Freshmen Spark Jayhawks Past Stony Brook, 3-1 in 14 Innings
March 9, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Freshman outfielder Connor McKay’s two-run homer to left field in the top of the 14th inning provided Kansas with the winning runs as the Jayhawks earned a doubleheader split with Stony Brook, taking game two 3-1 in 14 innings Friday afternoon at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. KU dropped the first game of the day, 4-0.
The Jayhawks snap losing skid and move to 7-7 on the season, while the Seawolves fall to 6-4. KU’s extra inning victory was its first of the season and first since a 4-3 win in 14 innings at TCU last season.
McKay’s heroics and a dominating pitching performance by a pair of Jayhawk freshmen led Kansas to its seventh victory of the season.
After Zac Elgie drew a walk in the top of the 14th, McKay slammed a 2-2 pitch into the left field seats off of SBU relief pitcher Javsir Rakkar. It was the freshman outfielder’s team-leading third home run of the season and couldn’t have come at a bigger time.
In the bottom of the 14th, Kansas turned a sharp double play to end the game. With one out and runners on second and third, SBU third baseman William Carmona broke late after a ground out to short. Zac Elgie’s throw from first base to home plate nailed Carmona as catcher Alex DeLeon applied the tag to end the game.
First-year righty Robert Kahana earned his second win of the week, pitching five innings of scoreless relief. Kahana allowed no runs on two hits with four walks and a pair of strikeouts. He received another sparkling defensive play to end the 12th inning.
With two outs and the winning run on third base, SBU shortstop Cole Peragine hit a chopper up the middle that KU shortstop Kevin Kuntz made a diving stab on, which he flipped to second base to end the inning.
Kuntz scored KU’s first run of the day, leading off the game with a base hit and moving into scoring position on a sacrifice. The junior shortstop then stole third base and scored when Krause’s throw couldn’t be handled by the third baseman.
Freshman starting pitcher Wes Benjamin pitched nine strong innings, but did not factor into the decision. Benjamin allowed one run on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts over the first nine innings of the game.
Four different Jayhawks had two hits in the game, including Kuntz, McKay, second baseman Jordan Dreiling and catcher Alex DeLeon.
The Jayhawks will complete the weekend in Minneapolis by facing the host Minnesota Gophers in a single game Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. at the Metrodome.