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Archive for Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Kansas gunning for WSU sweep

April 5, 2006

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— His teammates now know him as "The Quote."

Kansas University left fielder John Allman just hopes he won't be known as "The Fool" after the No. 24 Jayhawks' clash at 7 tonight against No. 21 Wichita State at Eck Stadium.

The sophomore made news after Kansas' convincing 8-2 victory Wednesday over WSU.

"We're definitely," Allman said after the game, "the best team in the state."

The Jayhawks (20-11) will have to prove it again, and this time in a tougher environment than last week's sellout at Hoglund Ballpark.

Still, even Kansas coach Ritch Price - who is 5-4 career against Wichita State - isn't backing down.

"I think it's a great rivalry. It's a lot of fun for both schools," Price said. "We won the one at our place, now they'll try to hold court at their place (today). We want to go down and see if we can find a way to win the Sunflower State battle."

Price said he had deep respect for Wichita State and legendary coach Gene Stephenson, and that respect played a role in his accepting the KU job four years ago.

"When Kansas first called me, one of the reasons I was interested was because I knew Wichita State was a national power," Price said. "I thought if they could be a national power in the Missouri Valley Conference - and if I had a chance to coach a Big 12 team - then I could put Kansas baseball on the map as well."

Price's team enters the game perhaps as hot as it's been all season. KU has won four of its last five games, returning to the Baseball America rankings at No. 24 after a three-week absence.

The Jayhawks won two of three from Missouri over the weekend.

"To win that series," Price said, "puts us back in the hunt to accomplish all the goals we have."

Kansas will send right-hander Brendan McNamara to the mound tonight. The junior also started last week's game against Wichita State, allowing one earned run over three innings.

The Shockers will counter with left-hander Kris Johnson, who enters with a lofty 8.44 earned-run average.

After tonight, Kansas will play host this weekend to Texas Tech.

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