Jayhawks Fall Short At Stanford, 2-0
STANFORD, Calif. – Senior lefty Ben Krauth tosses second-consecutive complete game as the Kansas baseball team drops game one of a weekend set to Stanford, 2-0, Friday night at Sunken Diamond.
Krauth (1-3) paced the Jayhawks (7-9) through eight innings tying a career-high nine strikeouts for the second time in as many starts. His only falter on the evening came in the fourth inning when Stanford (8-5) hit him up for two runs off three hits, including a triple and a double.
“It’s tough,” Krauth said. “I look back and realize that the three and four hitters got me. My pitchers were located in the zone and they hit them. That is all I can say about it. I got beat on a couple bad pitches but I have to move on.”
Cardinal second baseman Nico Hoerner led off the fourth frame with a triple to right center and third baseman Mikey Diekroeger followed with a double down the right field line. Catcher Alex Dunlap singled to center field and Stanford built a 2-0 lead. However, that would be all the scoring on the night as Krauth went back out there and threw four shutout innings.
“When he was announced the starting pitcher, that was the loudest ovation of the night,” head coach Ritch Price said. “He was outstanding tonight. He put on quite a show and he gives us a chance. He has had back-to-back quality starts and that is exactly what we needed from him. His fastball command was great and the hitters couldn’t just sit on his change-up.”
The most impressive thing on the night was that Krauth got to compete in front of a hometown crowd. The entire third base line stands were covered in crimson and blue. Each time the southpaw pitcher ran to the mound, he got an ovation.
“I think the number of fans from home was close to 100,” Krauth said. “A lot of my old friends and coaches showed up. When you have a strong support system that shows up when you’re playing on the road, you have to go out and show off for them. It was fun.”
Krauth may have pitched a gem, but Kansas couldn’t muster the run support to help its ace out. The Jayhawks tallied six hits on the night with two coming from California native, second baseman Colby Wright. The senior connected for two singles while junior centerfielder Joven Afenir, junior catcher Michael Tinsley, sophomore first baseman Owen Taylor and freshman left fielder Devin Foyle each had one.
Kansas had a prime opportunity to plate some runs in the seventh inning after Wright and Foyle led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Senior right fielder Joe Moroney laid down the perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third with one out. However, Taylor struck out swinging and pinch hitter senior Ryan Pidhaichuk followed with a strikeout of his own to strand both on base.
Stanford starter Tristan Beck (3-1) tossed six and 1/3 innings and allowed all six KU hits. Reliever Colton Hock pitched one and 2/3 innings and struck out all five batters he faced, while closer Chris Viall shut the door in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
The two teams return to the field Saturday, March 19 for game two of the weekend series. Freshman righty Jackson Goddard will get the nod for KU with first pitch at 5 p.m. (CT). Fans can listen to the game live on the air on KJHK 90.7 FM and the Jayhawk Radio Network KUAthletics.com/Radio.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.