Jayhawks Come Back, Tie 'Lopes; Rain in 10th Ends Game
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After two weather delays amounting one hour and 54 minutes and a two hour and 58 minute contest, Tuesday’s Kansas baseball game against Grand Canyon ended in the 10th inning, 5-5, at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (17-22-1) forced extra innings after scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth when freshman left fielder Devin Foyle smoked a two-run triple off the wall in center field. Kansas subsequently loaded the bases with one out, but a spectacular double play by the Grand Canyon (19-18-1) infield, its fourth of the game, kept the game tied after nine complete.
“He was special tonight wasn’t he?” head coach Ritch Price said. “That is as good as you will see a freshman play. He clutches up with the triple off the wall and ties the game up in the ninth. If we could have eliminated the bad at bats in the game, it wouldn’t have been such a close one.”
Those bad at bats may have happened for Kansas, but not because of Foyle. The rookie outfielder found himself batting third in the lineup for the first time in his career and used it to fuel a career day. He posted a career-high four hits including his fourth triple this season to go along with two RBIs and a run scored.
Foyle’s performance extended his hitting streak to 10 games – the third-longest for any Jayhawk this season. During that span he has batted .447 (17-for-38) with five runs, five doubles, two triples and 16 RBIs. He leads Kansas with 29 RBIs and is second on the team with 46 hits.
“I have been waiting to move him to the three-hole and I almost did it the last two weekends,” Price said. “I didn’t want to put more pressure on him, but it was time. It was time to reward him for raising his average up to .320 heading into tonight. He will be in that three-hole the next three years.”
Foyle’s clutch triple in the ninth tied the game, but it was senior second baseman Colby Wright who struck early in the first inning to get the offense rolling. After back-to-back two-out base hits, Wright smoked a two-run double down the left field line to give Kansas the early lead, 2-0, and sophomore Tyler Davis some breathing room out on the mound.
Davis started on the bump for the first time in his career and did exactly what Price asked him to do – battle for five innings. When he was forced to exit the game after the contest’s first delay of 44 minutes, Davis held the ‘Lopes to just two runs in five innings pitched.
“I tip my cap to Davis today,” Price said. “We needed him to go out there and give us five or six innings. When he walked off the mound after five innings giving up just two runs, we couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Freshman Blake Goldsberry followed the next two innings and put the Jayhawks behind 5-3 after giving up a three-run seventh. Price then called to freshman Casey Douglas to close out the final two and 1/3 innings until play ended three batters in to the top of the 10th inning and one out.
Both teams waited it out for one hour and 10 minutes until resumption of the game was deemed impossible. The tie game marks the first for the Jayhawks since April 3, 2010, when they played then-No. 22 Texas A&M to a score of eight runs apiece after 11 innings – game ended because of the conference’s Sunday curfew rule. This also marks the 18th overall tie game in the 125-year history of the program.
Kansas is back in action Wednesday, April 27, as the Jayhawks take part in the College Baseball Hall of Fame Game at Kauffman Stadium against Nebraska. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. and can be seen on the Jayhawk Television Network or ESPN3 outside the coverage area. For more information please visit KUAthletics.com/JTV.
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