Jayhawks’ rally falls short at Oklahoma
NORMAN, Okla. – A four-run seventh-inning rally was not enough Sunday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park, as the Kansas baseball team lost its third-straight game at Oklahoma, 10-5.
The Jayhawks (13-10, 0-3 Big 12) exploded for four runs in the top of the seventh inning after OU starter Levi Prater (5-1) had held them to just one run off two hits the first five frames.
Senior center fielder Rudy Karre drove in two of those runs off a single up the middle with the bases loaded. Junior second baseman James Cosentino followed suit with a two-RBI double to right center. Both those knocks came off of Sooner relief pitcher Jaret Godman.
That four-spot pulled Kansas to within a pair of runs of Oklahoma (21-4, 3-0 Big 12) after Prater’s dominant performance.
KU had another prime opportunity in the top of the eighth with the bases loaded and one out. Oklahoma made another call to its bullpen and brought in Jason Ruffcorn to face Karre. It took one pitch and Karre grounded into a double play to end the threat.
The Sooners tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of that frame to put the game out of reach, 10-5.
KU redshirt-freshman starter Eli Davis (2-3) made his Big 12 debut and got knocked around through four and 1/3 innings pitched where he gave up seven runs off 10 hits. The Jayhawks pieced together the final three and 2/3 innings with seven different pitchers that combined to give up three runs off three hits and seven walks.
Karre led all hitters with three RBIs. Sophomore third baseman Skyler Messinger finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Cosentino drove in a pair of runs.
- Kansas has lost seven-straight games – four of those contests have been by two runs or fewer with three decided by one run.
- Sophomore third baseman Skyler Messinger recorded his 10th multi-hit and eighth multi-RBI game of his career.
- Senior center fielder Rudy Karre notched his fifth three-RBI game of his career.
Head coach Ritch Price
On the seventh-inning rally:
“I was really pleased with the competitiveness we showed. Our bats got better each game of the weekend against some really good arms. Oklahoma didn’t run a guy out there under 92 MPH all weekend. Oklahoma is playing at a really high level. We fought our way back and had the bases loaded and a chance to do something special. The quality of our at bats were better, we just didn’t pitch anywhere close to what we are capable.”
On the quality of the at bats:
“We have to give credit to Oklahoma pitchers. Those aren’t just any arms they are throwing out there. I am just pleased with the fact that we were more competitive with all of our at bats today. Even our outs were hit harder too. We got better with the bat each day of the weekend.”
The Jayhawks travel to Missouri State for a midweek matchup on Wednesday, March 27 at Hammons Field.
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