Jayhawks' Big 12 Championship run ends at hands of Sooners
OKLAHOMA CITY – An early three-spot was all the Sooners needed as the Kansas baseball team fell to Oklahoma, 4-2, in a Friday elimination game of the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
OU (36-22) made KU starter Taylor Turski (2-9) work hard to throw 41 pitches in the first frame after recording the inning’s first out on the first pitch of the game. Sooner shortstop Brandon Zaragoza earned a walk after a 10-pitch plate appearance before third baseman Brylie Ware worked an eight-pitch at bat.
It was an errant throw by junior left fielder Devin Foyle that rolled into the OU dugout off a single by Sooner catcher Justin Mitchell that scored the first run of the game and sparked a rally. Second baseman Kyle Mendenhall drove in a RBI off a single before designated hitter Thomas Hughes knocked in the third and final run of the frame.
Kansas (27-30) answered back with a two-spot in the top of the fourth after Oklahoma jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Sophomore second baseman James Cosentino ignited the rally with a lead-off triple and scored on a one-out RBI-triple by Foyle. Redshirt-sophomore right fielder Brendt Citta followed with a RBI-single and the Sooner lead was cut in half, 4-2.
Turski settled in and threw up four zeroes after that first inning and finished the day and his career after six innings pitched. He gave up four runs off five hits and two walks in his final outing as a Jayhawk. Classmate Tyler Davis worked a scoreless seventh facing the minimum in his final KU appearance before redshirt-sophomore Ryan Cyr tossed a scoreless eighth.
The Jayhawks had one final push to knot it up in the eighth with the tying runs aboard, but Foyle struck out on a full-count slider at the knees on the inner half of the plate to end the threat.
- KU finished the season with a record of 27-30
- Junior left fielder Devin Foyle led the Jayhawks in average (.330), hits (68), doubles (17), home runs (10), slugging (.578), on-base percentage (.417) and stolen bases (12).
- Kansas finished the season with 46 home runs – the most since the 2009 season when the Jayhawks hit 61.
- Foyle’s 10 home runs are the most by a KU player since the 2013 season when Alex DeLeon accomplished the same feat.
- Sophomore Ryan Zeferjahn finished the season with 100 strikeouts – the most since Ben Krauth fanned 103 in 2016 – that rank tied for sixth in the Kansas single-season record books.
- Junior closer Zack Leban‘s 12 saves rank tied as the fourth-most in a single season in KU history.
Bottom of 1st
Oklahoma strings together long at bats making KU starter Taylor Turski throw 41 pitches en route to taking a 3-0 lead off a Jayhawk error, RBI-single and RBI-double with two outs – OU 3, KU 0.
Bottom of 3rd
Oklahoma catcher Justin Mitchell hit a one-out triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by OU second baseman Kyle Mendenhall – OU 4, KU 0.
Top of 4th
Sophomore second baseman James Cosentino led it off with a triple before junior left fielder Devin Foyle followed suit with a RBI-triple of his own. Redshirt-sophomore right fielder Brendt Citta connected for a RBI-single to cut the Sooner lead in half – OU 4, KU 2.
Top of 8th
Sophomore shortstop Benjamin Sems led off with a walk before sophomore catcher Jaxx Groshans drew a two-out walk to bring up Foyle with the tying runners aboard. Foyle worked a full count and struck out on a check swing at a slider on the inner half of the plate at the knees – OU 4, KU 2.
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