The Kansas Jayhawks hosted the Nebraska Cornhuskers in an exhibition game at Hoglund Ballpark last night. Admission to the game was free and open to the public, so naturally, I reached out to a friend who agreed to attend with me.
My previous two experiences attending Kansas ballgamesproved disappointing, but I had reason to feel optimistic about this exhibition. KU hired a new baseball coach at the end of last spring, Dan Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald spent the summer on a recruiting tear, taking advantage of the NCAA Transfer Portal to attract a slew of new talent to Kansas.
An estimated 500 spectators attended the exhibition, which surprised me a bit. I imagine free admission proved a big draw, and the football watch party that was just exiting Allen Fieldhouse next door as the baseball game was starting likely contributed to the crowd. As the game got underway and into the early innings, I could already tell this is a different team from what I’ve seen previously.
At the seventh inning stretch, the voice on PA system mentioned that the game was planned for a total of 14 innings. My friend and I looked at each other startled at that — we had not planned on 14 innings. We decided to wait until the ninth inning and see what was happening.
The game was tied at 5 at the end of nine innings. We decided to stick around for another inning to see what would happen. The Huskers were held scoreless in the top of the tenth. Then, in the bottom of the inning, the Jayhawks mounted a rally.
Kansas scored 4 runs in the bottom of the tenth. At the end of the inning, we agreed it was a good time to go. Had this been a standard regulation baseball game, Kansas would have been declared victorious. And besides, I was cold — the temperature had dropped about 15 degrees since the game had started — and my friend was hungry.
I haven’t been able to find a final score after 14 innings, but the consensus seems to be that this team has a lot of promise. I look forward to the start of college baseball season in spring 2023.
I attended my second-ever Kansas Jayhawks baseball game this afternoon. Coincidentally, in both games I’ve now attended, Kansas played the Texas Tech Red Raiders. And, perhaps not so coincidentally, the Jayhawks lost both times.
Today’s game was honestly pretty terrible. Nothing went right for the Jayhawks. They had no pitching. The defense was mediocre at best. And their offense was no-hit through the first five innings.
KU finally scored their first run in the sixth inning, but Texas Tech had already scored 19 by that point, and there was no digging themselves out of the hole. Final score? 28-2.
Nevertheless, it was nice to attend a baseball game again. My arms are sunburnt because it didn’t occur to me to wear sunblock, but that’ll eventually fade into a nice little farmer’s tan. It may be time to invest in a KU ballcap, because I’m seriously thinking I should attend more of these games. The tickets are cheap, the seating is good, and there’s just something wonderful about seeing a ballgame live and in person.
On April 18, 1923, Columbia University pitcher Lou Gehrig struck out 17 Williams College batters to set a school record. Columbia lost the game 5-1, however, as Gehrig’s pitching also proved to be a bit on the wild side.
A friend of mine sent me this video by the Kalamazoo Growlers, and it had me laughing so hard that I just had to share the love. There is, of course, a whole heap of social commentary to be made about how this video represents the sorts of examples we are setting for our kids. In terms of pure entertainment, meanwhile, it does provide a couple minutes of comic relief.
Here’s a nice collection of trick plays to bring a smile to your face. Some of these plays are downright genius in their conception and flawless in their execution. Most took place at the major league level, but there are a handful of college ones in there, too.
Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I attended the baseball game between Kansas and Texas Tech Universities. I had previously been to games at the Little League, high school, and even minor league levels (plus MLB games, of course), but this was the first-ever college game for either of us.
Unlike this year’s Royals, the Kansas Jayhawks actually have a winning record (17-12 going into yesterday’s game), so I was looking forward to seeing them play in person. What I didn’t realize before we bought the tickets was that Texas Tech has an even better record at 25-6 prior to yesterday. Even so, I had a hint that it would be a tough game, considering the Jayhawks lost 15-6 to this Texas Tech team on Friday.
I’m sorry to say that yesterday’s game was quite the slaughter. Long story short, KU lost 10-0. Even in spite of loading the bases with no one out in the sixth inning, KU didn’t manage to score a run, proceeding to blow the opportunity with two strikeouts and a groundout to short.
On the plus side, there was a hot dog race. Even better, my favorite condiment, ketchup, won this game’s race.
Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence is a very nice facility. It would have been nicer had the weather been warmer than 40 degrees and breezy. General admission tickets were only $10, which has me thinking this is too good an opportunity for cheap baseball to not take advantage of in the future. There just might have to be more KU baseball in the future, including (hopefully) a win or two.
Here’s a cool, old school panoramic of a Yale-Princeton game, dated July 2, 1904, found in the Library of Congress collection. The photo was contributed by R.H. Rose & Son, and the game took place in Princeton, New Jersey. I tried to find a box score or other details about the game, but didn’t have any success in doing so. However, if you go to the photo link here, you can zoom in and pan around the photo. In doing so, you can get some cool views, like this one:
Here’s a cool little video from a Pac-12 baseball game this past May. When Washington State pitcher Layne Bruner hit Arizona State outfielder Johnny Sewald with a pitch, Sewald caught the ball between his body and his arm. Sewald then proceeded to casually toss the ball back to Bruner before taking off for first base. Perhaps the most amusing part of this feat, however, is the reaction of the broadcaster.
The college baseball teams of Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe found themselves in the midst of a rain delay on Friday, but they didn’t let the weather get them down. Instead, they opted to pass the time by engaging in what appears to have been an intense game of rock, paper, scissors. Louisiana-Lafayette won that contest, though you would think someone had smashed a walk-off home run the way they celebrated.
Here’s an infographic from the blog El País that delves into the science behind the use of aluminum bats in college baseball. Some of the information, especially about the speed at which a ball might come off the bat, are stunning. Click on the image for a larger version.