It's Rock Chalk vs. Shockers time again.
Kansas University's baseball squad will begin its annual series with Wichita State at 7 tonight at Hoglund Ballpark.
"It's one of the greatest crowds of the year," KU coach Ritch Price said. "My first year here, there were like 1,800 people here when there were 200 the previous game. That was an indicator to me what a great rivalry this is."
Wichita State coach Gene Stephenson, in his 29th season at the school, briefly accepted the baseball coaching job at Oklahoma last summer before deciding to stay.
"I have great respect for what he's done at Wichita," Price said. "He's the first cold-weather team to become a national power."
KU junior right-hander Brendan McNamara (0-0, 3.86 earned-run average), a junior-college transfer, will make his first start of the season. He'll face Max Hutson, a sophomore left-hander who is 3-0 and boasts a 3.06 ERA for the 13th-ranked Shockers (21-5).
Hutson may want to pitch around KU senior Gus Milner. The Jayhawks' right fielder leads the club with a .370 batting average. Against WSU, he is a .438 hitter with three home runs and nine RBIs in four games.
Sophomore Damon Sublett leads the Shockers with a .435 average and five home runs. As a team, WSU is batting .323 and has scored 188 runs.
The Jayhawks (17-10 overall, 2-4 Big 12 Conference) haven't played at Hoglund since March 8.
KU will meet the Shockers at 7 p.m. a week from today at Eck Stadium in Wichita. Before that, though, the Jayhawks will play host to Missouri in a three-game weekend series.