⚾ Kansas, No. 24 Oklahoma State Square Off in Lawrence
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks return to Big 12 action against Oklahoma State May 7-9 at Hoglund Ballpark. The series opener is slated for Friday at 6 p.m., before the Saturday matchup at 2 p.m. KU and OSU close out the series Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Jayhawks (25-21, 4-11 Big 12) played six nonconference games in the previous two weeks, splitting a pair of games against Sacramento State before a three-game set against North Dakota State. KU last played Wednesday, beating Missouri State 3-1 in the Jayhawks’ final home nonconference game of the season.
In the 3-1 victory over Missouri State, Steve Washilewski earned the start, pitching a solid four innings with three strikeouts. Kansas tied it up after two and captured the lead after Skyler Messinger hit one of two doubles on the day to score Maui Ahuna from second. Messinger has 18 doubles on the season and ranks first in the Big 12 and third in the NCAA.
The Jayhawks tallied an insurance run in the fifth with Ahuna scoring his second run of the day. Ryan Cyr relieved Stone Hewlett in the seventh and pitched out of a two-runner, no-out jam. Cyr also pitched a scoreless eighth to earn the victory, while Jonah Ulane tallied his eighth save of the year after a scoreless ninth.
Despite not extending his hit streak against Missouri State, Tavian Josenberger is the Jayhawks team leader with a .333 average, and is hitting .404 in Big 12 play. The freshman centerfielder is second on the team with 25 RBI and a .442 slugging percentage.
Cole Larsen, Eli Davis and Everhett Hazelwood are all slated to earn a start against the Cowboys with both Larsen and Hazelwood making their first career starts against OSU.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: OKLAHOMA STATE
Oklahoma State (25-14-1, 8-10 Big 12) enters the weekend series after dropping two of three to Oklahoma in the Bedlam series. OSU walked away with an 8-7 victory in Norman on May 2.
As a team the Cowboys are hitting .270 (359-for-1332) with 55 home runs. Oklahoma State is led at the plate by Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who is its team leader in home runs (15), RBI (52), total bases (121), slugging percentage (.761), hits (59), doubles (13) and batting average (.371). He is the only one to have started in all 40 games this season.
On the mound, OSU has a team 4.41 ERA in 352.2 innings pitched. The Cowboys have 433 strikeouts compared to 198 walks. Justin Campbell, Saturday’s starter and Bryce Osmond, Sunday’s starter, each will take the mound against the Jayhawks with Friday’s starter to be announced. The duo of Campbell and Osmond have appeared in 19 games with 17 starts, and hold a 6-5 record.
COWBOY TURNED JAYHAWK
Kansas associate head coach Ryan Graves was a pitcher for Oklahoma State, graduating in 1996. Graves completed his final season in Stillwater with a 10-2 record in 20 appearances with 18 starts. He tallied 104 strikeouts in 113.2 innings of work. His 113.2 innings are tied for 13th best in OSU program history, while his 104 strikeouts are 14th best in a season. Graves was named to the 1996 All-Big Eight Tournament Team as a starting pitcher.
OKLAHOMA STATE IN LAWRENCE
In the last two meetings between OSU and Kansas at Hoglund Ballpark, the Jayhawks have won both series, 2-1. Kansas last hosted Oklahoma State in 2019, winning the final two games.
Kansas concludes home Big 12 play with the Dillons Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State May 14-16 at Hoglund Ballpark.