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The Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Creighton Blue Jays 3-1 on Wednesday in the second home game of the season. The Jayhawks will fast forward as they prepare to welcome the Baylor Bears into Hoglund ballpark for a three-game weekend series.

The Kansas Jayhawks’ Pitching Staff Must Lower Their Statistics

The Kansas Jayhawks are heading into a perfect weekend with the weather warming up in Kansas and the Baylor Bears coming into Lawrence. To be blunt, the Jayhawks are currently ranked 8th overall in pitching stats in the Big 12, and there is one other team below them, the Baylor Bears. The Bears are having a down year in all facets of the game, and the Kansas starters could look to lower some important statistics. The Jayhawks are 169th in D1 baseball with a 6.13 earned run average. They are 115th in D1 baseball with a 1.54 WHIP and are 174th in strikeouts per nine innings. Kansas will deploy their weekend rotation, sending their ace, Collin Baumgartner, to the mound on Friday night. A game in which Baumgartner should command the baseball and pitch deep into the game. As we build our case for why the Jayhawks should run away with this series, let us look at the Baylor hitters.

The Bears are hitting .252, ranking them 228th in D1 baseball, and a stat that aids in hitting is OBP. The on-base percentage indicates if and how much a team reaches base per plate appearance. Baylor has an OBP of .354, ranking them 224th in D1 baseball. Baylor is in last place in the Big 12 in a majority of the hitting categories. The Jayhawks have a great opportunity to start a winning streak, and it starts with the pitching.

The Kansas Jayhawk Hitters Have to Raise Their Slugging Percentage

The Jayhawks are ranked 8th out of nine teams in the Big 12 in hitting. Kansas is in last place in runs, hits, RBIs, total bases, and walks. A stat that would elevate the majority of their hitting statistics and should be of focus is the slugging percentage. According to Mark Bailey at Baseball Bible, slugging percentage is "A statistic that measures how skilled you are at getting extra-base hits: doubles, triples, and home runs. Your slugging percentage represents the number of bases you earn in each at-bat." Kansas needs to drive the baseball resulting in more doubles, triples, and home runs. As they head into the weekend in which their opponent is in last place in a majority of the Big 12 pitching categories, the Jayhawks could drive the baseball.

Janson Reeder is leading Kansas in slugging percentage with 1.000 in Big 12 play which ranks him 2nd overall. In ten at-bats, he has four hits, one double, one triple, one home run, and four RBIs. Collier Cranford is next with a slugging percentage of .400 in the Big 12. Cranford has ten at-bats resulting in three hits, one double, and two runs. A reason I am highlighting this stat is due to the Baylor pitching staff. They have a team earned run average of 6.91, ranking them 219th in D1 baseball, and a 1.80 WHIP placing them 230th. The Bears are giving up 10.7 hits per nine innings, 216 runs, and an average of 5.5 walks per game. All of these are important for a slumping Jayhawk offense.

The Jayhawks and Bears will play their first game of three on Friday night starting at 6:00 pm CST. The first pitch on Saturday has been adjusted to noon in order to accommodate the women's basketball team making the WNIT Championship. On Sunday first pitch will take place at 1:00 pm CST.