Jayhawks Fall Short in 6-4 Loss to No. 2 Texas A&M
April 14, 2012
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Junior infielder Jordan Dreiling went 2-for-4 with an RBI double, while freshman Dakota Smith chipped in a two-run double in the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome second-ranked Texas A&M. The Aggies scored built a six-run lead over the first six innings and then held on for a 6-4 triumph over Kansas Saturday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks fall to 12-23 overall and 2-9 in Big 12 play, while Texas A&M improves to 28-7 and 9-2 against conference opponents.
After scoring three-runs in the seventh inning to cut a 6-0 deficit in half, Kansas put the first two men on in the ninth inning to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Texas A&M relief pitcher Kyle Martin recorded two strikeouts and a ground out to end the threat and earn his second save of the season.
Texas A&M starting pitcher Ross Stripling frustrated the Kansas bats through the first six innings, allowing the Aggies to build a big lead. The Aggies scored in four-straight innings, including a two-run third and two runs in the sixth.
However, Kansas broke out with three runs in the seventh inning against Stripling. Senior Zac Elgie walked with one out and came around to score on Dreiling’s ground ball double that snuck between two Aggie outfielders on the turf. After Jake Marasco singled through the right side, Smith collected a pair of two-out RBIs with a double to the gap in left center field, cutting the lead to 6-3.
Elgie also started the rally in the ninth with a bullet up the middle. The senior came around to score KU’s fourth run of the game after an error allowed Dreiling to reach and an RBI ground out by pinch hitter Chris Manship.
KU’s late offensive surge wasn’t enough to keep Stripling from picking up his sixth victory of the season. The Texas A&M senior went eight innings and allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Kansas starter Wes Benjamin suffered his fourth loss of the year, going the first four innings and allowing four runs on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout. Fellow freshman Robert Kahana pitched four innings of effective relief, despite allowing a pair of runs to score in the sixth inning.
The Jayhawks will look to salvage the final game of the three-game set with No. 2 Texas A&M Sunday at 1 p.m.