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The Upper Deck

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The role of general managers in sports

Baseball no longer America’s past time

Mike Trout and the Angels will try to play their way into the wild card conversation tonight against the Ranger.
(Credit: AP Photo/LM Otero)

It’s as American as hot dogs, apple pie and….the NFL?

Missed Opportunites Highlight Kansas loss

James Stanfield went 3-5 in the Jayhawks loss

By Blake Schuster Twice in Kansas’ 8-1 loss to Oklahoma the Jayhawks had the Sooners in damage control — and both times the Jayhawks came up empty. In the bottom of the second inning, Kansas was able to load the bases with two outs. The Jayhawk lineup had been shaky all season — batting .248 on the year — but the top half of the order has been productive at getting men on base, and leadoff batter Tucker Tharp was strolling up to the plate. Tharp wasted little time in the batters box, ripping the first pitch he faced and sending it straight to the shortstop who promptly tossed the ball to first. Inning over….

Jayhawks lose game and Elgie

Zac Elgie left in the 7th Inning with finger injury

By Blake Schuster Down 2-0 at the top of the fourth inning to the Oklahoma Sooners, the Jayhawks offense was looking for a spark. Unfortunately lightening wasn’t the spark they were hoping for. Instead Kansas’ weekend series opener was disrupted by a 98-minute rain delay. Kansas ended up falling to the Sooners 4-1 in Frank Duncan’s first start since tossing a complete game victory in Austin, Texas last Friday. Duncan got off to a rocky start giving up two runs on two hits while issuing two walks in the top of first. “That’s been my Achilles’ heel,” Duncan said of giving up early runs, yet the freshman responded by retiring 12 of the next 13…

Bats Come Alive In Jayhawk Win

James Stanfield went 3-5 with 1 RBI against the Aggies

By Blake Schuster As each Jayhawk raised their arms in victory the weight of an eight-game losing streak fell off their backs. The 16-inning loss, the double-digit spankings and the shutouts were officially behind the Kansas clubhouse — all because of a comeback. In the top of the first inning of the Jayhawks 5-3 win over the #2 Aggies, Thomas Taylor walked consecutive batters with two outs before giving up a single through the middle that scored Tyler Naquin from second base. But instead of unraveling, as the Jayhawks have done of late when mistakes lead to runs, Taylor regrouped to strikeout Brandon Wood. The momentum from the bounce back stuck with Kansas at the…

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…