Texas travels to Kansas this weekend still looking for first conference win


Charlie Pearce

Parker French looks to bounce back from a loss to Oklahoma in last weekend’s series when he faces Kansas in game 1 of a crucial series for Texas. French is 3-2 with a 2.32 ERA this season. 

Sara Beth Purdy

They need this. 

The Longhorns are currently entering the second half of their season without a conference series win and with only one series win on the road. Things are getting serious for a team hoping to avoid missing out on the postseason for the second year in a row. 

Texas (18-13, 3-6) travels to Lawrence this weekend to face Kansas in a three game series which starts at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night. The Longhorns are coming off a big 12-5 win over Texas State which featured a high-octane offense, one that has been absent so far this season.

“It was definitely a big win. We are going to go play Kansas this weekend out there,” junior Mark Payton said. “It’s gonna be a big series for us to get back in the race. We know what we can do, we’re excited for the opportunities ahead of us.”

In Tuesday night’s victory, the Longhorns put up season high numbers on offense, momentum that Texas hopes to carry into this weekend’s series.

Payton had a perfect night at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Freshman C.J Hinojosa had a career night, going 3-for-4 with a career-high three RBIs. But success was not just limited to the usual suspects. Everyone in the Texas lineup reached base with all but two starters registering a hit.

Sophomore Parker French is expected to start on the mound this weekend. French, who dropped to 3-2 after the series against Oklahoma last weekend, currently has a 2.32 ERA with 24 strikeouts. Sophomore Dillon Peters will likely start Game 2 on Saturday with junior Nathan Thornhill finishing out on Sunday afternoon.

Both Peters and Thornhill had strong showings in their last outings. Peters threw seven no-hit innings in last Saturday’s matchup and was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for his efforts. In Game 3 against the Sooners, Thornhill fanned a career-best seven batters while allowing only one unearned run in seven innings.

The Jayhawks (20-12, 5-4) defeated Oklahoma State 2-1 this past weekend at home before winning their midweek games 8-3 and 10-1, over Iowa and Missouri Valley College, respectively.