By Andrew Hartsock
Kansas and Oklahoma State University's baseball teams had an odd Thursday.
While the Jayhawks and their coaches spent part of the day sweeping snow off the tarp covering the field at Hoglund Ballpark, the Cowboys and their coaches huddled around a Web cam watching the Jayhawks sweep the tarp.
"That's one thing about baseball," KU coach Bobby Randall said. "It builds memories. But I'd rather sweep the series than the snow."
Weather permitting, the series now is scheduled to begin with a single game at 3 p.m. today. Single games also are scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. Monday.
That's the second change in the slate since Tuesday's winter storm. Originally, the series was to consist of a single game Friday and a doubleheader today. Then the snow fell, and the series was pushed back to Sunday and Monday, but a warmer forecast for Friday and today accelerated the timetable.
"It's hard on the players," Randall said. "I've been through this so many years, you just wait, and I know I'm not the most patient person in the world. You just wait and hope. But it's hard on the team. As a player it's hard. Are we playing or not? You just want to know if you can go or not. I know we want to play. They really want to play."
Kansas (6-4 overall, 0-3 Big 12) was swept in a three-game series at Oklahoma last weekend. OSU (10-2, 3-0) took three from Missouri last weekend and is ranked as high as 12th nationally.
"They're the hottest team in the conference right now," Randall said.
Randall thinks the Big 12's northern teams are among the coolest because of the weather. KU, Kansas State and Missouri all are 0-3 in the Big 12, while warm-weather OSU, Texas and Oklahoma all are 3-0.
"All the teams that have been inside have struggled," Randall said. "We've struggled, but we'll get untracked. I'm not worried about this team. This is a good team. We proved that early. We've got a lot of work to do, but we'll keep our nose to the grindstone and we'll fight to the very end."
While weather postponements aren't uncommon in baseball, postponements for snow even in Kansas are rare. In fact, this is KU's first home series to have been affected by snow in Randall's six seasons.
"A couple of years ago we were supposed to go to Nebraska, but they got 14 inches of snow and we didn't go," he said. "But it is uncommon for this to happen. I think it was 1988 when the whole Big Eight was snowed out for two weeks. It's a once-every-10-years thing. I know Iowa State already has canceled the Baylor series, and that's next weekend. There's so much snow, there's no way."
Big 12 guidelines and scheduling constraints hinder makeup dates. Under league rules, teams can push a series back a day, but teams are limited to two games in a day.
"There are no holes in our schedule to make games up," Randall said. "We're stuck with either playing it or canceling it. But the good thing is, Oklahoma State is in a bus. If they were on a commercial flight, we'd be limited, but there aren't a lot of limitations Monday."