⚾ Kansas Drops Pitcher's Duel, 2-1
CHARLESTON, S.C. – In a game where both Kansas (2-2) and Charleston Southern (1-4) starters pitched a complete game, the Jayhawks fell to the Buccaneers in the first of four games at Nielsen Field at CSU Ballpark.
Kansas redshirt-senior Ryan Cyr (0-2) earned his second start of the season and the right-handed pitcher finished with a season-high eight innings with six strikeouts.
After Charleston Southern scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, Cyr buckled down and didn’t allow another run to cross the plate.
Cyr’s effort was not enough for Kansas, as the hurler for the Buccaneers, Jaret Bennett, matched him pitch-for-pitch.
With Charleston Southern holding a two-run advantage, Kansas tallied its first run of the contest in the seventh inning.
James Cosentino became the first base runner of the inning, reaching on an error.
An infield single by Skyler Messinger gave the Jayhawks two base runners with only one out. After Kansas recorded another out, Zach Hanna laced the ball back up the middle on the first pitch he was offered to bring Cosentino home, cutting the deficit in half, 2-1.
A fly out ended the inning for KU, and Cyr once again was called on to pitch.
The Leawood, Kansas native recorded his sixth strikeout of the game in the eighth and held Charleston Southern scoreless, giving the Jayhawks another chance to close the narrow lead.
Kansas earned a base runner after Skyler Messinger earned the Jayhawks first walk of the game, but was unable to advance, ending the first game of the series.
HOW KANSAS SCORED
T7 – James Cosentino got on base with one out after a throwing error by the second baseman. Skyler Messinger followed with an infield single and Cosentino was driven in by a two-out single to center by Zach Hanna.
MOMENT OF THE GAME
B5 – Ryan Cyr recorded the first two outs of the inning on two pitches. Cyr needed only three pitches in the next at bat to record the final out of the inning, finishing with five total pitches in the inning.
On today’s performance…
It was a well-pitched baseball game by both guys. Charleston Southern’s Jaret Bennett did a phenomenal job, mixing in his changeup and hitting the zone. In the fourth inning, he went down on two-straight hitters and used his changeup for a strike on the second pitch. He was lights out for them. We got a two-out base hit by Zach Hanna and another chance to tie the ballgame, but we couldn’t get another two-out hit in the seventh inning. We made one bad play in the first inning to give up two runs after we should have been out of the inning 1-2-3. That is what it came down to, making one mistake defensively.
I couldn’t be more pleased with Cyr’s performance. That was a really good bounce back after the opening weekend when he wasn’t very sharp. He got better as the game and especially after the sixth inning when he found his breaking ball. That is when he started to finish some hitters and punch some guys out. He gave us a quality start on the mound and an opportunity to win. Now we have to find a way to bounce back and build some confidence at the plate
On Zach Hanna’s RBI-single…
He has to hit to help us at the plate, because we are real left-handed dominant. (Jared) Bennett did a really good job against (Benjamin) Sems, (James) Cosentino and (Casey) Burnham and didn’t allow to three of our best hitters today. I need Hanna to play because we are so much better defensively with him on the field. He is a fifth-year graduate transfer and has a chance to be an impact guy, which is exactly what we need from him.
On what the mindset will be like going into the first doubleheader of the season…
We need to get outside and play at game speed. We are not on time yet offensively and that comes from getting in time with game speed. Tomorrow we play two nine-inning games and hopefully we can get some guys going. We need guys to not miss the fastball when they are sitting on it, and if we can take the fastball away, then we have a chance to make some progress with the breaking ball and the changeup.
- Cyr finished with a season-high eight innings pitched with a season-high six strikeouts. Cyr’s eight innings ties his career-high, which he has tallied four previous times.
- Neither Kansas or Charleston Southern recorded an earned run in the game.
- Zach Hanna recorded his first-career RBI at Kansas with a single to center in the seventh.
Kansas continues its series with Charleston Southern Saturday, Feb. 22 at 12 p.m. (CT) for a doubleheader at CSU Ballpark.