Jayhawks resume Big 12 play by hosting Texas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team resumes Big 12 play when the Jayhawks host Texas for a three-game set at Hoglund Ballpark May 3-5.
KU (23-21, 5-10 Big 12) will honor its 2009 NCAA Regional Team prior to Friday night’s contest with the Longhorns (25-22, 6-11 Big 12). Saturday’s game will serve as Alumni Day, where the Jayhawks will honor all those former players who paved the way for today’s squad.
In addition, fans are encouraged to bring their four-legged friends on Friday for “Bark in the Park” or channel their inner Luke Skywalker for Star Wars Day on Saturday.
All three games of the series can be seen on the Jayhawk Television Network and ESPN+. A live audio broadcast will also be available on KLWN and online via KUAhletics.com/Radio.
GAME NO. 1,000
When Kansas head coach Ritch Price takes the field with his team on Friday, May 3, it will mark the 1,000th time the skipper has put on a Jayhawk uniform to lead his squad. That milestone comes the same season when Price reached the 500-win mark as KU’s coach with a win over Northern Illinois (March 2). Price is already the all-time winningest coach in program history with 77 more victories than legendary head coach Floyd Temple (438).
SIX RUNS OR MORE
Kansas averages 5.6 runs per game in 44 contests played in 2019. That number is just shy of the Jayhawks’ magic number of six. When KU scores six or more runs in a contest, it holds a record of 19-1. Conversely, when Kansas scores five or fewer runs, it holds a mark of 4-20.
ALL ABOUT SUNDAYS
One of the mantra’s around the Kansas baseball program is that it is all about Sundays. That is the day where you can either sweep, win or salvage a series and that sentiment holds true this season as the Jayhawks have posted a 7-2 mark in nine games played on Sunday, including a 4-1 record in Big 12 play. In those nine contests, KU averages 7.6 runs per game compared to the 5.6 average by its opponents.
Since a hitless effort at then-No. 11 Texas Tech (April 6), junior shortstop Benjamin Sems has been on a tear at the plate and has raised his batting average .065 points to its current .310 clip, good enough for second-best on the team. During the 14-game span, Sems has recorded multi-hit affairs seven times to increase his season total to 13. Sems also leads the Jayhawk regulars in the last 14 games with a .434 average (23-for-53) with seven doubles, two home runs, 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored. Only junior catcher Jaxx Groshans has more multi-hit games than Sems at 16.
MULTI-HOME RUN GAMES
The Kansas baseball team features two players who have recorded more than one multi-home run game in a season. Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans (at USC Upstate [2/16] and vs. Texas Southern [2/22]) and junior shortstop Benjamin Sems (vs. Texas Southern [2/23] and at Furman [4/28]) each boast two, two home run games. The last time a Jayhawk team achieved this feat came in 2009 when Tony Thompson (3) and David Narodowski (2) had more than one multi-home run effort apiece.
THE DROUGHT IS OVER
Junior left fielderBrett Vosik broke a multi-year home run drought Friday (April 26) at Furman when he hit the Jayhawks’ second grand slam of the season. That home run hack was the first for the lefty bat in 745 days with his last four-bagger coming on April 11, 2017 at Wichita State. In addition, Vosik hit a home run at Air Force (April 30), and now has two home runs in his last five games.
Kansas has played 13 contests that have been decided by one run – 29.5 percent of its games played (44). KU has earned a victory in four of the 13 decisions.
ZEFERJAHN TIES A CAREER HIGH IN STRIKEOUTS
Junior starting pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn punched out a career-high 14 batters against Oklahoma State (April 13). In his six innings of work, he faced 25 batters, striking out more than half of them.
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 29.
Kansas head coach Ritch Price is the most tenured skipper in the Big 12 Conference as he has coached in 419 league games – 257 more than any other current coach.
1. 419 – Ritch Price, Kansas (17th season)
2. 162 – Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (Seventh season)
3. 158 – Randy Maze, West Virginia (Seventh season)
4. 157 – Jim Schlossnagle, TCU (Seventh season)
157 – Josh Holliday, Oklahoma State (Seventh season)
Kansas continues its five-game homestand when the Jayhawks play host to Jackson State May 7-8 at Hoglund Ballpark. KU then hits the road for its final away series at TCU May 10-12 at Lupton Stadium.