After wrapping up a successful nine-game home stand, the Missouri State Bears return to the road for a non-conference match-up with the Kansas Jayhawks Tuesday (March 29) at 6 p.m. in Lawrence. Missouri State is off to its best start ever, bringing a 19-4 record into Tuesday’s game; the Bears are a perfect 7-0 in true road games this season
The Bears dropped six spots to No. 16 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Division I poll, while also falling to No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 and to No. 19 in the NCBWA Top 30 poll.
MSU holds a 29-24 all-time advantage in its series with Kansas and owns an eight-game win streak vs. the Jayhawks dating back to 2011; the Bears are 12-14 vs. KU in Lawrence, but have won four in a row at Hoglund Ballpark.
MSU homered in 17 of its 20 games before failing to go deep in all three of its weekend contests with Minnesota, marking its longest homer drought of the season; the Bears rank third in the nation in home runs (34) just four shy of their entire 2015 season total of 39. Both Aaron Meyer and Hunter Steinmetz bring 15-game hit streaks into the week; Meyer is hitting .367 over his hot stretch, while Steinmetz is batting a team-best .464 (26-for-56) with 21 runs scored, six RBIs and 10 of his league-leading 11 steals during his streak. Spencer Johnson brings a streak of 38 consecutive games reaching base safely via a hit, walk or hit by pitch into Tuesday’s game; over the course of his streak, which includes the final 15 games of the 2015 season, Johnson has hit .331 (45-for-136) with 10 homers and 39 RBIs
Jake Burger has hit all 11 of his MVC-leading home runs in Missouri State victories; the sophomore leads the Valley in batting, hits, slugging, RBIs and total bases as well
Johnson is a career .364 hitter in four previous games vs. Kansas, while Meyer has recorded hits in six of his eight career at-bats against the Jayhawks
MSU is 10-0 when scoring the first run this season and 17-1 when out-hitting the opposition; the Bears are also 16-1 when leading after seven innings and 59-1 in such instances since the beginning of the 2015 season