Kansas bested in series finale at Cincinnati
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Four late Bearcat runs were too much to overcome as the Kansas baseball team lost the series finale to Cincinnati, 9-3, Sunday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium.
The Jayhawks (19-24) cut the Bearcats’ (22-19) lead to two runs, 5-3, in the sixth inning after redshirt-sophomore center fielder Brendt Citta connected for a two-out, three-run double. However, Cincinnati tagged sophomore relievers Jonah Ulane and Gabriel Sotomayor for a four-spot in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach.
“I thought we grinded today,” head coach Ritch Price said. “When we cut the deficit to two runs, I liked our chances. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop the bleeding there late.”
Senior lefty Taylor Turski (1-7) gave Kansas five and 1/3 innings on the bump where Cincinnati scored five runs off five hits and three walks. The southpaw matched his career high in strikeouts, fanning nine Bearcats on the day.
“I thought Turski pitched really well, better than his line shows,” Price said. “That play in center where Citta lost the ball in the sun with two outs doesn’t show up on the box score. I thought he pitched well for us, getting us to the sixth inning.”
That play Price is referring to was scored as a two-run triple after Citta misplayed the ball after losing it in the sun in center field. That led to a two-run third inning for the Bearcats and sparked a rally of five-unanswered runs across the next three frames.
Kansas answered with a three-spot in the sixth inning, but a four-run UC eighth ended all hopes of a comeback.
“All we can do is keep grinding,” Price said. “I liked the way we played this weekend. I still feel good about this team. They go about their business in a professional manner and they compete hard. I know one thing about this group of guys, they won’t quit. We still have three huge series to play. We have to find a way to snap this streak.”
After today’s loss, KU has now gone winless in its last 11 contests dating back to a 14-11 loss at Creighton on April 11.
Kansas heads to Missouri State on Wednesday, May 2, for a midweek matchup, before returning to the state of Kansas for its final nine games of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Blinded by the light: Redshirt-sophomore Brendt Citta lost a deep fly ball in the sun that scored as a two-run triple. That gave Cincinnati its first runs of the game and sparked a streak of five-unanswered by the Bearcats.
Walkless: Kansas sent 34 batters to plate in Sunday’s series finale and struck out 11 times without recording a walk. The only free passes allowed were three hit-by-pitches.
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