Baylor Baseball Playing With a Swagger In Search of Second Big 12 Series Win

Baylor

Baylor Athletics Press Release:

WACO, Texas – Baylor will continue its road trip with its second Big 12 series away from home when it travels to Lawrence, Kansas, to take on Kansas for a three-game set beginning on Friday, April 16 at 6 p.m.

The Bears (22-11, 3-6 Big 12) are 57-21 all-time against the Jayhawks (20-13, 2-7 Big 12) with the last three-game series coming on March 30-31, 2019 in Lawrence. Baylor swept the Saturday doubleheader before falling in the Sunday finale. BU also leads the series in Lawrence with a 21-12 record, while head coach Steve Rodriguez is 9-4 against KU.

SERIES INFO
Date: April 16-18 (Fri.-Sun.)
Game Times: 6 p.m./2 p.m./12 p.m.
Site: Lawrence, Kan. / Hoglund Park (2,500)
TV: Big 12 Now (ESPN+)
Radio: ESPN 1660/92.3 FM
• Talent: Derek Smith (pxp)
Live Stats: KUAthletics.com
Twitter Updates: @BaylorBaseball
Series History: BU leads, 57-21

Streak: KU, W1

                        First Meeting: 1957

                        Last Meeting: March 30-31, 2019 (BU won the series)

                        Under Rodriguez: 9-4
 

PITCHING MATCHUP

Fri. April 16 – LHP Tyler Thomas (3-2, 1.97 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Cyr (3-4, 5.47 ERA)

Sat. April 17 – RHP Blake Helton (2-2, 4.22 ERA) vs. RHP Cole Larsen (4-2, 1.94 ERA)

Sun. April 18 – RHP Hayden Kettler (3-2, 4.41 ERA) vs. LHP Eli Davis (3-4, 6.18 ERA)


STORY LINES

• BU has won 9 of its last 10 games, the Baylor pitching staff has a 2.45 ERA over those games, while holding opponents to a .194 batting average.

• As a team, Baylor is near or at the top of the Big 12 and among the top 10 nationally in several different categories. The Bears are first in the Big 12 in hits with 332 (5th in the nation) and 2nd in batting average with a .299 average (22nd nationally). BU is first in the league with five shutouts (3rd nationally) and second in the Big 12 in earned run average with a 3.72 ERA.

• Baylor has one of the most reliable bullpens in the country, with the combination of Boyd, Logan Freeman, Ryan Leckich, Jacob Ashkinos, Hambleton Oliver and Jimmy Winston. Boyd and Leckich are tops in the conference in appearances and 17th nationally with 16 appearances in 2021. Freeman is 4th in the Big 12 with 15 appearances, while Oliver is 7th with 14. Winston leads the team with five wins (3rd in Big 12), while Ashkinos has a perfect 3-0 record. Each is sporting an impressive ERA, led by Boyd (1.02), Freeman (2.25), Winston (2.55), Leckich (3.57), Oliver (3.63) and Ashkinos (3.86).

• Luke Boyd has picked up four saves in the Bears last five games. Boyd did not allow a run, hit or walk in his four combined appearances while striking out six. On the season, the Ojai, Calif., native has a Big 12-best eight saves which is also good enough for 4th in the nation. Boyd has an impressive 1.02 ERA in 16 appearances, while converting all eight of his save attempts. In addition, he has struck out 26 batters and walked just nine in 17.2 innings of work.

• After hitting .406 last season in the leadoff spot, in 2021 Jared McKenzie has a .366 average. McKenzie is 6th in the Big 12 in batting average and ranks 2nd in the conference in hits (52) and 3rd nationally, in addition, he is 1st in the nation in runs scored (43) and 4th in the Big 12 in total bases (86). He also has seven home runs (10th in Big 12) this season after not hitting any in 2020.

To stay up to date throughout the season on all things Baylor baseball, follow the team on Facebook (Baylor Baseball), Twitter (@BaylorBaseball) and Instagram (@BaylorBaseball).

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