⚾ Kansas Faces Texas State, Washington State, Kentucky in Karbach Round Rock Classic

Texas State (3-1), Washington State (3-1), Kentucky (4-0) vs. Kansas (2-2)
When Feb. 23-25
Where Round Rock, Texas // Dell Diamond
Watch ($) D1Baseball.com
Radio Jayhawk Sports Network
Live Stats Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Notes Kansas | Texas State | Kentucky | Big 12
Social Media @KUBaseball | @kubaseball | Facebook

 

Probable Starting Pitchers
Day Kansas Opponent
Fri. 6 p.m. CT RHP Reese Dutton (0-1, 9.00 ERA) RHP Austin Eaton (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sat. 12 p.m. CT RHP Dominic Voegele (0-0, 2.70 ERA) RHP Connor Wilford (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sun. 12 p.m. CT RHP Patrick Steitz (1-0, 0.00 ERA) RHP Mason Moore (1-0, 3.38 ERA)


ROUND ROCK, Texas –
Kansas Baseball will play in an early season tournament this weekend as the Jayhawks take on Texas State (Friday), Washington State (Saturday) and Kentucky (Sunday) in the Karbach Round Rock Classic at Dell Diamond. This weekend’s games will be streamed on D1Baseball.com and live audio will be available on the Jayhawk Sports Network.

The Jayhawks take a 2-2 record into their first appearance in the tournament. Back in 2001, Kansas participated in the Round Rock Express Baseball Tournament at Dell Diamond and went 3-0 against TCU, Texas State (formerly Southwest Texas State) and Charlotte.

Texas State (3-1) swept Youngstown State on opening weekend before dropping a midweek contest at TCU. Washington State (3-1) started its season with four games at Utah Tech where the Cougars scored 29 runs on the weekend. Kentucky (4-0) swept USC Upstate on the road the first weekend and then defeated Morehead State at home on Tuesday.

WHATABURGER, WHAT A BLAST
Kansas hit 10 home runs in four games at Whataburger Field over the last week. The 10 home runs lead the Big 12 and are tied for the eighth most in the country. On Tuesday night against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Jayhawks hit four home runs courtesy of Collier Cranford, Kodey Shojinaga, Lenny Ashby and Jake English.

Shojinaga and English both had multi-homer games against Illinois-Chicago and they each hit a grand slam. They have three home runs apiece this season, which is tied for the most in the conference.

OUR SHO TIME
Infielder Kodey Shojinaga was named the Big 12 Co-Player of the Week on Monday after a strong start to the season. He hit .462/.533/1.077 (6-for-13), with two doubles, two home runs, five RBIs, four runs scored and a 1.610 OPS in three games against Illinois-Chicago this past weekend.

In the season opener on Friday, Shojinaga went 4-for-6 with two home runs, a double, five RBIs and two runs scored. Shojinaga’s four hits, two home runs and five RBIs were all the most in a Kansas season opener since at least 2003. He hit the first home run of the season for the Jayhawks in 2023 and now in 2024.

Following the award on Monday, Shojinaga went 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs, two runs and a walk on Tuesday night against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Shojinaga currently ranks first in total bases (20), is tied for most hits (9) and home runs (3), is second in RBI (8) and third in slugging percentage (1.111) in the Big 12.

The Big 12 weekly honor was the first of his career and he is the 19th player in Kansas history to win the award. The hot start is a continuation from Shojinaga’s freshman campaign, where he hit .378 over 53 games, while driving in 32 and posting six home runs. His .378 average last year set a school freshman record, and he was even better in Big 12 Conference play with a .418 average.

AT THE PLATE AND BEHIND THE PLATE
Catcher Jake English has gotten off to a strong start in 2024 after hitting 10 home runs in 2023, leading the team in walks and throwing out 34.0 percent of runners trying to steal a base.

English leads the Big 12 with a 1.444 slugging percentage and his three home runs are tied for the most in the league. He is hitting .444 through the first four games of the season. English has also thrown out two runners trying to steal in three games that he has caught this year.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Kansas Coach Dan Fitzgerald and his program have received praise on the national level following the head coach’s first season at the helm. Below are comments from leading college baseball outlets D1Baseball and Baseball America.

“What Fitz and his coaching staff are building in Lawrence is mighty impressive. Fitz earned a strong reputation as an elite recruiter before his time at KU, and he has only continued that process while at KU. Jon Coyne also does an excellent job of evaluating and hitting the JUCO ranks hard. With the team the Jayhawks should have in 2024, the future is obviously very bright for that program.” – Kendall Rogers, D1Baseball

“I’m excited about this season of Kansas baseball. Coming off a solid first season under Dan Fitzgerald, the Jayhawks look like a team on the rise in a very competitive Big 12. With co-Big 12 freshman of the year Kodey Shojinaga and Chase Jans returning in the lineup and a bevy of talented newcomers joining the mix, this team is more than ready to take another step forward in 2024.” – Teddy Cahill, Baseball America

SERIES HISTORY
Kansas and Texas State have met twice in program history with both matchups coming when the school was referred to as Southwest Texas State. The first meeting in 1995 was at Texas State when the Bobcats beat the Jayhawks 8-6. In 2001, the teams played at Dell Diamond and Kansas took down Texas State 9-3.

Kansas and Washington State have played only once in baseball and that contest came in 2015 in Surprise, Arizona, for the Big 12/Pac-12 Challenge. Washington State defeated Kansas 8-5.

Kansas and Kentucky faced off twice in the 2014 Louisville Regional, the only time the teams have played. The schools split the two games with Kansas winning the first by a score of 10-6 before dropping the second contest against the Wildcats 8-6.

UP NEXT
Kansas will come home for an eight-game homestand at Hoglund Ballpark, beginning with the home opener on March 1 against Texas Southern. During the homestand, Kansas will also begin conference play against TCU on March 8.