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KU sweeps Chicago State, improves to 27-28

KU swept its four game series vs. Chicago State this weekend without too much concern.  Three of the four games ended early due to the 10-run rule.  Here are the box scores:

Friday: 12-1
Saturday Game 1: 10-0
Saturday Game 2: 8-2
Sunday: 15-4

The four wins do boost KU's record to 27-28 (24-28 vs NCAA Div. I)  There were many impressive individual performances and several Jayhawks will emerge from this weekend with some nice gains in their personal stat lines.  A few to focus on:

John Allman: 11-6-4-4
Kyle Murphy: 11-4-5-2
Erik Morrison: 10-7-4-7
Buck Afenir: 8-4-4-7
Ryne Price: 10-3-4-6
Preston Land: 9-2-3-3

Wally Marciel: 5 scoreless innings and a win.
Nick Czyz: 5 scoreless innings and a win.

Andy Marks's 90 strikeouts this season have set a new KU sophomore record. Marks improved to 5-6 on the year with a win this afternoon. (Photo courtesy of KUathletics.com)

KU outscored the Cougars 45-7.  It just was not that competitive on the field.

I did have a nice talk with the father of Chicago State infielder Trenton Sanders during the game this afternoon.  Mr. Sanders and his wife told me that they both were enjoying their time in Lawrence and hoped to make a return visit next year.  He confirmed the horror stories I had been gathering about his son's team.  The CSU coach resigned in mid-season.  Their home field is a borrowed high school diamond.  They have no team website due to lack of institutional support (CSU was not willing to pay someone to design or maintain the site).  The team will only play six home games all year. This road work must have been a tremendous burden for the CSU players to bear.  Their schedule would force them to be away from campus for about 40-50 days this semester.  The Cougars could only bring 21 players to Lawrence for the four game series, and that was a considerable increase over smaller traveling squads they had used earlier this season.  Brian Hanni reported on KLWN last weekend that for their two game series vs. Kansas State the Cougars had only been able to bring 13 players.  At one point this year CSU played nine games in nine days, on the road, with a reduced roster.  Tip of the cap to anyone on that team who made it through the year.  They must have been motivated by personal pride and love of the game, because they sure were not getting much in the way of university support or glory.  Well, things can only get better for the Cougars and there do seem to be a few players on the roster who have realized talent.   Creel Thomas and Martese Barner stood out this weekend.

By staying idle this weekend KU actually improved its conference standing to 9th place.  The Jayhawks are a half game out of the magic eight spot, trailing Baylor and Oklahoma.

The battle for the final tournament seeds

  1. Nebraska 12-12 (travels to KU this weekend)
  2. Kansas State 10-13 (owns tie breaker over KU)
  3. Baylor 9-15 (owns tie breaker over KU)
  4. Oklahoma 9-15 (KU owns tie breaker)
    - - - Line of Death - - -
  5. Kansas 8-15 (hosts Nebraska this weekend)
  6. Texas Tech 7-16 (owns tie breaker over KU)
With five teams competing for the final three slots in the tournament the final week of Big-12 play should be a pretty tense affair. This breakdown makes it easy to see how much the two game sweep by Kansas State last weekend really hurt KU's chances. Had KU just held on to the Friday game they would have replaced Oklahoma in the #8 slot. KU put Oklahoma in quite a tail spin a few weeks ago. Since Kansas took two of three that weekend the Sooners have lost five of their last six conference games. They looked like a lock for the tournament at 8-9, but now they will have to fight to back into the field.