Four-Run First Lifts Jayhawks Over Baker, 6-1
Box Score Final Box (.pdf)
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Four runs in the first inning is all the Jayhawks needed as the Kansas baseball team defeated Baker (Kan.), 6-1, Tuesday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks’ (11-15) four runs came after senior Colby Wright drilled a belt-high fastball hard and into the wind in right center for his team-high third triple of the season. The second baseman drove in three RBIs with that hit, and scored the other run to dig an early 4-0 hole on the Wildcats (12-19).
“It was a great at bat,” head coach Ritch Price said. “He stayed inside the baseball and took the ball the other way. He crushed two balls later in the game that had a chance to be home runs that died in the wind.”
The Jayhawks faced tough conditions on the field as the wind was howling in steadily around 30 miles per hour. Outside of Wright’s triple, junior right fielder Michael Tinsley was the only other player one either team to blast an extra-base hit after he doubled down the left-field line in the fifth inning.
“It was a tough day to hit and a great day to pitch,” Price said. “The wind was blowing in today as hard as I have ever seen it. We had seven line drives that we charted that were hit right on the button and were caught. A couple of those balls would have been out of the ballpark if the wind wasn’t blowing so hard. It made it a really tough day to hit.”
It may have been a tough day to hit, but the Kansas pitching staff used it to its advantage holding Baker to one run off four hits and four walks. Sophomore righty Ryan Ralston started on the bump and pitched a career-high four innings while also striking out a career-best four batters. Ralston allowed the one unearned run in the second inning and gave up three of the Wildcats’ four hits.
Fellow right-handed pitchers sophomore Casey Douglas, redshirt-sophomore Tyler Davis and senior Hayden Edwards (1-0) closed out the final five innings in scoreless fashion. Douglas gave up one hit and one walk in two innings while Edwards struck out three of the six batters he faced in the final two frames for the win.
“As young as my team is, I thought it was really important for those guys to continue to get a chance to develop,” Price said. “Part of the purpose of the game today was to give players opportunities so they could have a chance to develop. It was a good day for our young players to get some experience. The only way to get better in this game is to play.”
Kansas is back in action Wednesday, April 6, as the Jayhawks hit the road for a midweek tilt at No. 16 Missouri State. The two squads faced off a week earlier (March 29) in Lawrence where KU snapped an eight-game winless streak to the Bears, 2-1. First pitch from Hammons Field is slated for 6:30 p.m.
“(Hammons Field) is one of the great college venues in America,” Price said. “The weather is supposed to be good tomorrow and usually when the Jayhawks come to town there are about 2,000 people in the stands. (Missouri State) is playing really well right now and it should be a great college baseball game.”
Fans can watch the action live on Bears All-Access, a paid subscription video service provided by Missouri State, or tune into the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio for a more traditional listening experience.
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