Kansas falls at St. John’s in extras
QUEENS, N.Y. – A wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th sealed Kansas baseball’s fate Friday afternoon at Jack Kaiser Stadium, as the Jayhawks dropped the first of a three-game set to St. John’s, 1-0.
The Red Storm (5-9) strung together multiple rallies in the ninth and 10th innings, respectively, after Kansas (13-4) starter Ryan Zeferjahn one-hit them through eight frames.
Sophomore right fielder Blaine Ray halted one of those threats in the bottom of the ninth by throwing out the potential winning run at the dish with one out. However, it was a bases loaded wild pitch by redshirt-junior reliever Blake Goldsberry (2-2) that snapped the Jayhawks’ nine-game winning streak and erased a strong performance by KU’s ace.
Zeferjahn no-hit St. John’s through six innings before Red Storm center fielder Sean McGeehan led off the seventh with a single. That stood as the only base hit Zeferjahn allowed through his eight innings of work. The hurler did allow six free passes – five walks and a hit-by-pitch – but battled out of trouble, recording six punchouts in the process.
Kansas had two prime opportunities to score with a runner on third and less than two outs in the third and fifth innings, respectively. Junior shortstop Benjamin Sems led off the third with a triple – the game’s only extra-base hit – but a pop up, line out and strike out followed to leave him stranded on base.
Junior left fielder Brett Vosik drew a walk in the fifth and reached third with one out, but failed to score after the next two hitters went down in order. The Jayhawks managed four baserunners the remainder of the game, including two in the ninth and one in the 10th, but the bats remained cold.
- Kansas snapped its nine-game winning streak that started on Feb. 24.
- The loss at St. John’s marked the first “L” for the Jayhawks in the month of March.
- KU matched its season-low for hits in a game, finishing the day with three.
- Junior righty Ryan Zeferjahn matched a career high with eight innings pitched (Last done at Kansas State, May 12, 2018).
Head coach Ritch Price
On not being able to score with a runner on third, less than two outs:
“When you are playing against one of the best pitchers in America and you have opportunities to score, you have to take advantage of them. We had opportunities to do it twice and we couldn’t get the base hit and just had awful at bats.”
On Ryan Zeferjahn’s effort:
“I was really pleased with Zeferjahn. He knew he had to put up a zero or a one-spot in order to have an opportunity to win. That was as good as he has been all season. He showed toughness and put eight zeroes up. The times he got in trouble he got out of it like big-time guys do. When you get an effort like that, you have to find a way to win.”
Kansas continues its series at St. John’s on Saturday, with a 12 p.m. (CT) first pitch from inside Jack Kaiser Stadium.
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