Kansas travels to Air Force for midweek set
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team continues its road swing April 30 – May 1 when the Jayhawks travel to Air Force for a two-game midweek set at Falcon Field.
The Jayhawks (22-20) earned the series victory at Furman (April 26-28) and look to continue that momentum against the Falcons (19-23), who won their series this past weekend.
Fans can watch both games live on the Mountin West Network. The games will also be carried on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
ALL ABOUT SUNDAYS
One of the mantra’s around the Kansas baseball program is that it is all about Sundays. That is the day where you can either sweep, win or salvage a series and that sentiment holds true this season as the Jayhawks posted a 7-2 mark in nine games played on Sunday, including a 4-1 record in Big 12 play. In those nine contests, KU averages 7.6 runs per game compared to the 5.6 average by its opponents.
MULTI-HOME RUN GAMES
The Kansas baseball team features two players who have recorded more than one multi-home run game in a season. Junior catcher Jaxx Groshans (at USC Upstate [2/16] and vs. Texas Southern [2/22]) and junior shortstop Benjamin Sems (vs. Texas Southern [2/23] and at Furman [4/28]) each boast two, two home run games. The last time a Jayhawk team achieved this feat came in 2009 when Tony Thompson (3) and David Narodowski (2) had more than one multi-home run effort apiece.
THE DROUGHT IS OVER
Junior left fielder Brett Vosik broke a multi-year home run drought Friday (April 26) at Furman when he hit the Jayhawks’ second grand slam of the season. That home run hack was the first for the lefty bat in 745 days with his last four-bagger coming on April 11, 2017 at Wichita State.
Sophomore first baseman/designated hitter Nolan Metcalf has started the last six contests – two at designated hitter and four at first base – and leads the Jayhawk offense during that span. In six games, Metcalf is batting .444 (12-for-27) with two doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs and five runs scored. His best performance came in a career effort at Furman (April 26). Metcalf reached base in all six plate appearances and was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with four singles and a double.
Since a hitless effort at then-No. 11 Texas Tech (April 6), junior shortstop Benjamin Sems has been on a tear at the plate and has raised his batting average .064 points to its current .309 clip, good enough for second-best on the team. During the 12-game span, Sems has recorded multi-hit affairs seven times to increase his season total to 13. Sems also leads the Jayhawk regulars in the last 12 games with a .447 average (21-for-47) with seven doubles, two home runs, 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored. Only junior catcher Jaxx Groshans has more multi-hit games than Sems at 14.
Kansas has played 12 contests that have been decided by one run – 28.6 percent of its games played (42). KU has earned a victory in four of the 12 decisions.
LUCKY NUMBER SIX?
In the month of April, the Kansas bats have scored 91 runs, averaging 6.1 runs per contest. That average bodes well for the Jayhawks as they hold a record of 18-1 when they score six or more runs in an outing.
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
KU’s series win over Oklahoma State 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 next two games. 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 13). In his six innings of work, he faced 25 batters, striking out more than half of them.
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.
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 76 more victories than legendary head coach Floyd Temple (438).
Kansas returns home and to Big 12 action when the Jayhawks play host to the Texas Longhorns May 3-5 at Hoglund Ballpark. Friday’s contest will feature a pregame recognition of the 2009 NCAA Regional Team before Alumni Day on Saturday, where all former players will be honored.