After Kansas University's 8-1 victory over Kansas Newman on Wednesday, Jayhawk baseball coach Bobby Randall wanted to talk about his pitching staff, not his team's hitting.
"I think you saw another pretty quality performance by the pitching staff," Randall said. "Those guys are fighting for innings, every one of them, and there's a lot of pride on our pitching staff right now and it's fun to watch."
Six Jayhawks took the mound against the Jets and allowed just six hits and one run while striking out six.
Freshman starter Chris Jones (1-0) picked up his first career win for KU (5-0), and was followed by Randy Strann, Chris Smart, Ryan Jakubov, Tyson Bothof and Kevin Wheeler.
"That was the buffet pitching plan a little bit of everything," Randall said. "Every guy pitched well enough to deserve to pitch more. Every one of them did, but we're getting them ready for the weekend and there weren't enough innings for all of them to pitch as much as they deserved to pitch."
While six Jayhawks helped to hold Newman (6-8) to one run on six hits, three Jayhawks Lance Hayes, Ryan Klocksien and Brandon Shepard led KU's 13-hit, eight-run assault.
Shepard, who started at shortstop while Casey Spanish played left field, upped his average to .615 with a 4-for-4 performance. Shepard, who started a game at third base on the team's weekend trip to Centenary, hit two doubles, drove in two runs, scored three times and swiped three bases.
"It felt real nice," Shepard said. "I don't know where I'm going to be playing, but I'm ready to go. I'm working hard in practice and ready to go whenever I get the opportunity."
Hayes went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored, and Klocksein was 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
The rest of the team struggled offensively, though, going 4-for-24.
"We hit so well early, and then after Saturday when we scored 17 runs, we thought it was easy," Randall said, "and it's never easy. Sometimes it comes easy, but we haven't been swinging very well since then. We will, but it's not an easy skill and it takes constant concentration."
One skill Kansas did improve was base stealing. The Jayhawks stole four bases, double their number entering the game.
"We work on that every day in practice," Shepard said. "That's something that's going to help us a lot getting runners over and getting them into scoring position."
Although KU scored eight runs, advanced its running game and improved to 5-0, Randall was still looking for improvement.
"We're happy about the win but our standards of our quality of play are much higher than what we played," he said. "And I think it's always natural to have a letdown when you think you're doing so well and I think today was something of a letdown, except on the mound."
Newman 100 000 00 1 6 2
Kansas 202 020 02x 8 13 3
Chris Jones, Randy Strann (3), Chris Smart (6), Ryan Jakubov (7), Tyson Bothof (8), Kevin Wheeler (9) and Beau Thompson, Cole Armstrong, Cory Pladson, Frank Woydziak (6), Nick Raterline (8), David Stgephenson (8) and Shawn Jacques. W Jones (1-0). L Pladson (1-1).
2B Brandon Shepard 2, Ryan Baty, Ryan Klocksien, Matt Tribble, KU. 3B Lance Hayes, KU. HR Pat Holmes, KU.