Kansas hosts Chicago State in a doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 3PM. The series was originally to be one game on Tuesday evening and one Wednesday afternoon but was changed to the doubleheader in anticipation of rain on Wednesday. Cameron Selik (1-1, 4.58 ERA) and Brett Bollman (4-0, 1.98) will get the starts for KU.
These will be the last two home games for KU until the final weekend of the season. Friday Kansas starts a grueling 8 game road trip - three at Oklahoma, three at Missouri and single games at Wichita State and Kansas State. Being a bubble team for the NCAA tournament KU will have to aim for a winning record on that trip, which will NOT be an easy task. KU is 5-9 on the road this year and there is not a light opponent to be found in that list.
This will be the third consecutive year that Chicago State has visited Kansas for a series. The Cougars are one of the lowest rated teams, RPI wise, in NCAA D-I baseball (293 out of 301). That is more or less the same position they were in last year, an 8-42 season.
After the jump a quick preview of Chicago State.
As a program Chicago State has a lot working against them. They had hoped to play 10 of their 48 scheduled games at home this year but were ill-treated by the Chicago weather and it looks like they will only have three games in front of a home crowd all year now. Even calling the games played in Chicago home games is a bit of a misnomer. CSU does not have their own stadium, they play home contests on a borrowed high school field in Chicago's south side. It looks like CSU carries a roster of 23 players, twelve below the NCAA limit. Just the fact that this team competes every year is a testement to the players and coaches.
CSU hits .245/.335/.307 as a team and scores an average of 3.2 runs a game. They give up an average of 12.6. Senior Patrick Hernandez (#27) is having a good final year at CSU. He is hitting .368/.398/.481. Austin McDowell (Jr. #10) is swinging the bat fairly well (.324/.385/.378). Michael Carpen (#2, Soph) leads the team with a .413 OBP but lacks power. Senior Catcher Matt Haug (#18) leads the team with two home runs and 19 RBIs. The team does not have any pitchers who stand out. Senior William Lawrence delivered a very strong start at Ball State on March 15th to earn CSU their first win of the seaons (3-0) but has not followed up on the game to put together a good overall year. The Cougars do have one very impressive win on the year, a 6-4 victory at Pepperdine on March 21st. Freshman James Tucker recorded a complete game victory that day however has failed to win in his other 11 starts. Tucker (1-9, 11.90) is the team workhorse. He leads in innings (62) and strikeouts (29) but has taken a pounding, giving up 45 extra base hits and allowing a .399 batting average to his opponents. Full CSU stats found here.