Benjamin, Jayhawks Take Down Texas Tech, 5-2
March 31, 2012
- Coach Price
- W. Benjamin
LAWRENCE, Kan.— Freshman left-handed pitcher Wes Benjamin recorded a career-high eight strikeouts and held the Red Raiders to just two runs over seven innings as the Kansas baseball team notched its first conference victory by taking down Texas Tech, 5-2 Saturday at Hoglund Ballpark.
KU improved to 11-15 overall and 1-4 in Big 12 play, snapping a long conference losing streak which dated back to last season. The Red Raiders dropped to 16-12 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
Benjamin, a left-handed pitcher from St. Charles, Ill., picked up his second victory of the season by scattering six hits over seven innings with three walks and eight strikeouts. His eight K’s tops the six strikeouts he tallied at Mississippi State in his second start of the year. The freshman pitched out of trouble multiple times Saturday, stranding eight Tech base runners.
Kansas scored two runs in the second and two in the fourth to give Benjamin all the support he would need. Redshirt junior Jake Marasco and freshman Connor McKay both played prominent roles in the two-run rallies.
Marasco started the two-run surge in the second with KU’s first hit of the game, coming with two outs. After a Jordan Dreiling single and an error, sophomore Tucker Tharp collected a pair of two-out RBIs with a base hit up the middle, giving KU a 2-1 lead.
KU stretched the lead to 4-1 when Marasco and McKay started the fourth with base hits. Both men came around to score after a sacrifice by Dreiling, an RBI ground out by Dakota Smith and a wild pitch.
Bo Altobelli’s two-out double to right-center cut the lead to two runs in the fifth, but once again KU answered. Senior Chris Manship collected KU’s third two-out RBI of the game with an RBI double down the right field line to plate Kevin Kuntz, who led off the inning with a single.
Freshman Robert Kahana and junior Tanner Poppe each pitched scoreless innings behind KU’s starting pitcher to secure the victory. Poppe recorded his fourth save of the season and added a strikeout.
Marasco and McKay each had a pair of hits to lead the Kansas offense.
KU’s win snapped a 13-game losing streak in conference play, which dated back to April 23 of last season. The streak began on April 28 in Lubbock when Texas Tech rallied for a 2-1 win in 10 innings.
The Jayhawks look for the series win Sunday against Texas Tech. The rubber game of the three-game set at Hoglund Ballpark is scheduled for 1 p.m.