Nevada Tops Kansas in Pitchers' Duel, 2-1
Feb. 16, 2013
MESA, Ariz. – Freshman first baseman Jacob Boylan collected three hits in his first collegiate start, but Kansas could not come up with the clutch hit it needed in a 2-1 loss to Nevada Saturday afternoon at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz.
The Jayhawks left 10 men on base and hit into three double plays, helping the Wolf Pack even the season-opening series at one.
KU trailed throughout the day Saturday, but perhaps its best chance to tie came in the ninth inning. Trailing by two runs, sophomore Joe Moroney and Boylan started the rally with back-to-back hits, while freshman Marcus Wheeler was hit by an 0-2 pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Sophomore Justin Protacio worked a walk to force home a run, cutting the deficit in half.
However, that was as close as KU would come. Nevada relief pitcher Michael Fain induced a home-to-first double play off the bat of Kevin Kuntz and a fly out by Jordan Dreiling to strand the tying run at third base and pick up the save. The Jayhawks’ last at bat marked the fifth inning that the team put a runner in scoring position Saturday.
One of the biggest turning points of the game came in the fourth, when sophomore Michael Suiter and Boylan led off the inning with singles and advanced to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Trailing by a run, Suiter tried to score from third base on a slow chopper to second, but was gunned out. The sophomore outfielder tried to jar the ball loose from catcher Collin Theroux by running him over at the plate, which resulted in an ejection from the game.
The Jayhawks then left both men on base in the inning, when Kuntz grounded out to end the threat.
Nevada scored its runs in the second on a two-out RBI single by Scott Kaplan and a sacrifice fly in the sixth by shortstop Kyle Hunt.
Kansas sophomore pitcher Wes Benjamin scattered nine hits and allowed two runs with a walk and four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. KU’s bullpen tandem of Junior Mustain, Jordan Luvisi and Colin Toalson gave the Jayhawks a chance to rally by combining for 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Nevada starting pitcher Tyler Wells kept the Jayhawks off the board through the first six innings, allowing no runs on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout.
KU will look to bounce back Sunday in game three of the four-game set against the Wolf Pack. The Jayhawks and Nevada will take the field at 2 p.m. CST at Hohokam Park.
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