Jayhawks Fall Short at Baylor, 5-2
WACO, Texas – Freshman righty Jackson Goddard battled through five and 1/3 innings and the Jayhawks stranded nine baserunners as the Kansas baseball team dropped game three and the series to Baylor, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
The Jayhawks (10-15, 1-4 Big 12) started the game exactly the way they wanted after freshman leadoff man Rudy Karre smoked a single to right field off Baylor starter Kyle Hill (1-1). However, things took a turn for the worse when Karre exited the game in the first inning after injuring his shoulder diving back to first base.
From that point on, the energy and momentum shifted in favor of the Bears (13-14, 3-3 Big 12) and Hill did everything he could to keep KU off the board. Each time Kansas mustered a baserunner, Hill found a way to force the Jayhawk hitters to hit into outs and strand all 6 on base.
Unlike Hill, Goddard (2-2) found it difficult to pitch out of trouble when he found Baylor runners on base. The rookie arm battled through five and 1/3 innings and gave up four runs off four hits and a season-high five walks. After BU notched a two-run second inning, Goddard settled into a little groove retiring 11 of the next 13 batters before the sixth inning.
“I was pleased with Goddard today,” head coach Ritch Price said. “When he gave up the two-spot, I really didn’t know if he was going to get out of the second inning. He got into the sixth inning and he kept us in the game. If he can eliminate the walks – he walked five guys and two of them scored. Today was a positive outing for him against a team that puts the ball in play.”
The sixth inning proved to be the toughest for the young hurler after he gave up a leadoff double to Baylor catcher Matt Menard. Goddard induced a groundout to the next batter, but then plated Menard on a wild pitch and the Bears increased their lead, 3-1. A walk to BU shortstop Josh Bissonette ended Goddard’s day with one out in the sixth frame.
Freshman reliever Blake Goldsberry heard his number called as he entered the game with a runner on first and one out. The righty failed to keep Baylor off the board as Bissonette came around to score after BU third baseman Steven McLean singled to center field.
“Baylor found a way to get the two-out RBI,” Price said. “They get the two-out base hits and we didn’t, and that was the difference in the game.”
The Jayhawks regained momentum in the eighth inning after Baylor called to its bullpen and brought in reliever Kyle Ott. Freshman left fielder Devin Foyle led off against Ott and mashed his second career home run down the line in right field. The next two hitters managed to reach base with no outs in sophomore shortstop Matt McLaughlin and junior catcher Michael Tinsley.
That brought No. 5 hitter senior second baseman Colby Wright to the dish with runners at first and second. The veteran captain worked the count fouling off a few pitches before lacing one hard up the middle, but right at BU second baseman Justin Arrington, who started the easy four-six-three double play that sucked the life out of the Kansas dugout.
“Somebody has to get a clutch hit for us,” Price said. “It is a tough weekend for us when the guys batting two, three, four and five for us don’t knock any runs in. We were down and trying to let Wright swing the bat to get the tying run into scoring position or even the go ahead run into scoring position with a base hit in the gap. We let our best guys hit and unfortunately today they didn’t get the job done with the game on the line.”
The Jayhawks are back on the diamond Wednesday, April 6, as they head to Springfield, Missouri, to take on No. 16 Missouri State. First pitch from Hammons Field is slated for 6:30 p.m. and can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
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