A few KU records to keep your eye on this weekend:
Single season homerun record. The current record is 18 set by Travis Metcalf in 2004. Tony Thompson enters the weekend with 17.
Total bases in a season. The current record is 161 set in 1996 by Josh Kliner. Tony Thompson has an outside chance of breaking this record over the weekend. He has 146 as of today.
Career appearances by a pitcher. The current record is 128 set by Don Czyz from 2003-2006. Paul Smyth enters the weekend with 126.
And finally, the most important record of them all, most Big-12 conference wins in a season. The current record is 13 set in 2006. KU enters the weekend with a 13-11 record, so as long as KU wins one game this weekend the team will set a new standard.
Buck Afenir was named one of 13 semi-finalists for the Johnny Bench Award which is awarded each year to the top collegiate catcher. Afenir is having an excellent year at the plate, hitting .339/.390/.528 with 7 home runs and 53 RBIs. Buck has also stepped up his defensive game significantly this year.
Six other Jayhawks also received honors yesterday. Nick Faunce, Paul Smyth, Casey Lytle and T.J. Walz were all named to the First Team Academic All-Big-12 team. Shaeffer Hall and Tony Thompson were named to the second team.
Terry Vandrovec of the Argus Leader published a profile of former Jayhawk great Ritchie Price and his first year as head coach of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Ritchie still holds the KU record for most career games played (255), most at-bats (1,022), most runs (204) and most hits (312). At 24 he is the youngest head coach in NCAA D-I baseball. Ritchie has done quite a bit in 2009:
What's more, the team lost one of its top starting pitchers (Jared Koch) and its closer (Kirby Morsching) because of injury. Half of the regular position players had no NCAA Division I experience prior to this spring. The Jackrabbits also played all of their first 27 games on the road and mostly against quality programs, winning just five. Yet, they are 16-5 since and 14-9 in Summit League play. They need just one win in a four game home series against Southern Utah (25-19, 14-4) this week to clinch a spot in the four-team conference tournament in their first year of eligibility.
Hat tip to SDakotaJayhawk for the heads up here.