Jayhawks Bounce Back to Beat Wichita State, 7-4
May 3, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Wichita native Jake Marasco collected two hits and two RBIs, while freshman Alex Cox pitched 5 2/3 solid innings to earn his third victory of the season as Kansas snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-4 triumph over Wichita State Tuesday night at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks improve to 21-24 overall, while the Shockers fall to 28-20. KU had lost its previous four games against Missouri Valley Conference opponents.
Cox scattered eight hits over 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs with a pair of walks and a strikeout to even his record at 3-3. He excelled at pitching out of trouble in Tuesday’s game.
The freshman stranded five baserunners in the first five innings of play, which included an inning-ending double play off the bat of Chris O’Brien with the bases loaded in the third.
Cox’s offense spotted him a commanding lead in the middle innings. KU grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Marasco doubled to the gap in right-center after a leadoff walk to Jimmy Waters and a seeing-eye single on a hit-and-run by James Stanfield.
KU extended its lead to 6-0 with four runs in the fifth. Kevin Kuntz, who went 3-for-3 in the game, led off the fifth with a single through the left side, while Brandon Macias followed with a single to left field. After Jordan Dreiling was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Waters drove in a pair of runs with a sharp single to right center.
The inning continued as Zac Elgie laid down a perfect bunt single to reload the bases, allowing Stanfield and Casey Lytle to collect RBIs on outs. That was all the offense KU would need.
The Jayhawks also flashed some leather Tuesday night. After the Shockers scored two runs in both the sixth and were threatening with the bases loaded in the seventh, Lytle made a diving catch in which he extended towards the fence to rob Tyler Coughenour of an extra base hit. The play resulted in a sacrifice fly for Coughenour, but effectively ended the night for the Shocker offense.
Freshman Frank Duncan came on and held Wichita State scoreless over the final two frames. Duncan allowed just one hit and recorded a strikeout to collect his second save of the season.
Wichita State outhit the Jayhawks Tuesday, but stranded 10 men on base. Kuntz led the Jayhawk attack with three hits, while Macias and Marasco chipped in two hits each.
KU will look to sweep the two-game midweek series Wednesday night when the Jayhawks travel to Eck Stadium for a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Shockers.