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KU Baseball Notes: Ritch Price article and happenings throughout the Big-12

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Shawn Shroyer of the Daily Kansan published a nice biographical story about Head Coach Ritch Price this week.  Well worth reading.  The few opportunities I have had to talk with Coach Price he has always impressed me as a very decent man who works tirelessly for the team.  One part of Price's makeup that I like in particular is his ability to place the team's successes and failures within a larger perspective.  I think Shroyer's writing brings out this quality.  I'll copy a bit of the story below but click on the above link to for the complete version:

In Price's first season, Kansas compiled a 35-28 record, which would be the first of four straight 30-win seasons. Through three seasons, though, Kansas had yet to win a game in the Big 12 Championship and it missed the conference tournament altogether in 2004. But Price received vindication in 2006.

With a roster stocked from his old stomping grounds of California -- including Ritchie, a senior, and Ryne, a sophomore -- Price guided the Jayhawks to a 43-25 season. It was Kansas' best record since 1993 and the Jayhawks were one game away from their first winning season against Big 12 competition. Still, Kansas got the last laugh against conference foes when it swept the Big 12 Championship to clinch its first NCAA Regional berth since 1994.

"The sense of accomplishment that day, I can't even tell you what that felt like," Price said. "That's the greatest day I've ever spent on the field. To take over a program that had had five straight losing seasons and to have people tell me, `You can't do it there, you can't win at Kansas. They've never won at Kansas,' to be on national TV, to be in that Triple-A ballpark, to have beaten four consecutive top-25 teams, and to watch our players dog pile on that field was the greatest day I ever spent in coaching."

As we wait for the big home series against Oklahoma this weekend, a few other bits of interesting news from around the Big-12.

Texas pitcher Kenn Kasparek threw a no-hitter against Texas State on Tuesday night.  Kasparek missed the perfect game by one batter - he hit the lead-off man in the seventh inning.  

Wichita State found the Big-12 not to their liking this week.  On Tuesday the Shockers dropped a 3-2 decision at home to the Kansas State Wildcats.  On Wednesday the Oklahoma Sooners beat Wichita 12-11 in extra innings.  After watching the Shockers play I know how good they are.  These were big wins by two lower ranked Big-12 teams, boosting the conference overall.  The Big-12 moved in front of the SEC in overall conference RPI rankings this week.  As of this week the big four are ranked: ACC - Pac10 - Big 12 - SEC.

Oklahoma is a particularly difficult team to understand.  Last week they lost at home to NAIA opponent Southern Nazarene.  Seven days later they defeat #14 Wichita State.  I just hope the bad version of the Sooner show up this weekend in Lawrence.