Kansas entered this weekend's series vs. Texas Tech with a 1-8 Big-12 record and in last place. Suddenly, everything clicked. The Jayhawks got three excellent starts out of Nick Czyz, Andres Esquibel and T.J. Walz. The defense turned tough plays and played errorless baseball. The players collected two out hits and drove the ball out of the park all weekend. KU simply overwhelmed the Red Raiders sweeping the series. One great weekend and KU not only got out of the conference basement, but climbed over Kansas State, Oklahoma and Tech while doing so. Monday finds Kansas in 7th place.
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The Road Ahead: Kansas has five more weekends of Big-12 play to look forward to. The Jayhawks need to stay in the top-8 of the conference in order to qualify for the Big-12 tournament May 21-25 in Oklahoma City. It looks like this year will be like most, 10 wins will get you a ticket to Bricktown. The Jayhawks need to scratch a minimum of six more wins out of those last five series. Every game will be important. Coming up:
This weekend at Nebraska. Very tough series. The Hawks stay on the road at Oklahoma State. Another tough gig. As long as KU wins two games between these two series they will have done okay.
May brings the Oklahoma Sooners to Lawrence (May 2-4) and KU can target this series for wins. The Hawks stay in Lawrence the next weekend, hosting an excellent Missouri team (May 9-11). During this homestand KU will need three or four wins.
The season ends with one home game vs. Kansas State (5/16) followed by two in Manhattan. The conference invitations may not be set until the final day of the season again so these three games vs. the Wildcats will be hard fought affairs.
KU's amazing weekend has put them into the driver's seat in terms of locking up a conference tournament invitation. The team needs to continue to execute and play spirited baseball, but suddenly the season is full of hope and excitement again.
This Week at the Hog: KU will play a pair of non-conference games this week at Hoglund.
- Tuesday 6PM - KU hosts NAIA regional foe Baker. Always a fun game as Baker brings a nice contingent of fans. The weather should be beautiful.
- Wednesday 6PM - Missouri State visits. The Bears are good. Missouri State is an NCAA bubble team trying to impress the selection committee. The forecast calls for an almost perfect night - low-70's and sunny. Wednesday is also 25-cent hotdog night. So that is good. Come on out for the games.