Jayhawks' midweek tilt features Missouri State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team returns to Hoglund Ballpark as the Jayhawks play host to the Missouri State Bears Tuesday, April 9 at 6 p.m.
Kansas (16-15) is coming off a Sunday victory at then-No. 11 Texas Tech and looks to use that momentum against a Missouri State (11-20) team that earned a series win over Southern Illinois this past weekend.
Fans can watch the action on ESPN+ or tune into the live audio broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio with Nick Springer calling the action.
WALKING IN LUBBOCK
Showing a growing patience at the plate, the Jayhawks walked 21 times in their series with Texas Tech. Catcher Jaxx Groshans and second baseman James Cosentino combined for seven walks in Sunday’s matchup. Kansas’ 13 walks as a team on Sunday were the second-most in the Ritch Price era.
WHY SO CYR-IOUS?
Redshirt-junior Ryan Cyr posted his fifth quality start of the season on Friday night against Texas Tech. With his three earned runs in six innings pitched, Cyr paced the Jayhawks into contention late in the game.
JAXX IN THE BOX
Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans continues his elite prowess in the batter’s box this season. Groshans has 36.2 runs created – a stat that considers each run that is scored, breaks it down and proportionally assigns responsibility to each player that was involved in scoring it. Furthermore, if Groshans were allowed to take every single plate appearance for the Jayhawks, he would average 13.03 runs per game.
DOWN WITH THE VOSIK-NESS
Since moving into the leadoff spot on March 31 against Baylor, junior left fielder Brett Vosik has produced. He has reached base in nine of his 21 plate appearances, scoring four runs during that span.
SALVAGING THE SERIES
With Sunday’s win, Kansas halted a seven-game winless streak in Lubbock. The Jayhawks took the first game of last year’s series at Hoglund Ballpark, though, by a score of 17-3 on April 8.
SEMS HEATING UP
Junior shortstop Benjamin Sems saw the ball well against Texas Tech. His 5-for-12 series performance raised his batting average by 20 points. In Lubbock, he drove in five runs and stole two bases.
HOLDING THE LEAD
The Kansas bullpen preserves the lead late in games, as the Jayhawks are 14-1 when leading after seven innings, and 16-0 when leading after eight. Redshirt-sophomore Jonah Ulane has an ERA of 1.69 when pitching in the ninth inning. Additionally, he has yet to allow a run in one and 1/3 innings of extra-inning baseball. Redshirt-junior Nathan Barry has been a key contributor in his matchup role as well. Facing the vast majority of his opponents in the sixth inning or later, Barry maintains an ERA of 2.13. He has struck out 12 opponents and allowed three earned runs in 12 and 2/3 innings of work.
Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans hit his 11th bomb of the season against Wichita State (April 2). Those 11 dingers ranks Groshans first in the Big 12 Conference and t-13th in the NCAA. In addition, Groshans ranks second among catchers nationally in home runs trailing only Kyle McCann of Georgia Tech (13).
D1BASEBALL WEEK 6 POWER RANKING: CATCHER
Junior Jaxx Groshans ranks sixth out of 30 on D1Baseball.com’s Week 6 Power Ranking for catchers and is the No. 2 backstop in the Big 12 Conference. Groshans ranks second in the NCAA among catchers in home runs (10) and RBIs (32).
The Kansas baseball team spent 31 of the first 42 days of the season on the road after weather forced two home series to be moved to Texas. The season opened on Feb. 15 and the Jayhawks played their first home game Saturday, March 30 against Baylor. In March alone, Kansas spent 22 of 27 days away from Lawrence.
LONGEST ROAD SPAN SINCE 1978
The home opener against Baylor Saturday, March 30 (DH) is the latest the Jayhawks have opened up Hoglund Ballpark since the 1978 season when they played Benedictine College on March 29th.
RACKING UP THE MILES
That long road span forced the Jayhawks to travel a total of 12,680 miles round trip the first six weeks of the season. To put that into perspective, the United States is 2,680 miles wide while Earth is 24,901 miles around at the Equator. Kansas could have traveled coast-to-coast almost five times (4.73) or about halfway around the world.
Kansas head coach Ritch Price is the most tenured skipper in the Big 12 Conference as he has coached in 413 league games – 260 more than any other current coach.
- 413 – Ritch Price, Kansas (17th season)
- 153 – Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (Seventh season)
- 151 – Jim Schlossnagle, TCU (Seventh Season)
- 149 – Randy Maze, West Virginia (Seventh Season)
- 148 – Josh Holliday, Oklahoma State (Seventh Season)
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
With the sweep over Northern Illinois (March 1-2), head coach Ritch Price reached the 500-win mark as the Jayhawks’ skipper. Price is already the all-time winningest coach in program history with 69 more victories than legendary head coach Floyd Temple (438).
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After a three-home run performance opening weekend, junior catcher Jaxx Groshans was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week (Feb. 18). Groshans reached base seven times in 13 plate appearances, including four hits and three walks during the first three games of the Jayhawks’ season-opening series at USC Upstate. Groshans finished with a league-best three homers and six RBIs in those three contests, while batting .400 (4-for-10). In addition, Groshans scored the second-most runs in the conference on the weekend at four. In the Monday finale, Groshans batted 1-for-1 with a single and a RBI while drawing a career-high three walks. He is the first Kansas Big 12 Player of the Week since 2013 when Michael Suiter earned the same distinction (March 11).
Kansas continues Big 12 play when it hosts Oklahoma State for a three-game set at Hoglund Ballpark April 12-14.