KU travels to Springfield today for a single game vs. Missouri State. First pitch is at 7:00PM CST. KLWN will not broadcast the game but the enemy play-by-play can be heard via webcast. Here is the link for that broadcast site.
Missouri State has a pretty good baseball program. Currently they have an RPI of #75, which compares favorable with the ranking of our beloved Jayhawks (#141). KU trails in the all-time series 22-19. In their only meeting last year KU routed the Bears 19-7, but that was an anomaly. Overall SMU finished with a very respectable 33-22 record, including a 15-8 mark in the competitive Missouri Valley Conference. This should be a pretty good game. A win tonight would be meaningful to the Jayhawk's season.
Like KU, Missouri State has accumulated most of its wins vs. weaker opponents. The only good "RPI win" they have raked up was by taking one of three at (#16) Minnesota. Other series of note:
Won two of three vs. (#90) Middle Tennessee State
Like KU, won two of three vs. (#202) South Dakota State
Like KU, lost to our hereditary enemy, (#94) Oral Roberts.
KU: Andres Esquibel (4-1, 4.11 ERA, 30.2 Innings, 36 hits, 11/28 BB/K) vs.
MSU: Tim Clubb (2-0, 5.96, 25.2 Innings, 38 hits, 8/11 BB/K).
Esquibel has had a rough time of it lately pitching out of the bullpen. Hopefully he will regain his earlier effectiveness as a starter. If Esquible makes an early exist Marceil, Marcin and Hayakawa will probably pitch long relief. There is an off chance Nick Czyz might come out of the pen for a little work. I'm sure Price will not hold back tonight, KU needs every win they can get right now.
If you can make it to the game tonight, or to Missouri State's visit to Hoglund in on May 9th, there is a chance you will see LHP Ross Detwiler . If he appears it will only be in relief, he is the MSU ace and will be saved for weekend work. Detwiler is a first rounder, Baseball America has him ranked as the #13 pick overall, and the #8 college prospect nationally. Heck, he might even be in the Royals organization next year. Dayton More loves live arms and they will have plenty of opportunities to scout him.