LUBBOCK, Texas– No. 5 Texas Tech (33-12, 12-9 Big 12) will host the Kansas Jawhawks (29-24, 7-14 Big 12) this weekend at Dan Law Field to close out their 2021 regular season. Each game will be streaming from ESPN+ and also available through the Texas Tech Sports Network for the radio call.
Kansas is coming off of some recent success, having won four of their last five games, including a series win over their in-state rival, Kansas State.
The Jayhawks have failed to reach the postseason the last six seasons, with their last postseason appearance coming in 2014 where they lost in the Louisville Regional. Kansas is not currently listed in D1 Baseball’s projected field of 64 as of May 18, 2021.
On the mound, Kansas has four pitchers that have started in at least 11 games. Their season stats are below.
Cole Larsen is undoubtedly Kansas’ ace as he has pitched over 20 innings more than any other pitcher on the staff. Larsen also is 3rd on the team in ERA and has pitched two complete games this season.
Eli Davis is riding a hot hand . He is coming off of a seven inning no-hitter in game two against Kansas State that earned him the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week. In that game he only allowed two walks and dished out an efficient 97 pitches. The Shawnee, Oklahoma native is looking to continue his hot streak against Texas Tech
Ryan Cyr has been very streaky this season. The 6’4 Senior leads the team in so/bb ratio, but has also developed a habit for giving up hits in bunches as he is currently last on the roster in that area with 100 hits allowed.
In the bullpen, Kansas has an elite cast of arms that have helped the Jayhawks stay competitive this season. This cast is led by the duo of Jonah Ulane and Ryan Vanderhei.
Ulane leads Kansas in ERA (1.50) and has pitched in 20 games this season for the Jayhawks. Batters have struggled to make contact with him on the mound as he has given up only 11 hits all season.
Vanderhei is also a very good pitcher at reducing contact as he has only given up 22 hits and is second on the team in ERA (2.25). The 6’6″ Freshman has all the physical tools to be an elite closer and has definitely shown flashes of his excellence throughout this season.
Some other guys to look out for are Stone Hewlett, Daniel Hegarty, Steve Washilewski, and Nathan Berry. Despite Kansas’ struggles as a team, this bullpen has provided some much needed consistency and depth to be able to compete at a Big 12 level this season.
To say Kansas has struggled this season from behind the plate would be the understatement of the year. As a team, Kansas is last in the Big 12 in home runs and slugging percentage, and eighth in batting average and RBIs.
That being said, the Jayhawks do have a trio of players that have had some success from a hitting perspective. Their stats are below.
This trio has been able to give Kansas some consistency throughout their lineup, but nobody on the roster has been able to develop as a legitimate power hitter.
Their leading home run man is James Cosentino with six homers. By comparison, Texas Tech has four guys that surpass that figure. Cole Stilwell(7), Cal Conley(12), Braxton Fulford(13), and Jace Jung(18).
Texas Tech is ranked 3rd in the Big 12 with a 12-9 conference record
Kansas is tied at 8th in the Big 12 with a 7-14 conference record
The last matchup between these clubs was a 7-5 win for Texas Tech in the 2019 Big 12 Tournament.
Game times will be:
5/20 6:30, 5/21 2:00, and 5/22 12:00
*All times are central
*All games will be on ESPN+ and TTSN
Texas Tech will be playing in the Big 12 Conference Tournament. If the season were to end today the Red Raiders would be facing the Oklahoma Sooners, but we will have to wait until this weekend to determine our opponent.