Jayhawks trek to West Virginia for Big 12 showdown
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team heads back out on the road for a three-game Big 12 weekend matchup at West Virginia, April 19-21 at Monongalia County Ballpark.
Kansas (19-16, 4-8 Big 12) is coming off its first Big 12 series win of the season and looks to carry that momentum into Morgantown, West Virginia against a Mountaineer (22-13, 6-6 Big 12) team who has won five of their last seven contests, including back-to-back conference series wins.
Fans can watch all the action live on Mountaineer.tv or tune into the live audio broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio or KJHK 90.7 FM with Brian Hanni and Nick Springer calling the action.
DITZENBERGER WALKS IT OFF TWICE
Redshirt-freshman Dylan Ditzenberger walked it off twice for the Jayhawks in their first Big 12 series win against Oklahoma State (April 13-14). In the second game of the series Ditzenberger singled to send in the winning run and doubled to win it in the series finale.
COME BACK KINGS
This is the second time in two seasons the Jayhawks have lost a Friday opener giving up more than 20 runs and coming back to win the series. The last time came against West Virginia (May 4-6, 2018) where KU lost Friday, 21-3, but won Saturday (13-3) and Sunday (5-2) to complete the series victory.
ZEFERJAHN TIES A CAREER HIGH IN STRIKEOUTS
Junior starting pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn punched out a career-high 14 batters against Oklahoma State (April 13th). In his six innings of work, he faced 25 batters striking out more than half of them.
SIX GAME HIT-STREAK FOR DITZENBERGER
Redshirt-freshman Dylan Ditzenberger is currently on a six-game hitting streak. The utility man and Texas native has six RBIs and seven hits in that span, and it ranks as the longest active streak on the team.
HIT STREAK FOR VOSIK
Sophomore Brett Vosik is currently on a five-game hitting streak. The outfielder is 8-for-21 (.380) with three doubles in that span.
Redshirt-junior pitcher Blake Goldsberry was lights-out against Oklahoma State. The righty sat down seven of the eight batters he faced and allowed only one hit in his two and 1/3 innings of scoreless relief pitching.
SEMS ON FIRE
Junior shortstop Benjamin Sems has gone 14-for-27 (.519) in his last seven games with three walks, three doubles, and three stolen bases.
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.
SALVAGING THE SERIES
With Sunday’s win, Kansas halted a seven-game winless streak in Lubbock. The Jayhawks took the final game of last year’s series at Hoglund Ballpark, though, by a score of 17-3 on April 8.
HOLDING THE LEAD
The Kansas bullpen preserves the lead late in games, as the Jayhawks are 16-1 when leading after seven innings, and 17-0 when leading after eight. Redshirt-sophomore Jonah Ulane has an ERA of 1.54 when pitching in the ninth inning. 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 3.12. He has struck out 13 opponents and allowed six earned runs in 17 and 1/3 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-24th in the NCAA. In addition, Groshans ranks t-3rd among catchers nationally in home runs trailing Kyle McCann of Georgia Tech (14) and Adley Rutschman of Oregon State (12).
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 416 league games – 260 more than any other current coach.
- 416: Ritch Price, Kansas (17th season)
- 156: Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech (Seventh season)
- 151: Jim Schlossnagle, TCU (Seventh Season)
- 152: Randy Maze, West Virginia (Seventh Season)
- 151: 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 73 more victories than legendary head coach Floyd Temple (438).
PRICE NAMES 2019 CAPTAINS
Head coach Ritch Price announced that James Cosentino, Ryan Cyr and Rudy Karre will represent the 2019 squad as captains. The trio is each holding the honor of captain for the first time in their careers and represents what the Kansas baseball program is all about.
Kansas faces Creighton at Hoglund Ballpark in midweek action Wednesday, April 24, before taking advantage of a bye week at Furman (April 26-28).