Friday, October 28, 2016

Series Preview: Kansas Jayhawks at West Virginia Mountaineers

Kyle Davis (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst)

Kyle Davis
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst)

GRANVILLE, W.Va– The Kansas Jayhawks will travel to Monongalia County Ballpark to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in a three game series April 24-26.

West Virginia (23-15, 5-7 Big 12) is in sixth place, and the Jayhawks (17-24, 4-8 Big 12) are in last place in the Big 12, but just one game out of sixth.

The biggest concern for me is that people are going to look at them and say they are in last place in the league, and think they’re not that good,” coach Randy Mazey said. “That’s not the case at all. I’ve had some people tell me they are the best team they’ve played this year. They just had some bad luck on the mound early in the season. Now they’re pitching better and when it matches up with their hitting, this team is super dangerous.”

The Mountaineers are coming off an ugly 3-2 win over Marshall on Tuesday. The Thundering herd held the Mountaineers to just two hits, which came off solo shots from senior shortstop Taylor Munden and freshman second baseman Kyle Davis.

Kansas finished a 10-game home stand with an 11-6 victory over Wichita State Tuesday night.

Davis leads the Mountaineers with a .365 batting average and leads the Big-12 with 20 multi-hit games.

Senior Taylor Munden takes a swing against Marshall  (Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst)

Senior Taylor Munden takes a swing against Marshall
(Photo Credit: Kelsie VanderWijst)

Munden leads West Virginia and the Big 12 with nine home runs. He has a .280 batting average with 24 RBI this season.

As a team, Kansas is hitting .281 with 76 doubles and 25 home runs. Senior outfielders Dakota Smith and Blair Beck lead the Jayhawks with six home runs apiece.

The Jayhawks are led by senior outfielder Connor McKay. The 6-foot-3 McKay has an impressive .349 batting average with four home runs and 17 RBI. Sophomore Michael Tinsley is right behind McKay with a .345 average. The 6-foot catcher has 14 doubles, three homers and drove in 34 RBI.

West Virginia will send freshman BJ Myers (2-2, 3.42 ERA) to the mound on Friday. The right-hander is coming off an impressive outing against Oklahoma last week, where he allowed two runs on four hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts and four walks in 7.2 innings.

Kansas will counter on Friday with junior left-hander Ben Krauth (5-4, 4.09 ERA). The southpaw is coming off arguably his best performance as a Jayhawk.  Krauth pitched nine innings striking out nine batters against Texas last Friday.

Senior right-hander Drew Morovick (3-3, 4.83 ERA) will go for Kansas on Saturday. The Jayhawks have not announced a starter for Sunday’s game.

Southpaw Ross Vance (6-2, 3.15 ERA) will start on Saturday for the Mountaineers and sophomore right-hander Chad Donato (5-4, 2.69 ERA) will go on Sunday.

West Virginia and Kansas have faced off eight times since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 and the series is tied 4-4.  West Virginia swept Kansas in 2013 and the Jayhawks turned the tables and swept the Mountaineers last year.

The two met again in Oklahoma City in the Big 12 Championship tournament in 2013 and Kansas got revenge with a 7-2 victory to eliminate West Virginia on their way to the title game, but the Mountaineers won the rematch in the tournament in 2014.

Friday’s opener will begin at 6 p.m., Saturday’s game is set for 4 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is at 1 p.m.



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