Texas Longhorns baseball (18-10) will kick off its series with the Kansas Jayhawks (10-14) tonight at 6 pm CST in Lawrence.
Sophomore righty Nolan Kingham will get the start for Texas. Kingham has emerged as Texas’ star, as the Las Vegas native has accumulated an NCAA 10th best 0.72 ERA in his 37.2 innings pitched. Last week against Kansas State, Kingham pitched a complete game shut out.
Ranked as the No. 159 team in the country by Boyd’s World, Kansas is statistically Texas’ weakest opponent left on the schedule. The Jayhawks currently claim only a .232 team batting average on the year, which ranks in the bottom 20 for all of Division 1. This is even with shortstop Matt McClaughlin riding a 10-game hitting streak and a .337 average.
Kansas’ pitching isn’t anything to write home about either. The Jayhawks have a team 4.35 ERA, good for only 120th in the nation. Kansas does have a good Friday starter in Sean Rackoski, a 6-7 redshirt junior who has posted a 2.87 ERA this season. In Kansas’ Big 12 opener against No.3 TCU, Rackoski only allowed one run to the hard hitting Horned Frogs in his 5.1 innings, but the Jayhawks ultimately fell 3-1.
Still, with a few solid pieces on the mound, Kansas has the ability to stay in games it has no business winning. The Jayhawks even stole a win against TCU in the closing game of the series with a 4-3 win.
The Longhorns can’t take the Jayhawks for granted, as Texas could use some cushion for its NCAA tournament resume. Though the 18-10 ‘Horns are in good shape now with some marquee wins, David Pierce’s team will host No. 23 Oklahoma next weekend, and No. 22 Baylor in Waco the following weekend.
You can catch the game on 104.9 the Horn. Hook ‘em!