⚾️ Jayhawks Set to Play Oakland in Four-Game Series
|Oakland (0-3) vs. Kansas (2-1)|
|Where||Cleburne, Texas // The Depot at Cleburne Station|
|Radio||Jayhawk Sports Network|
|Live Stats||Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday|
|Social Media||@KUBaseball | @kubaseball | Facebook|
|Probable Starting Pitchers|
|Fri. 3 p.m. CT||RHP Collin Baumgartner (1-0, 1.80 ERA)||LHP Travis Densmore (0-0, 9.00 ERA)|
|Sat. 2 p.m. CT||RHP Sam Ireland (0-1, 4.76 ERA)||RHP Brett Hagen (0-0, 1.93 ERA)|
|Sun. 1 p.m. CT||RHP Hunter Cranton (0-0, 2.25 ERA)||RHP Sean Fekete (0-0, 3.38 ERA)|
|Mon. 1 p.m. CT||LHP Ethan Bradford (2022: 0-0. 4.76 ERA – Nebraska)||RHP Bryce Konitzer (0-0, 9.00 ERA)|
CLEBURNE, Texas – The second weekend of the 2023 Kansas baseball season will get started on Friday at 3 p.m. CT at The Depot at Cleburne Station. Kansas will take on Oakland in a series that will stretch from Friday to Monday.
Last weekend, KU won its opening series by beating Valparaiso in two out of three games. Graduate pitcher Collin Baumgartner helped Kansas get off to a strong start to the season on Friday. Baumgartner got the nod to start opening day and allowed only one run over five innings and did not walk a batter while striking out six.
To close out the series and secure a series win, junior pitcher Stone Hewlett pitched three scoreless frames. Hewlett entered the game immediately after the Jayhawks built a two-run lead. He kept Valparaiso’s offense quiet and earned his second career save.
WHAT STOOD OUT LAST WEEKEND
• Defensively, Kansas only committed one error in 108 chances in Corpus Christi against Valparaiso. The Jayhawks lead the Big 12 with a .991 fielding percentage, which also ranks 24th in the nation.
• Sophomore pitcher and Tennessee transfer Gavin Brasosky earned his first career save after pitching four scoreless innings out of the bullpen in Friday’s opener against Valparaiso. He recorded a career-high six strikeouts, matching his total from all of last season combined.
• Eighteen Jayhawks made their debut in a Kansas uniform.
Kansas won its first game of the season and the first of the Dan Fitzgerald era on Feb. 17 against Valparaiso. The combination of graduate pitcher Collin Baumgartner and Brasosky struck out 12 batters. The 5-1 victory against the Beacons improved Kansas to 20-7 in season openers since joining the Big 12 Conference before the 1997 season, including a 6-1 mark in the last seven seasons.
Following the game, Fitzgerald was presented with the lineup card and baseball from the final out. Fans can view the moment by clicking here.
After dropping last Saturday’s game, Kansas trailed 4-2 in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game against Valparaiso before eventually going on to a 6-4 victory. Fitzgerald has emphasized to his group since the fall that adversity will hit and that they will be forced to respond. Coming from behind for a win on Sunday is one of the first examples of the resiliency, mindset and culture that Fitzgerald is instilling within the baseball program.
“They’re a good team [Oakland]. Last year, they put together a 30-win season. That’s the thing I’ve told our guys is that it doesn’t really matter who you are playing. Everyone is good, everyone recruits hard and everyone is developing. We just have to do a good job of playing the baseball. It sounds so coach speak, but it really is true. If we can just play the situation, play the count and play against the ball and not get caught up in whether it’s Oakland, Valparaiso, someone in the Big 12 or SEC. It really is just a faceless opponent and a situation you have to work through.” – Dan Fitzgerald
GETTING ON BASE
Redshirt sophomore infielder and UCF transfer Michael Brooks and redshirt junior infielder and LSU transfer Collier Cranford each hit safely in all three games. Junior outfielder and Cowley Community College transfer Janson Reeder also reached base safely in all three games of the series.
Freshman and Honolulu, Hawaii, native Kodey Shojinaga made his debut as a Jayhawk last weekend. Shojinaga made his first career start at second base in Sunday’s game. In his first at-bat on Sunday, Shojinaga took the first pitch he saw and blasted it out to left field for his first career home run. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter on Saturday and singled in his first career at-bat.
Kansas and Oakland are meeting for the first time in baseball since the 2004 season. The Jayhawks hold a 4-0 all-time record against the Golden Grizzlies after a four-game series sweep against Oakland in 2004. KU outscored Oakland 47-11 in the series at Hoglund Ballpark.
Oakland is currently 0-3 this season after getting swept by Lamar University opening weekend in three one-run contests.
DID YOU KNOW?
The series against Oakland is the only team that Kansas will play four times this season.
BAGS ARE STAYING PACKED
Kansas is going to a neutral site for the second straight weekend. The Jayhawks play 22 of their first 23 games away from Hoglund Ballpark.
HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
Live audio will be available on the Jayhawk Sports Network on KUAthletics.com and the Kansas Jayhawks app. There will not be a video stream for the four games.
Live updates will also be provided on the team’s official Twitter page @KUBaseball.
Kansas will head to Nashville, Tennessee, to face Belmont in a three-game series. The three-game set is schedule to begin on Friday, March 3 at 4 p.m. CT.