K-State Crooked Numbers Doom Jayhawks, 12-2
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Three big Kansas State innings were too much to overcome Saturday night at Tointon Family Stadium as the Kansas baseball team dropped game two of the Sunflower Showdown, 12-2.
K-State (25-26, 7-13 Big 12) scored two runs in the first, two runs in the sixth and five runs in the seventh and roughed up the Jayhawks’ starter freshman righty Jackson Goddard (2-6) in the first inning thanks to a two-run bomb by designated hitter Josh Rolette. The two-run sixth came by way of two hits and a walk while the five spot included five hits, a hit-by-pitch and a walk.
That blast by Rolette erased a Kansas (20-30-1, 6-13 Big 12) one-run lead and shifted the momentum freshman left fielder Devin Foyle garnered after he hit a solo shot with two down in the top of the first. That shift in energy never found its way back to the Jayhawk dugout and knocked Goddard out of the game after one and 1/3 innings.
Goddard gave up the home run in the first and faced three batters in the second inning only to give up another run after back-to-back one-out singles. Goddard struggled to get ahead in the count and exited the game with the Jayhawks trailing 3-1. He gave up all three runs off five hits and faced just nine batters.
“It was a great effort last night and it was a really well-played game until the sixth inning today,” head coach Ritch Price said. “We just didn’t get the start we needed from Goddard in order to stay in the fight long enough.”
Kansas cut it to a one-run game in the fourth and rode reliever Tyler Davis four innings, who virtually shut down the Wildcats’ offense until the sixth when two of the three batters he faced reached base. The Jayhawks called to junior lefty Jeremy Kravetz with runners at first and second and one out.
Kravetz forced Rolette to ground for the second out, but the runners advanced. Then after getting ahead of KSU first baseman Jake Scudder, the lefty bat squibbed one into right field scoring both runners with two outs to increase the KU deficit, 6-2.
“I was pleased with the job Davis did,” Price said. “He gets out of the jam in the second inning and it’s a 3-1 game. We cut it two runs, 4-2, but the flood gates opened in the sixth and they just boat raced us. It was a highly competitive game up until that point.”
The Wildcats used that two-run sixth to force the Kansas bullpen to work hard to get outs the final two and 2/3 innings on the mound. KU used four different relievers to get the final eight outs where K-State scored a combined eight runs off eight hits.
Foyle led the Jayhawks with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate, including a home run, and scored both of their runs. Outside of Foyle, Kansas couldn’t find a remedy for K-State starter Levi MaVorhis (6-4). The righty tossed eight innings and gave up two runs off six hits without issuing a walk.
“Joe Moroney and Matt McLaughlin hit lasers for outs in the first inning before Foyle hit the ball out of the park,” Price said. “Once MaVorhis found his changeup, he was really tough on our left-handed hitters. He dominated them. He has been really good against us for four years.”
The rubber match in this year’s Sunflower Showdown is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 15. Fans can watch the game live on Cox Kansas and ESPN3, while an audio broadcast is available on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
“It will be an emotionally charged game tomorrow,” Price said. “Both teams are playing for the series and a right to go to Oklahoma City for the Big 12 Championship.”
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