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Kansas Hosts K-State in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown This Weekend

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By: The University of Kansas Athletics

 

*The start time of Friday’s game vs. K-State was adjusted to a 3 p.m. CT first pitch due to the potential for inclement weather on Friday evening.

LAWRENCE, Kan. (kuathletics.com) – Kansas will be seeking its third straight Big 12 series win this weekend as Kansas State comes to town for the Dillons Sunflower Showdown. The three-game series between the rivals will begin on Friday at Hoglund Ballpark with a 3 p.m. CT first pitch. The start time was adjusted due to the potential for inclement weather on Friday evening.

Fans can purchase tickets by contacting the Kansas ticket office at 785-864-3141 or by visiting the ticketing page here.

Kansas (17-15, 5-4 Big 12) is undefeated at Hoglund Ballpark this season, boasting a record of 7-0. KU is only one of seven schools that has not lost a game at home this season. The only school that is undefeated with more wins is Virginia who sits at 22-0. The 7-0 start at Hoglund Ballpark is the best since KU began the 2009 home campaign with a record of 14-0.

The Jayhawks have also won nine of their last 10 games overall. That stretch includes back-to-back Big 12 series wins for the first time since 2017. Kansas swept Baylor at home and then won two out of three in Morgantown against West Virginia last weekend. The series win in Morgantown marked the first conference series win on the road since 2018 and only the second series win all-time at West Virginia.

KU is currently sitting in fourth place in the Big 12 standings with a 5-4 conference record. The 5-4 mark is the best start in Big 12 play for Kansas since the 2014 conference season when KU also started 5-4. The five victories this season in conference play is already more than the entire 2022 conference season (4).

Senior Cole Elvis was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday this week. The Vacaville, California, native slashed .353/.476/.882 (6-for-17) with three home runs, six RBIs, four runs and four walks in four games last week. He is hitting .389/.463/.917 (14-for-36) with four doubles, five home runs, 14 RBIs, 11 runs and five walks in nine Big 12 games this season.

Known for his leadership on and off the field, Elvis hit a home run in each of the three games at West Virginia, marking the first time in his career he has homered in three consecutive games. Elvis has also hit a home run in each of the last five conference games, making him the only player in the league to homer in five straight conference games this season.

Freshman Kodey Shojinaga has moved into the starting second base spot and his bat has remained consistent all season. Shojinaga is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak which has raised his average from .311 to .375. He is slashing .442/.478/.674 with four double, two home runs, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored and three walks during the 10-game stretch. Shojinaga has a .441 batting average in nine conference games this season.

Pitching this weekend for Kansas will be graduate Collin Baumgartner on Friday and junior Sam Ireland on Saturday. The duo has started the first two games of every weekend series this season. Baumgartner is 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA, while Ireland is 4-3 with a 5.06 ERA. Ireland earned his team-high fourth win of the season last weekend at West Virginia.

Kansas and K-State have met 375 times, with KU holding a 193-181-1 advantage. Last season, Kansas picked up a 5-3 comeback victory against K-State on Friday night. Jayhawks lefty Daniel Hegarty threw 8.0 innings and allowed only three runs. Kansas scored a run in the eighth and two in the ninth to complete the comeback.

Kansas State (21-14, 6-6 Big 12) is tied for fifth place in the Big 12 standings entering play this weekend. The Wildcats swept Oklahoma earlier this season in conference play and won one game against Baylor, West Virginia and Texas. Cash Rugely is leading K-State offensively with a .340 batting average with seven doubles and five home runs. Owen Boerema has posted a 4-1 record with a 4.09 ERA on the mound for the Wildcats and will pitch on Friday.

PROMOTIONS
Friday – The first 250 fans in attendance will receive a Kansas Baseball metal wall sign.

Saturday – Kansas welcomes back several baseball alumni, including the 1993 College World Series team who are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their postseason run. The first 250 fans in attendance will receive a baseball bat keychain.

Sunday – Dillons Sunflower Showdown stickers will be given to fans upon entry, while supplies last.

Every Sunday is also Fun Day Sunday where all kids are invited to run the bases and play catch on the field after the conclusion of every Sunday home game.

To view the complete 2023 promotions schedule, click here.

TICKETS
Fans can purchase tickets for the season by contacting the Kansas ticket office at 785-864-3141 or by visiting the ticketing page here. Students will receive free admission this weekend and all season long by presenting their KU student ID at the ticket booth.

HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG
All three games this weekend will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with Brian Hanni (play-by-play) and Kevin Wheeler (analyst) on the call.

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