Kansas bullpen falters at No. 4 Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A five-run lead was not enough, as the Kansas baseball team dropped the first of a two-game set at No. 4 Florida State Monday night inside Dick Howser Stadium.
The Jayhawks (8-3) jumped out to an early 5-0 lead through the first four innings, but the Seminoles (12-0) scored 10-unanswered runs the final five frames to complete the comeback.
“Playing four games in a row, our bullpen was kind of taxed,” head coach Ritch Price said. “We had to pitch some guys in roles they were not familiar or comfortable with, and we just ran out of gas.”
The bullpen relieved junior righty Blake Goldsberry, who battled through four-plus innings on the hill. Goldsberry allowed three runs off four hits and a walk, while striking out three batters.
Four pitchers followed to close out the final five innings, with redshirt-sophomore Ryan Cyr (1-1) taking the loss. In total, the bullpen faced 25 batters, walk four and hit two. The foursome allowed seven runs off seven hits and struck out three.
“If we had a day’s rest coming off the weekend series, we could have used our bullpen in a different manner,” Price said. “However, that was not the case, but it was good to get guys out there in different roles to get them some experience.”
Experience told a different story in the first half of the game. Kansas silenced the hostile crowd scoring the game’s first five runs, but none more deafening than a solo home run by sophomore second baseman James Cosentino in the first inning.
Cosentino took a two-strike pitch deep over the 25-plus foot wall in right field – a no doubter – to spark the KU bench. Sophomore designated hitter Brett Vosik followed with a RBI-double and the Jayhawks had a two-run advantage in the first.
Then in the second, sophomore catcher Jaxx Groshans hit a two-run double down the left field line to plate another pair of runs. He followed up in the fourth with a RBI-single to round out the scoring for the Jayhawks.
“I was really pleased with our performance the first four innings,” Price said. “We absolutely dominated and played as well as we could have played. However, my message to the team tomorrow in our pregame meeting is going to be that five runs is not enough. You can’t get complacent with a five-run lead. You have to keep adding, especially when you are playing a team like Florida State.”
That five-run lead vanished quickly following a bottom of the fourth where the Seminoles scored their first run of the game. That sacrifice fly rallied the crowd and it was all FSU down the stretch.
Kansas the Seminoles close out the two-game midweek set Tuesday, March 6 with a 6 p.m. EST first pitch. Fans can watch the game on ESPN3, available at WatchESPN.com or streaming live on multiple devices via the ESPN app. In addition, the contest can be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
‘Cos he can: In the top half of the first inning in a hostile environment, sophomore second baseman James Cosentino silenced the Florida State faithful with a moon shot of a home run deep over the 25-plus foot wall in right field. That one-out home run sparked a four-inning tear for the Jayhawks offensively, where they scored five unanswered runs to take a 5-0 lead.
Locked and loaded: Florida State found some life in the bottom of the fourth inning after it loaded the bases with no outs. Kansas starter Blake Goldsberry buckled down and limited the damage to one run off a sacrifice fly. However, that run sent a jolt of energy into the FSU dugout and in turn, scored 10-unanswered runs to erase a 5-0 deficit.
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