RCW: Inside Baseball 3.37

Get a quick look inside your favorite Kansas Jayhawk programs each week with Rock Chalk Weekly’s Inside Sports pages. Notable statistics, quick hits and the top social media posts get every Jayhawk fan up-to-speed and ready for another week of thrilling competition.
The Jayhawks saw senior closer Stephen Villines break the Kansas all-time career saves mark on April 2 against Texas and go on to set the new bar at 40 saves – one shy of the Big 12 Conference record (41) set by current Major Leaguer Huston Street.

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  • After the 125th season in Kansas history, the Jayhawks hold an all-time record of 1,885-1,812-18 (.510).
  • For the ninth time in the 15-year tenure of head coach Ritch Price, Kansas eclipsed the 30-win mark finishing with a record of 30-28.
  • Price finished his 15th season at the helm of the program as KU’s all-time winningest coach with a clip of 465-430-3 (.520), and counting.
  • When Kansas’ season ended in the 2017 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, the Jayhawks had played the 14th-toughest schedule in the NCAA.
  • Thirty of KU’s 58 games were played against top-50 RPI teams in the country with 25 of those contests against top-25 RPI opponents – the most in the nation.
  • The Jayhawks’ 20 home wins marked the fourth-most in the Price era and the fourth time since 2003 that the squad posted 20-plus wins at Hoglund Ballpark.
  • In just a year’s time with virtually the same pitching staff, KU improved its team ERA 1.84 points from 6.27 in 2016 to 4.43 in 2017, ranking the squad fifth in the Big 12 Conference.
  • Kansas won seven three-plus-game series on the season – four in Big 12 play – marking the most won in a season since 2014 when the Jayhawks claimed victories in eight series of three or more games.
  • Senior closer Stephen Villines was named to the All-Big 12 First Team, marking the fifth-straight year a Jayhawk earned that recognition dating back to 2013.
  • Villines finished his career one save away from tying the Big 12 career saves record held by Major Leaguer Huston Street (Texas, 2002-04) at 41 as he holds the top spot in the KU record books at 40.
  • Freshman second baseman James Cosentino picked up All-Big 12 Second Team honors and was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
  • In addition, Cosentino earned a nod on the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America Team.
  • Sophomores Jackson Goddard and Rudy Karre, and juniors Matt McLaughlin, Taylor Turski and Blake Weiman were named to the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention team.
  • Weiman (8th round – Pittsburgh), Villines (10th round – New York Mets) and McLaughlin (12th round – Colorado) were all selected in the 2017 MLB Draft held earlier in June.
  • With the draft out of the way, Kansas will return three of its four starting pitchers and seven of its eight position players who started 35-plus games in 2017.