A few quick hits this morning about KU Baseball:
Last night KU defeated Baker 11-6 in front of a pretty nice sized crowd on a windy chilly night at Hoglund. The Hawks built a 9-0 lead and then cleared the benches in the fifth inning. Baker stormed back to close the lead to 9-6 in the top of the 7th. Matt Lane had trouble locating his pitches and was not well supported by the defense. The Wildcat rally kept the game interesting until the 9th. KU improves to 23-16 on the year. KU and Baker have been matching up on the baseball field since 1886, making the series one of the oldest in Kansas. KU holds a 62-9-1 edge now. This game has a bit of a special feel to it each year, probably equally due to the long history, the fact that many of the opposing players have known each other since high school, and the good number of Baker fans who make their way to Hogland each year for the contest.
The big news of the day came out of the Athletic's Department. Wally Marciel has been shut down for the rest of the season due to a torn ligament and will have Tommy John surgery. Marciel entered the year as the Jayhawk ace and pitched impressively for the first few weeks but then fell apart. I have to wonder if his decline correlates to the injury. Regardless, if I understand Tommy John surgery correctly, Wally may not be ready for action in February of 2009. We'll have to see how this plays out. Earlier this season it was announced that Andy Marks would take a medical redshirt due to a similar type of surgery he underwent last summer. Andy had hoped to return to the team in late March but his arm was just not ready. KU lost their top two starters for almost all of this year. Hopefully both will be back with the Hawks at full strength next season. I'm sure they know all Jayhawk nation is sending positive healing thoughts their way.
Tonight at 6PM the Hawks host Missouri State. This is a big game. The Bears are 22-11 and stand in 3rd place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Their RPI (#74) and record place them just outside the NCAA bubble for the post-season tournament, so they will be looking at tonight's game as a good opportunity to further their case. Kansas defeated Missouri State 11-7 in Springfield on March 12th, so revenge will be on their minds as well. The pitching match up will be Shaeffer Hall (2-1, 4.91) vs. Ryler Ryun (1-0, 4.02). The game will be broadcast on KLWN AM-1320, but if you are in the Lawrence area it is best to come on down to Hoglund to catch the action. It will be about 70 degrees and sunny for the first pitch. The wind will still be with us so bring a coat for the late innings. Also, it is 25-cent hotdog night, so no need to make dinner plans.
- Final note, KU signee Lee Ridenhour will pitch for Shawnee Mission West against Wichita State signee Jordan Cooper (Shawnee Heights) Friday at 12:30PM. If you are in the Overland Park area and free Friday afternoon this should be a good prep match-up and a glimpse of things to come.