Kansas falls short in weekend opener to TCU
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A season-low four hits and a one hour and 29 minute weather delay plagued the Kansas baseball team Friday afternoon, as the Jayhawks dropped the first game of a three-game set to TCU, 4-2, at Hoglund Ballpark.
Kansas (19-15, 3-7 Big 12) matched its season-low in hits it set last weekend (April 7) and saw just seven of the 34 batters it sent to the plate against the Horned Frogs (17-13, 5-5 Big 12) reach base. Sophomore second baseman James Cosentino paced KU with a 2-for-4 effort at the dish. Freshman third baseman Skyler Messinger recorded the lone extra-base hit for the Jayhawks after he led off the eighth with a double.
TCU starter Nick Lodolo (5-2) gave up a run in the first inning after surrendering a leadoff walk to junior center fielder Rudy Karre, who came around to score. That would be his only blemish as he two-hit the Jayhawks in a dominant six-inning performance that ended when the game moved into a weather delay at 4:55 p.m.
“We knew coming into the game today that it was going to be low scoring with the way the wind was howling in,” head coach Ritch Price said. “Lodolo has a great arm. What you try to do with a pitcher like that is get to him early before he gets into a rhythm. About the third inning, Lodolo found his breaking ball and pretty much dominated us after that.”
Cosentino registered his first hit – one of the two off Lodolo – in the third inning, but that would be all for KU until Messinger led off the eighth with a double. Lodolo retired 10 of the next 11 batters after that single with his only base runner reaching via a hit-by-pitch in the sixth inning with two outs (sophomore catcher Jaxx Groshans).
Cosentino picked up his second hit in the eighth, knocking in Messinger for KU’s final run on the day.
Senior lefty Taylor Turski (1-6) started on the bump for Kansas and gave up three runs off four hits and four walks in five innings of work. Senior Tyler Davis came on and pitched a scoreless sixth, and then redshirt-freshman Jonah Ulane pitched two innings of one-run ball. Freshman Daniel Hegarty closed it with a zero in the ninth.
“I was really pleased with our effort pitching today,” Price said. “I will pay our bullpen a compliment. That is the best game we have pitched on Friday since we started Big 12 play. That was a step forward for the young relievers in our pen.”
The Jayhawks and Horned Frogs continue their weekend matchup with a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday, April 14. Fans unable to attend can watch the game on the Jayhawk Television Network inside the state of Kansas and Kansas City metro area, or on ESPN3 outside the coverage area. The game can also be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Friday April the 13th: Kansas has played 44 games on April 13, with 11 of those contests falling on a Friday. In those 44 matchups, the Jayhawks hold a record of 30-14. However, on Friday, April the 13th, KU’s record stands at 4-7.
Lack of baserunners: The Jayhawks registered 34 plate appearances in Friday’s opener against TCU. Of those 34, only seven reached base. Kansas matched a season-low four hits that include three singles and a double, earned two walks, and reached by a hit-by-pitch. For the game, KU tallied a .206 on-base percentage – .180 less than its season total heading into Friday’s game.
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