RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.30 (Baseball)
— Kansas Baseball (@KUBaseball) April 8, 2018
A post shared by Kansas Baseball (@kubaseball) on Apr 8, 2018 at 10:52am PDT
After being taken apart two days in a row by one of the top offenses in the country, the dean of Big 12 baseball, Kansas head coach Ritch Price, sat his team down prior to Sunday’s finale against No. 5 Texas Tech (April 8) and delivered a powerful message that inspired his squad to a 17-3 victory through some of the toughest conditions seen at Hoglund Ballpark.
“Baseball is the toughest sport to play in the world,” Price told his team during that pregame speech. “If you bat .300, you make $10 million dollars in the Major Leagues. That means you fail 70 percent of the time. The game beats you up, but if you are tough enough mentally, you can overcome it. Today is a new day. That is the great thing about baseball. You start the next day with a clean slate.”
The 40-year veteran skipper knew just what to say to motivate his squad to forget the first two games of the series where the Jayhawks were outscored 25-6 and turned it around on the Red Raiders for a 17-3 thumping, to earn his 700th-career win at the Division I level.
That win didn’t come easy. Kansas battled through rain, sleet, snow and wind chills in the mid-20s to hand Texas Tech its worst loss of the season and worst since April 24, 2016 (L, 17-1 vs. Texas).
With that win, Price joined the ranks of 15 other active Power Five coaches who have reached that same number and is 16 wins from eclipsing the 500-win mark in a Jayhawk uniform (484).
“It was a great win that our team needed really badly,” Price said. “I am more excited about that win over Texas Tech than I am about No. 700. It’s a great team win for the Jayhawks.”
That great team win showed an explosive offense that scored a season high in runs, the most KU has ever scored against Texas Tech and the most in conference play since April 30, 2010 at Oklahoma State. More importantly, it delivered the most tenured coach in the Big 12 Conference an iconic win, one that will stick with him forever.
“Nobody knows how hard this game is more than I do,” Price said. “I tell our guys, ‘You play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.’ To be able to coach at this great university this long – I just want to thank the players who have played for me and the assistant coaches who have been with me.”
Price continues the hunt for No. 500 at KU when the Jayhawks host an unranked-TCU squad April 13-15, at Holgund Ballpark.