Jayhawks Drop Conference Opener to Oklahoma State, 3-1
March 18, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Senior T.J. Walz pitched seven strong innings, while sophomore Jake Marasco went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak, but it was not enough. Oklahoma State third baseman Mark Ginther’s two-run double in the top of the fourth proved to be the difference in the Cowboys’ 3-1 triumph over Kansas Friday in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
OSU wins its eighth-straight game to improve to 14-3 overall, while the Jayhawks fall to 7-10 on the season.
Despite trailing for most of the day, Kansas had an opportunity to come back in the ninth inning when Marasco led off with a single to right and designated hitter James Stanfield was hit by a pitch. However, OSU closer Chris Marlowe entered the game and struck out Brandon Macias, Zac Elgie and pinch hitter Chris Manship in succession to end the game and record his third save.
KU’s offense recorded six hits, including three in the final two innings.
The lack of offense spoiled another good start by Walz. The senior allowed three runs in the top of the fourth on Ginther’s two run double and an RBI single by Dane Phillips, but responded by retiring nine in a row over the next three innings.
Walz went seven frames and held the second-leading offense in the Big 12 to three runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. It was the senior’s fourth-straight quality start.
Relief pitcher Frank Duncan allowed three hits, but pitched did not allow a run, moving his streak to 8 1/3 scoreless innings to begin his college career.
The Jayhawks scored their only run in the fourth on a leadoff double by Zac Elgie, who came around to score on an RBI ground out by Kaiana Eldredge. Marasco and Macias both stretched their season-best hitting streaks to eight games.
KU will look to even the series Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark at 1 p.m.