Kansas miscues costly against Oklahoma State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Three errors and five free bases plagued the Kansas baseball team Thursday night at Hoglund Ballpark as the Jayhawks dropped game one of a three-game series to Oklahoma State, 11-6.
Kansas (15-18, 4-6 Big 12) walked five batters, hit another three and committed three errors that allowed Oklahoma State (20-13, 4-6 Big 12) to build an early lead that was too much for the Jayhawks to handle.
Sophomore Zack Leban (2-2) started on the hill for KU – his second-career start coming in back-to-back games – and pitched three innings. He gave up three runs, one in each of the first three frames of the game, and walked three batters.
“Leban pitched himself in and out of trouble every inning,” head coach Ritch Price said. “I actually felt good that it was only 3-1 after three innings and thought we still had a chance.”
That chance fell to junior Chase Kaplan who came on in relief for Leban. However, the southpaw couldn’t find his rhythm and the Cowboys hit him for six runs off five hits in one and 2/3 innings of work. Only two of those runs were earned as three defensive miscues led to the other four.
“We have to catch the ball,” Price said. “We buried ourselves in this game because we made three really bad plays. James Cosentino and Matt McLaughlin have been our best defenders all season, but tonight, they made a couple bad plays.”
One of those plays came in the fourth inning when McLaughlin threw the ball away on an infield single to allow two runs to score. Then in the fifth, Cosentino tried to get the lead runner at second and his throw went wide that led to three unearned runs in the frame.
Kansas kept battling down 11-3 and strung together a rally in the bottom of the sixth off OSU starter Joe Lienhard (2-0). Freshman right fielder Brett Vosik led off with a walk and junior first baseman Owen Taylor singled. Sophomore centerfielder Rudy Karre followed with an RBI-double before a Cosentino sacrifice fly. Freshman designated hitter Jaxx Groshans then drove in a two-out RBI to round out the scoring at three runs in the frame, 11-6.
Oklahoma State turned then turned the game over to its bullpen and it was able to shut down the Kansas bats to throw up three zeroes and end the game, 11-6.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trio of errors: For the fifth time this season, Kansas committed three or more errors in a game, finishing tonight’s contest with three. Of the 11 Cowboy runs, only seven of them were earned. When committing three or more errors, the Jayhawks hold a record of 1-4, with its lone win coming at Oral Roberts (March 15).
Three-straight crooked numbers: Oklahoma State scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, and then added two runs in the sixth to score a total of eight runs in the middle innings. Prior to the outburst in those three frames, the Cowboys held a 3-1 lead over Kansas, but after, they pulled ahead 11-3.
All but three: The Cowboys scored at least one run in its first six innings of play and finished the sixth frame totaling 11 runs. The Kansas bullpen was able to throw up three zeroes to close out the game in large to the four and 1/3 innings effort out of sophomore righty Blake Goldsberry.
Singles: OSU had 15 hits on the day, but not one extra-base hit. The Cowboys utilized five walks and three hit-by-pitches by the Kansas pitching staff to do most of their damage that included 11 runs.
Kansas and Oklahoma State continue its Big 12 series matchup Friday, April 14 at 7 p.m. Fans can watch the action live through a nationally televised broadcast on Fox Sports 1. The game can also be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official “Kansas Jayhawks” app.
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