Groshans’ jacks not enough, Kansas drops game one of doubleheader
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Free passes and an error by Kansas pitchers proved costly as the Jayhawks fell in walk-off fashion, 4-3, to USC Upstate in game one of a Saturday doubleheader at Cleveland Harley Baseball Park.
KU (1-1) allowed six walks and a hit-by-pitch to reach base that resulted in two late-inning Spartan (1-1) runs. The seven free passes forced the Jayhawks’ hurlers to work out of trouble the majority of the game.
Redshirt-junior righty Ryan Cyr felt the brunt of that during his 87-pitch effort as he walked four and hit one in his six-plus innings of work. Cyr struck out a personal-best eight batters and gave up three runs off three hits in the no decision.
Kansas used four relievers to close it out in freshman Stone Parker, junior Nathan Barry, junior Brandon Ponticelli and redshirt-junior Blake Goldsberry (0-1).
Junior catcher/first baseman Jaxx Groshans provided the Jayhawks with all of their offense with a two home run day, including the game tying jack in the top of the ninth inning.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
- Junior catcher/first baseman Jaxx Groshans hit his third home run in two games after posting a two-bomb day.
- Redshirt-junior pitcher Ryan Cyr struck out a career-high eight batters.
- An errant throw by redshirt-junior Blake Goldsberry in the bottom of the ninth put the winning run in scoring position that ended up being the difference maker.
Head coach Ritch Price
On Jaxx Groshans:
“(Jaxx) provided all of our offense today. Those are some of the best at bats that I have seen a him have in a while. He is seeing the ball really well. That is the start I wanted to see from him.”
On the difference of the game:
“We had a lot of bad at bats. We were not very competitive at the plate, and give (USC Upstate’s) pitchers credit, they kept us off balance. We were pitching in and out of trouble all day. (Ryan) Cyr pitched is tail off, but two of those free passes he had scored. It is still early in the season and the pitchers are still trying to find their rhythm.”
Kansas and USC Upstate will wrap up the doubleheader Saturday evening, before using Sunday and Monday to play the final game of the four-game series trying to dodge the weather.
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