⚾ Kansas Drops Season Opener To Belmont
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On a cold-opening day in Nashville, Kansas (0-1) dropped the season opener to the Belmont Bruins (1-0), 6-0, at E.S. Rose Park.
Ryan Cyr was handed the game ball to start the series and the season, finishing with four innings of work and one strikeout. Cyr pitched into the fifth inning before being relieved by Nathan Barry.
Barry, who faced the bases loaded with the Jayhawks down three runs, opened with a three-pitch strikeout and worked out of the jam to hold Belmont scoreless. The Reno, Nevada native pitched three innings on the day, finishing with four strikeouts before being relieved by Stone Parker.
Down four runs in the top of the eighth, Casey Burnham provided a spark to the Kansas offense, recording a double to left field on a shallow fly ball. Burnham would be stranded after a fly out to right field.
The Jayhawks surrendered two more runs in the bottom of the eighth but put runners on first and second after a walk by Nolan Metcalf and single by James Cosentino in the ninth. A strikeout one batter later ended the game.
STAT OF THE GAME
3 steals – The Jayhawks found success on the base paths against the Bruins, recording three stolen bases. Jack Wagner, the Jayhawks designated hitter, opened the game with a walk and stole both second and third. Casey Burnham recorded the other KU steal.
On his overall thoughts on Opening Day…
It was a really disappointing performance and Belmont pitched, hit and played well today. The Belmont starter is the projected OVC Preseason Conference Pitcher of the Year, and he showed why he earned the preseason recognition today. One thing I really liked heading into this series is the way we have been swinging our bats, and we didn’t perform today. The weather conditions made it a tough day to play and pitch. We have to bounce back tomorrow, find a way to win on Saturday and then it’s all about Sunday.
On Nathan Barry’s performance out of the bullpen…
Barry had an outstanding performance today, and one we needed with the bases loaded. He has done such a great job for us the past two seasons, and it is the reason our players voted him the reliever of the year in 2019. He got us out of a bases loaded jam with no outs that gave us the chance to come from behind and win a ballgame. If he gives up a run in that situation, it would have been hard to make any comeback in the conditions we were playing in today.
MOMENT OF THE GAME
B5 – After Belmont loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth, Kansas made a pitching change from starter Ryan Cyr. Nathan Barry was called in to hold the Bruin attack at bay and did exactly that.
Barry used three pitches to record his first strikeout of the game and earned another strikeout against the next Belmont batter. A fly out to Casey Burnham in center field ended the inning, holding Belmont scoreless in the fifth.
- Jack Wagner earned a walk in the first inning to become the Jayhawks first base runner of the season. Wagner also recorded the first stolen base of the season for KU with two outs in the first inning.
- Ryan Cyr received the opening day start and recorded the first strikeout of the season for Kansas in the second inning.
- Anthony Tulimero earned the Jayhawks first hit of the season in the fifth inning against Belmont starter South.
Kansas continues its series with Belmont at E.S. Rose Park Saturday, Feb. 15 at 2 p.m.