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The Kansas Jayhawks completed a challenging weekend series against in-state rival, the Kansas State Wildcats, losing all three games. They now have an overall record of 17-18 and have a quick turnaround as they will play a two-game series against the Air Force Falcons. Since 2009 the Jayhawks have a winning record of 7-3 against the Falcons and are 3-1 inside Hoglund Ballpark.

The Jayhawk Offense Must Focus On Drawing Walks

The Kansas offense has been hitting the baseball well, seeing averages from Kodey Shojinaga, Chase Jans, Cole Elvis, and many others improve. The team's slugging percentage continues improving as the hitters are driving the baseball into the gaps and over the fence. One area the Jayhawks have struggled to improve is drawing walks. Currently, Kansas sits in 8th in the Big 12 with 154 walks compared to Kansas State, which has walked 259 times. The Jayhawks are tied for 157th overall in D1 baseball in walks compared to the first-place Kansas State Wildcats. Drawing walks will vastly improve this offense, especially when they are hitting the baseball all over the field.

Kansas is facing an Air Force pitching staff that lost their elite starter, Paul Skenes, to LSU. Skenes is one of the best pitchers in the country and decided to transfer following the 2022 season, leaving a significant hole in the Falcons' starting rotation. In 2023, Air Force has struggled on the mound posting a team-earned run average of 6.80 and a WHIP of 1.76. The Falcons give up runs, but they also allow free bases. The Air Force pitching staff has walked 149 batters which is an average of 4.15 per game, ranking them 80th in D1 baseball. Kansas should look to draw deep hitter counts, forcing the Air Force pitchers to make pitches. The Jayhawks can improve on drawing walks in this two-game series.

The Jayhawks Pitching Staff Must Lower Their Hits per Nine

The Kansas pitching staff is coming off a brutal weekend due to numerous pitchers being deployed from the bullpen. The Jayhawks pitchers are in a very challenging conference, and this previous weekend against the Wildcats showed that. Since this is a mid-week series, we will not likely see Colin Baumgartner nor Sam Ireland, but everyone else should be available. This staff has seen their hits per nine innings jump and now is at 9.7, ranking them 145th in D1 baseball. This statistic aids in a team ERA of 6.02 and 1.57 WHIP. The Jayhawks have allowed 326 hits, 67 doubles, 15 triples, and 36 home runs. Kansas will be challenged in this category as Air Force comes into this series ranked 22nd in D1 baseball with 381 hits.

The Falcons' offense is hitting .284/.379/.452, led by junior infielder Sam Kulasingam. Kulasingam, who was named to the Preseason Golden Spikes Watch List, is hitting .420/.524/.633. He has 63 hits, 19 doubles, two triples, and three home runs while driving in 30 RBIs. He is the team-leading scorer with 39 runs and leads the Falcons by a wide margin in walks with 30. If the Jayhawk pitching staff intends to win this series, reducing the amount of base hits they surrender in each game is a must.

Kansas and Air Force will play game one at 6:00 PM CST, with game two on Wednesday, April 19th, at 3:00 PM CST.