University of Kansas

KU baseball players pitch in for Oklahoma tornado relief

The Kansas baseball team was supposed to have a day off on Tuesday, a day to rest before the scheduled start of the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. But with the tournament pushed back to Thursday after a deadly tornado struck Moore, Okla., on Monday, the Jayhawks used the day to join the relief effort and gather money and supplies for the area’s storm victims.

According to KU officials, the team raised $1,200 and went shopping at a local Target store for bottled water and other supplies. The Jayhawks then took the supplies to a local drop-site at the Edmond Christian Church.

They weren’t the only Big 12 team in action on Tuesday. West Virginia, the Jayhawks’ opponent on Thursday, also gathered supplies for storm victims.

From a baseball standpoint, the extra day off could be beneficial for a team that has lost six straight games and needs a prolonged run this week to boost its NCAA Tournament resume.

The Jayhawks, 31-24 and 12-12 in the Big 12, are the No. 6 seed and will open pool play at 4 p.m. on Thursday against No. 3 West Virginia. The Jayhawks will also play No. 2 Oklahoma State on Friday and No. 7 TCU on Saturday, with the winner of the pool moving on to Sunday’s championship game.

•  Kansas reliever Jordan Piche, a junior college transfer, was selected the Big 12 baseball newcomer of the week on Tuesday. Piche posted a 2.20 ERA with five saves in conference play.