⚾ Kansas to Host Sacramento State for Two-Game Midweek Series
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks (22-18, 4-11 Big 12) host Sacramento State (24-12, 16-8 WAC) for two-midweek games at Hoglund Ballpark April 27-28. The series opening game is scheduled for Tuesday at 3 p.m., with the final game between the two schools is Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
The Jayhawks last played a three-game series at then-No. 8 TCU, beating the Horned Frogs 2-1 in the series finale behind stellar pitching performances by Eli Davis, Daniel Hegarty and Jonah Ulane.
Skyler Messinger continues to find success at the plate and led the Jayhawks offensively against TCU, finishing with a .545 average (6-for-11) with six hits. Messinger ranks second on the team with a .336 average this season and boasts 16 doubles, which ranks fifth in the NCAA and second in the Big 12. Maui Ahuna rounds out the trio of Tavian Josbenberger (.354) and Messinger with a .300 or greater average. Ahuna has started 33 games this season and has a .311 average. Against the Horned Frogs, he was the only Jayhawks to record multiple RBI, while Dylan Ditzenberger logged his first home run of the season.
In Sunday’s series finale victory over TCU, Davis tallied a career-high 10 strikeouts through five innings pitched. Davis was relieved by Hegarty, who tossed three scoreless innings. Ulane recorded his sixth save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth.
Ryan Cyr and Sam Brady are Kansas’ probable starters against the Hornets. Both pitched two innings against the Horned Frogs.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: SACRAMENTO STATE
Sacramento State (24-12, 16-8 WAC) last played a four-game series against Northern Colorado, splitting the series. The Hornets are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Matt Smith leads Sacramento State at the plate, boasting a .360 average in 100 plate appearances. Smith has a team-high 26 RBI and is second on the team with Trevor Doyle for 57 total bases. Smith is also second on the team with five home runs. He recently set new career records at Sacramento State for hits and RBI. Smith recorded his 245th career hit and 143rd career RBI against Northern Colorado Sunday.
Doyle is the Hornets team leader with 23 walks and 42 hits. He is one of five that have played in 20 or more games this season and holds a .300-or-better average.
As a team Sacramento State holds a 4.19 ERA and are led on the mound by Jack Zalasky, who holds a 1.40 ERA in 15 appearances this season.
The Jayhawks are 20-0 after holding a lead through seven innings. The Jayhawks improved that mark on Sunday, April 25, entering the final two innings with a one-run lead over No. 8 TCU. Daniel Hegarty pitched three scoreless innings of relief, while Jonah Ulane closed the door in the ninth.
550 WINS AT KANSAS
Sunday’s 2-1 victory over then-No. 8 TCU was Ritch Price’s 550th career win at Kansas.
Kansas hosts North Dakota State April 30-May 2 for a three-game series at Hoglund Ballpark. All three games are slated to be on the Big 12 Now on ESPN+.