Friday, April 21, 2006

Showdown resumes today

Jayhawks have won five of last six with rival Wildcats


Kansas State's Brad Hill hasn't forgotten.

At least, Kansas University baseball coach Ritch Price believes he hasn't.

"We've won five of the last six : coaches know those kinds of things," Price said. "They're trying to make the same progress with their program that we have. I know they're going to walk in here, and they're going to be fired up."

Game One of the Sunflower Showdown will be tonight at 7, as Kansas will entertain Kansas State in the only game of the series at Hoglund Ballpark.

The second and third contests will be played at Tointon Stadium in Manhattan.

The Jayhawks swept the Wildcats two years ago in Hill's first season, then took two of three last year to enter this series with extra momentum.

"It's a huge rivalry - that's for sure," Kansas senior Gus Milner said. "Last time was intense the first time I played in it."

After beginning the season 17-1 and grabbing a ranking as high as No. 24, Kansas State has fallen on hard times since hitting the Big 12 Conference portion of its schedule.

The Wildcats have won just six of their last 17 games, including an 11-all tie against Texas Tech enforced because of the Big 12 curfew rule.

"They'll be fired up even though they haven't been playing as great as they want to be right now," Kansas junior Ross Kelling said. "They'll be ready to play, and we'll have to be ready, too."

Kansas (27-15, 7-8) comes into the series after steamrolling midweek opponents Missouri State and Tabor by a combined score of 33-11.

Sean Land will start for the Jayhawks, entering with a 5.17 earned-run average.

K-State will counter with righty Brad Hutt (4.10 ERA).

The Wildcats are 8-1 this season in Friday games.

"They're going to try to win the series and play their best baseball of the year," Price said. "Our players will have to respond."


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