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2024 Karbach Round Rock Classic: Everything You Need To Know

Weekend Preview

Kansas

Kansas

Head coach: Dan Fitzgerald

The Skinny on the Jayhawks: The season didn’t start exactly the way the Jayhawks envisioned, but guess what? It’s a long season ahead and things can change on a dime between now and even the next weekend. KU dropped two of three to UIC to begin the season, allowing 25 runs in the two losses to the Flames. Clearly, the pitching staff will need to be improved this weekend. Thankfully, the offense was in a good spot over the weekend, and erupted for 13 runs in a midweek win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. After the UIC series loss, this weekend suddenly gains much more importance on the national scale.

Star Power: INF Kodey Shojinaga

The Jayhawks have plenty of talented players to watch this weekend, but none more exciting than the talented middle infielder. Shojinaga had a massive freshman campaign for Dan Fitzgerald’s club, and quickly established himself as one of the premier hitters in the Big 12 Conference. Well, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder, is off to another good start this spring, too, hitting .462 the first four games with two homers and five RBIs, along with two walks and a 1.077 OPS.

Who’s hot right now? Jake English. The talented Jayhawks backstop hit for power last season with 10 homers, but hasn’t exactly been the model of consistency from an average standpoint. Well, the veteran catcher has been terrific through four games for Fitz’s club, hitting .444 with three homers, seven RBIs and a whopping five RBIs. His OPS through four games? 2.044. Yeah, that’ll play entering the weekend.

Prospect Watch

Here’s a list of prospects ranked by D1Baseball in the 2024 and 2025 draft classes:

2024: RHP Ethan Lanthier (109), INF Kodey Shojinaga (166)

2025: None

WATCH THE 2024 KARBACH RR CLASSIC ON D1BASEBALL.COM!


Kentucky

Kentucky

Head coach: Nick Mingione

The Skinny on the Wildcats: After reaching the NCAA Super Regional round last season, head coach Nick Mingione and the Wildcats are looking to not skip a beat this spring. The Wildcats pitched at a relatively high level on Opening Weekend with transfer pitcher Dominic Niman being the bright spot with six strikeouts in five shutout innings of work. Offensively, the Wildcats had one game over the weekend where it was difficult to generate offensive production, but the rest of the weekend? It was somewhat of a breeze with a combined 29 runs scored in three games.

Star Power: Devin Burkes

Yes, I know, he’s hitting .176 entering the weekend. But if the Wildcats are going to make a move this spring, Burkes will have to be ‘that’ dude. Burkes is coming off a solid 2023 campaign where he was the team leader, a consistent offensive producer with power and a solid defender. He’s an all-around very good player who is just coming off a bad weekend at USC Upstate.

Who’s hot right now? Keep an eye on USC transfer Nick Lopez. Lopez finished the last two seasons at USC with batting averages of .282 and .273, respectively, but is off to a strong start at the plate for the Wildcats. Lopez, a 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, is hitting .455 through three games three doubles and an RBI.

Prospect Watch:

Here’s a list of prospects ranked by D1Baseball in the 2024 and 2025 draft classes:

2024: OF Ryan Waldschmidt (80), RHP Travis Smith (97), C Devin Burkes (184)

2025: None

WATCH THE 2024 KARBACH RR CLASSIC ON D1BASEBALL.COM!


Texas State

Texas State

Head coach: Steven Trout

The Skinny on the Bobcats: The Bobcats put together another quality season in 2023 but fell just short of reaching the NCAA tournament. Now, Steven Trout has yet another team that should compete for a tournament berth. The Bobcats pitched at a very high level on Opening Weekend with Jack Stroud and Co. leading the charge, while the offense was headlined by a pair of big-time sluggers in sophomore Chase Mora and fab freshman Ryne Farber. How about this? Farber, Trout told me in the fall, hit around .500. Pretty impressive for a freshman, right? Well, Farber is off to a terrific start this spring, hitting well over .600 on Opening Weekend against Youngstown State, while also going 4-for-4 in a midweek loss to TCU. Farber is now hitting .750 in 12 at-bats and thru four games. Not bad, freshman.

Star Power: Chase Mora

Mora jumped on the scene in a big way last season with outstanding power production and a strong overall offensive campaign. Mora has since moved positions in the infield, but the expectations surrounding his game remain the same. He’s the X-factor for the Bobcats and is coming off a solid first weekend as well with a .300 average and three RBIs. Ironically, he did not hit a home run over the weekend.

Who’s hot right now? The obvious answer to this question is freshman Ryne Farber, but infielder Aaron Lugo is rising the charts, too. Lugo is a 5-foot-8, 167-pounder, who has had a monster start to the season from an offensive standpoint. In the first four games, he’s hitting .500 with a double, two homers and four RBIs. With Farber, Mora and Lugo as the headliners, Texas State is clearly expected to do some big things offensively this weekend.

Prospect Watch

Here’s a list of prospects ranked by D1Baseball in the 2024 and 2025 draft classes:

2024: None

2025: Chase Mora (71)

WATCH THE 2024 KARBACH RR CLASSIC ON D1BASEBALL.COM!


Washington State

Washington State

Head coach: Nathan Choate

The Skinny on the Cougars: After finishing last season with a 29-23 overall record, former head coach Brian Green headed to Wichita State in somewhat of a surprise move. The Cougars, in turn, hired Nathan Choate away from Loyola Marymount. Choate guided LMU to a 29-24 overall record last season, but most notably a 21-6 mark in the West Coast Conference. There are plenty of new faces in Pullman this season, but this team got off to a great start against Utah Tech over the weekend, winning three of four games and using offense in the first two games, along with strong pitching in the series finale.

Star Power: Alan Shibley

There’s a lot of season to be played, but Shipley certainly looked the part opening weekend against Utah Tech. Shibley is a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, who hit .156 in just 32 at bats for the Cougars last season. However, he’s off to a great start this spring with a .471 average, two homers and four RBIs, along with four doubles and two triples. It’s obviously a very small sample size, but his OPS sits at 1.176 as well.

Who’s hot right now? Outside of Shibley, keep an eye on junior slugger Casen Taggart as well. Taggart, a 6-foo-6, 190-pounder, too, is coming off a fantastic offensive showing against UTU over the weekend. The slender slugger is hitting .500 with two homers and five RBIs to go with a 1.538 OPS. This weekend will be a significant step up in competition, so it’ll be interesting to see if the production translates.

Prospect Watch

Here’s a list of prospects ranked by D1Baseball in the 2024 and 2025 draft classes:

2024: None

2025: None

WATCH THE 2024 KARBACH RR CLASSIC ON D1BASEBALL.COM!

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