Big Innings Late Doom Jayhawks at Samford, 13-9
Box Score Final Box (.pdf)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – With a five-run lead in the sixth inning, the Kansas bullpen gave up back-to-back big innings as the Jayhawks dropped game two of a doubleheader to Samford, 13-9, Saturday afternoon at Joe Lee Griffin Field.
The Jayhawks (16-22) needed a quality start from freshman righty Jackson Goddard to give them a shot at winning game two against the Bulldogs (23-17). After a rocky first three innings, Goddard did just that. He battled through five innings and gave up four runs through the first three, but caught his rhythm in the fourth and fifth innings throwing up two zeroes.
In the 113-pitch effort, Goddard gave up a season-high six walks while striking out a career-best five batters. Three of the four runs he gave up were on the first two home runs he has given up this year.
“He really struggled those first three innings,” Price said. “We needed him to get through five innings to give us a chance to win. He showed some toughness and found a way to grind through five innings.”
Goddard grinded it out and turned it over to the bullpen in the sixth inning with Kansas on top, 9-4.
However, with a five-run lead, senior second baseman Colby Wright booted a routine ground ball in the sixth inning that sparked a six-run Samford rally and flipped the score on the Jayhawks.
Freshman righty Blake Goldsberry (0-6) gave up a leadoff single in the sixth inning before inducing a ground ball to the next batter to Wright at second. Wright attempted the backhand the ball up the middle and kicked it before trying to recover and make a glove flip to get the out.
Instead of possibly nobody on, Samford found itself in a prime position with two runners on and no outs. Goldsberry proceeded to give up a three-run double to NCAA home run leader Heath Quinn – who finished the game with two home runs and seven RBIs – before a three-run home run to Alex Lee, his third on the day between both games.
Those six runs flipped the score on the Jayhawks and erased their five-run lead and Kansas found itself down, 10-9.
“That error definitely contributed to the inning,” head coach Ritch Price said. “You come out of the bullpen and the first guy singles and the next guy hits a ground ball. You have to make a play behind him. When you look at the end of the game, that play was crucial.”
That play may have been crucial, but Kansas had its opportunities to add to its lead but back-to-back crooked numbers in the sixth and seventh innings by Goldsberry and sophomore righty Ryan Ralston, relinquished the Jayhawk lead to Samford, 13-9.
“We used our bullpen guys with experience in the first game,” Price said. “We needed to rely on younger guys in the second game after using all those other guys in the extra-inning contest.”
All nine runs for Kansas came off just six hits with freshman left fielder Devin Foyle paving the way with a 2-for-5 effort and his third five-RBI game of the season. Junior right fielder Michael Tinsley was the only other Jayhawk with a multi-hit game, finishing the day with a triple and three runs scored.
“(Foyle) is one that had quality at bats all day today,” Price said. “We had some non-competitive at bats from a lot of the guys in our lineup, but Foyle wasn’t one of them.”
The final game of the series will be played Sunday at 12 p.m. Fans can listen to the contest on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/radio or watch a live stream on the SoCon Digital Network.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.