Tharp, Kuntz Continue Hot Streaks As Jayhawks Fall

Baseball Mugs

By Blake Schuster With the season beginning to slip away Kansas coach Ritch Price needed to spark his team.  The Jayhawks were 10-12 on March 24th and had just dropped two games to Big 12 rival Baylor.  With a lineup that was lagging at the plate Price dropped sophomore Tucker Tharp to the nine hole, looking to put some speed at the back end and hopefully get Tharp some hittable pitches. But the move did more than just ignite Tharp, junior Kevin Kuntz — who batted leadoff — was starting to get on base more as well.  In their next six games, Tharp batted .350 and Kuntz hit .260 right behind him. The progress left…

Jayhawks Can’t Overcome Errors

James Stanfield had two errors in the 8th inning

By Blake Schuster After falling to Texas A&M 8-0 in the weekend series opener Kansas would like a redo.  The Jayhawks beat themselves out of the game with a season high four errors, leaving a few Kansas players asking for mulligans. But no blunder was more costly then a botched double play at the top of the fifth inning.  Kansas sophomore Frank Duncan had found his rhythm. With five strikeouts, three hits and a run given up through four innings, the righty from California was coasting through the #2 Aggies lineup. As the fifth inning started, however, Troy Stein singled back up the middle to leadoff, and Duncan found himself in a hole with the…

Jayhawks Fall In 16 Innings

Tanner Poppe went five innings giving up two hits on Tuesday

By Blake Schuster 16 innings later, the bleeding still hasn’t stopped. What started as a mid-week hiccup — a 7-3 loss to Creighton on April 3rd  — snowballed into a five-game losing streak for the Jayhawks, where Kansas have been outscored 29-12.  It could have stopped in Stillwater, Okla. last Friday when the Jayhawks held a 6-4 lead over Oklahoma State — until a three-run ninth inning propelled the Cowboys to victory — and it could have stopped Tuesday night when the Jayhawks held a one-run lead over the Wichita State Shockers, again in the ninth inning before losing 6-4 seven innings later. With Tanner Poppe on the mound, with two outs, the Shockers were…

Pitching Woes Continue As Jayhawks Fall 12-9

Tanner Poppe

By Blake Schuster After the North Dakota Fighting Sioux got outscored in their first four games 62-3 at Wichita State, it would have seemed that the Jayhawks would have no problem rolling over them in a two-game, mid-week series — it would have seemed. Kansas split the series with North Dakota after a 12-9 defeat today in front of 849 spectators at Hoglund Ballpark, and according to Kansas head coach Ritch Price, Kansas didn’t need more than nine runs to secure a Jayhawk victory. “It shouldn’t have [taken more than nine],” Price said. “We walked five in the inning, they scored five in; obviously way too many free passes.” It wasn’t just that Kansas was…

Jayhawks Take Home Opener, 7-4

Zac Elgie

By Blake Schuster As Nelly’s song “Here Comes the Boom” blasted through the Hoglund ballpark speakers, senior third baseman Zac Elgie strolled up to the plate in the bottom of the first, with the bases loaded, and no outs. The song wasn’t merely to pump up Elgie in the Jayhawks home opener; it was a warning to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux. After letting his first pitch — a ball — sail by without flinching, Elgie dug in and ripped a 1-0 fastball that hung around the windy left field sky before eventually flying out of the park. “I was coming into the game thinking no one was going to hit a home run,” Elgie…

Jayhawks Roughed Up In UTSA Classic

Frank Duncan

By Blake Schuster A week ago the Jayhawks were cruising at 32,000 feet, riding a 5-2 record, celebrating on a Southwest flight from Mississippi to Kansas by helping the stewards’ pass out snacks to fellow travelers. This weekend, they scurried home from the UTSA Classic looking to recover from a three-game shelling that dropped Kansas to 5-5. Sophomore pitcher Frank Duncan was torn apart in a five-hit, four-run first inning on Friday night against the UTSA Roadrunners, putting Kansas in a hole to start out the tournament. Duncan recovered to throw five more scoreless innings, but it was clear UTSA figured out his fastball. “They were on time with his fastball,” Kansas coach Ritch Price…

Poppe Moves Into Closing Role

Tanner Poppe

By Blake Schuster As a freshman and native from Girard, Kan., Tanner Poppe started nine games with a 5.25 ERA. As a sophomore, he improved, making 13 starts with a 3.66 ERA. Currently, as a one Kansas’ more reliable arms, he finds himself in the bullpen as the Jayhawk’s closer — as far from starting as he can get. The reason behind the switch isn’t hard to figure out. In 2011, Kansas gave up 46 third inning runs, and 42 eighth inning runs. With starters getting beat up early, and not enough bullpen arms to last — as well as the graduation of former closer Colton Murray — coach Ritch Price made the call. He…

Jayhawks Learn To Beat The Breaks

James Stanfield

By Blake Schuster The definition of weakness depends on the perception of the flaw. Take the Kansas baseball team for instance. When senior third baseman Zac Elgie, and senior catcher James Stanfield were asked about their lineup’s struggles with hitting breaking balls, their answers were identical. Both said the season was too young to believe that it was a problem — they’d come around.

Jayhawks Split Weekend Series

Third baseman Zac Elgie

By Blake Schuster Riding their best start since the 2007 season, the Kansas Jayhawks (5-2) flocked south to Mississippi for the weekend where they would ultimately be handed their first and second loss of the season against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Kansas Falters in Ninth, Fall to Bulldogs 1-0

BASEBALLIMAGE

The Kansas Jayhawks dropped a well-pitched game to Mississippi State, 1-0, as KU ends its 4-0 run to open the season.