, Saturday and Sunday’s contests can also be seen live throughout the state of Kansas and the Kansas City area on the Jayhawk Television Network. Steven Davis and former Kansas baseball player Scott Heitshusen will be calling the action for all three games. Visit KUAthletics.com/TV for more information on affiliates.
Alongside the television broadcast, the three games can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network through KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official Kansas Jayhawks mobile app with Shane Jackson and recent KU baseball alum Ka’iana Eldredge calling the action. Saturday’s game can also be heard on the airwaves on KJHK 90.7 FM.
Kansas baseball will be back at Hoglund Ballpark, Tuesday, April 21, to close out a 10-game homestand with Wichita State. The Jayhawks defeated the Shockers earlier in the season and are looking to take game two.
With weather looking to play a factor in this weekend’s games, fans of KU baseball should check the KUAthletics.com for official weather updates and start times, or follow on Twitter @KUBaseball.
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