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The Kansas Jayhawks are coming off a significant weekend series win against the West Virginia Mountaineers and have also won seven out of their last eight games. The Jayhawks are getting hot and will now play a two-game series against Texas Southern in the Buck O'Neil Classic.

The Jayhawk Hitters Need to Continue Raising Their On-Base Percentage

The Jayhawk hitters have begun to elevate their statistics, specifically their on-base percentage. On-base percentage is important for hitters as it represents how many times a batter reaches base per plate appearance. Currently, the Jayhawks have a .362 OBP, which ranks them 8th in the Big 12. In all of D1 baseball, they are ranked 209th. Why is this statistic so important? The Kansas hitters have also raised their slugging percentage. The Jayhawks are ranked 7th in the Big 12 and 99th in D1 baseball. When batters like Jackson Klein, Collier Cranford, and Mike Koszewski get on base, it allows for hitters like Cole Elvis, Jake English, and Kody Shojinaga to drive them in, whether it is a double, triple, or home run.

Texas Southern plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and has a record of 22-11. Their pitching staff has a team-earned run average of 5.21 and a 1.486 WHIP. They have given up 150 earned runs with 8.6 hits per nine innings and 4.8 walks per nine. Texas Southern will likely put a mid-week starter on the mound for both games giving the Jayhawks an advantage. Kansas can continue to raise its on-base percentage and also add to its slugging percentage.

The Jayhawks’ Pitching Staff Needs to Continue Avoiding Walking Opposing Hitters

The Kansas Jayhawks' pitching staff has been tremendous when it comes to allowing free bases to opposing hitters. Ideally, the Kansas pitching staff is making their opponents earn their runs. Currently, Kansas is ranked 8th in the Big 12 in walks allowed. They have a 4.2 walk-per-nine ratio which ranks them 90th in D1 baseball. Collin Baumgartner, the ace of the Jayhawks' pitching staff, has a 2.3, the least walks per nine.

The Texas Southern hitters look to walk and have 162 on the season, which ties them for 65th in D1 baseball. The team also has been hit by 59 pitches, which ranks them 18th overall in D1 baseball. If this team can draw a walk or get hit by a pitch, they will to get on base. Gabe Vasquez leads Texas Southern with 26 walks in 2023, and their leading hitter Daalen Adderly leads the team with 10 HBP. If the Jayhawks' pitching staff can avoid these two stats they will have the upper hand on their opponent.

Kansas and Texas Southern will wear alternate jerseys honoring the Negro Leagues as these two teams will square off at Legeneds Field in Kansas City, Kansas. President of the Negro Leagues, Bob Kendrick, will throw out the honorary first pitch which is set for 6:00 PM CST. Game two will take place at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence, Kansas with a start time of 3:00 PM CST.