The Jayhawks host Chicago State University this weekend for a four game series. Last night KU won the first game 12-1. The two teams will play a double header today (first pitch at 1PM) and the final game on Sunday at 11AM.
Chicago State is one of the least competitive teams in the NCAA. The loss last night dropped their record to 3-43. Their coach already pulled a Tony Pena and fled the scene of the crime earlier this month so the Cougars traveled to Lawrence under interim leadership. I also understand they are having trouble fielding a full roster. When CSU traveled to Manhattan earlier to face Kansas State they only brought 13 players with them for a two game series.
Yesterday's game was over petty quickly. KU scored six runs in each of the first two innings, and then rode their 12-0 lead to a final score of 12-1. Price emptied his bench at the beginning of the third inning. CSU accepted a run-rule defeat after six and a half innings. The only bright spots on the day for the Cougars were effective relief work from Martese Barner, who kept the Jayhawks off the board for his 4.1 innings of work (albeit against the KU second team) and two nice outfield catches by Thomas Creal in left field.
Preston Land broke a long drought by hitting his fourth homerun of the season in the second inning, a line shot to left. Ryne Price also hit a homerun in the inning giving him 10 long balls on the year and moving him further up the KU all-time list.
- Travis Metcalf - 29
- Ryan Baty - 28
- Matt Gundelfinger - 27
- Jeff Niemeier - 26
- Josh Igou - 25
- Darryl Monroe - 24
- Ryne Price - 24 (current player)
- Jared Schweitzer - 23
- Jeff Berblinger - 23
- Erik Morrison - 23 (current player)
* Other KU Baseball notes *
Shawn Shroyer, who has produced some pretty good coverage of the KU baseball team alongside Alissa Bauer at The University Daily Kansan this year, gave out his season awards on Thursday.
Player of the Year: - Kyle Murphy
Pitcher of the Year: Andy Marks
Newcomer of the Year: Andres Esquibel
Freshman of the Year: Robby Price
Most Improved Player: Kyle Murphy
For some reason this story was not archived on the Kansan website, which is a shame. I'll host my own awards ceremony after the fat lady sings, but I can't take strong issue with four of Shroyer's five picks.
As long as we are on the subject of the Daily Kansan, here is a nice profile of senior Ryotaro Hayakawa by Alissa Bauer. Hayakawa was put to use as a translator earlier this year when Daisuke Matsuzaka made his MLB debut in Kansas City.
Ritchie Price to coach at South Dakota State - Ritchie Price was a radio guest a few weeks ago during the Oklahoma series. I gathered from what I heard that Ritchie has accepted an assistant coaching position at South Dakota State. He will assume his duties next season. I think this is good news. Ritchie was one of the best players to ever come through KU but his pro future was always in doubt. It seemed to me that he had already realized his full potential while in Lawrence. He was named the best fielder in the Mets minor league system last season, but his bat was probably going to hold him back from high promotion. Nothing I have ever seen or heard from Ritchie makes me think he will be anything less than an excellent coach. I wouldn't be surprised to see him landing a head coaching position before he is thirty.