RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.27 (Baseball)
— Kansas Baseball (@KUBaseball) March 17, 2018
A post shared by Kansas Baseball (@kubaseball) on Mar 16, 2018 at 4:30pm PDT
The Kansas baseball team resides outside the city limits of Lawrence, Kansas, for the seventh-consecutive day amidst an 11-day road trip that began on Thursday, March 15, and won’t end until late into the night on Sunday, March 25. The Jayhawks’ schedule showcases eight games during that 11-day span with six coming against Big 12 Conference foes.
Thanks to Spring Break happening for KU students the week of March 19-23, head coach Ritch Price scheduled the trip to include direct flights from one opponent to the next, without returning to Kansas. It is one of the longest stretches of consecutive days on the road in his tenure as skipper.
“In order to be a really good baseball program, you have to win on the road,” Price said. “The only way to win on the road is to experience it. It is completely different than playing at home. The umpiring is different, the environments are different and the preparation is different.”
That preparation starts the day the squad leaves and ends with the final out of the road stretch. With so many games in a short span of time, Price believes the routine each day has to be precise in order to maximize the performance of his players.
“To me, this has been a huge growing experience for our team,” Price said. “Guys need to travel, they need to get up, they need to go to the weight room, they need to go to early outs, and with no school, it is an opportunity for it to be 100 percent baseball. If you prepare properly each day, you get better. My goal is for us to get better.”
The goal may be to get better on the field, but Price wants to also see his team grow closer together, something he had in the back of his mind when he scheduled this long road trip.
“I think being on the road this long gives your players a chance to bond,” Price said. “It is a really good learning experience, especially for your young freshmen in the program.”
That learning experience started in Kansas with a 701-mile trip to Austin, Texas, continued with a 1,006-mile trek to Phoenix, Arizona, then ends with a 1,044-mile rendezvous in Waco, Texas, all before a 600-mile return trip to Lawrence. In total, the Jayhawks will have traveled 3,351 miles.
Kansas wrapped up action at Grand Canyon Wednesday afternoon (March 21), and concludes the 11-day trip with a three-game series at Baylor (March 23-25).