Jayhawks Fall to Louisiana, 8-6
March 3, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Freshman Dakota Smith went 4-for-4, which included a three-run homer and four RBIs, however for the second-straight day a late KU rally fell short. Louisiana scored seven runs in the first four innings and held on for an 8-6 triumph over Kansas baseball Saturday afternoon at Wolff Stadium.
KU falls to 5-4 on the year, while the Ragin’ Cajuns improve to 6-4.
For the second day in a row, the Jayhawks faced a multi-run deficit early, but rallied to bring the tying run to the plate. After trailing 7-2 after six innings KU cut the UL lead to a single run after an RBI double by Zac Elgie in the seventh and a three-run homer by Smith in the eighth, which capped the freshman’s four-hit day.
Smith became the first Jayhawk freshman to collect four hits in a game since Jake Marasco went 4-for-4 against Iowa on March 7, 2010. He finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
However, UL tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a bloop double down the left field line and a throwing error on the ensuing sacrifice bunt attempt. Ragin’ Cajun closer Caleb Kellogg got a double play and a strikeout to end KU’s threat in the ninth.
The Jayhawks took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI triple by senior Chris Manship and a single by Smith. Manship’s triple marks his third of the season after going the first three years of his career without one.
The lead was short-lived as UL rallied for three runs in the third highlighted by a two-run double to left center by Ragin’ Cajun shortstop Ryan Leonards. UL then scored a single run in the fourth and three more in the fifth to chase KU starting pitcher Wes Benjamin.
Offensively, Kansas collected a season-high 14 hits in the game. Smith led the way with four hits and four RBIs, while senior James Stanfield went 3-for-5, while Kevin Kuntz, Elgie and Manship all had two-hit games.
KU will look to salvage its final contest of the UTSA Classic Sunday when it takes on undefeated Gonzaga at noon. A live audio broadcast of the game is available on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access at kuathletics.com.