Burnham, Cyr earn Big 12 Weekly honors
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Big 12 Conference named Kansas redshirt-junior right-handed pitcher Ryan Cyr the league’s Pitcher of the Week and freshman outfielder Casey Burnham the league’s Newcomer of the Week on Monday afternoon for their performances in the Jayhawks’ series against Texas over the weekend.
Cyr earned the honor for his Maddux-style performance on Saturday afternoon when he pitched a complete game shutout in the second game against the Longhorns (May 4). That victory secured the series win for Kansas and led to an eventual sweep of Texas.
The righty needed just 86 pitches to wrap up his third-straight and league-leading fourth complete game of the season.
In addition to shutting out the Texas offense, Cyr held the Longhorns to only two hits while striking out six batters.
“That is as impressive of a nine-inning complete game as I’ve seen in my 25 years as a head coach at the Division I level,” head coach Ritch Price said. “To shutout a team as good as Texas, a team that played in the College World Series a year ago, on 86 pitches – that was one of the greatest pitching performances as I’ve seen in my career.”
Cyr is the first Jayhawk to earn Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors this season and the first to do it since Ryan Zeferjahn was awarded the honor on March 5, 2018. It is also Cyr’s first time being awarded a weekly honor by the league.
Burnham was awarded Newcomer of the Week for his late-game heroics in the Jayhawks’ first game against the Longhorns. The freshman outfielder launched a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game for Kansas.
In addition to being his first career four-bagger, Burnham has started to develop late in the season. The Nebraska native has gone 5-for-10 (.500) in his last four games with a double, a triple, a home run, and two walks.
“When we signed him, we knew they didn’t play baseball at his high school,” said Price. “He was a point guard on his basketball team and ran track – both of his parents are Division I track athletes. He played summer baseball but we knew it was going to take some time for him to develop. Not only is he one of the fastest guys I’ve ever coached in my career, he’s also very strong for an undersized guy. It was awesome to watch. When he hit that baseball, and I saw him start halfway down that line and put a finger up, I knew he got all of it, and it was probably the greatest thrill of his life.”
Burnham is the first Jayhawk to earn Newcomer of the Week honors since James Cosentino was awarded the honor on May 8, 2017. It is also Burnham’s first weekly honor from the league.
With Cyr and Burnham earning weekly honors, it marks the first time in program history that Kansas has had two players earn Big 12 honors in the same week.
Kansas looks to use the past weekend against Texas for momentum as it tries to make a run late in the season.
“We are trying to be one of the teams that’s in contention,” said Price. “We had to win that series to keep that dream alive and now we control our own destiny, once again. We had two tough one-run losses at West Virginia, and this team has played really good now for seven-straight weeks. Our guys continue to grind and compete and we are getting better and peaking at the right time. If you come to the University of Kansas, you come here to compete and play in the Big 12 Conference, and that’s what it’s all about.”
The Jayhawks are back in action, Tuesday, May 7, as they play a doubleheader against Jackson State.