Kansas outlasted by Wildcats
LAWRENCE, Kan. – On a cold day with conditions that warranted a pitcher’s duel, the Kansas baseball team scored a season-high in runs and off a season-best 19 hits in a 18-12 loss to Northwestern Saturday afternoon at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Wildcats (2-3) and Jayhawks (3-2) combined for 30 runs off 36 hits, the most runs two teams have combined for at Hoglund Ballpark since April 25, 2010, when 31 total runs were scored in a game against Texas Tech.
“One of the things you expect from the Kansas Jayhawks is that you keep competing no matter what the scoreboard says,” head coach Ritch Price said. “We got behind early, but we kept battling until the end.”
Senior lefty Taylor Turski (0-2) started the game by striking out the side in 15 pitches. With a dominant start, Turski lost his command in the second inning, and his day was done after two and 2/3 innings of work. The southpaw gave up seven runs off seven hits – four extra-base hits, including a home run – in a 60-pitch effort.
The Jayhawks used a combination of six relievers to close out the final six and 1/3 innings where Northwestern mustered another 11 runs. In total, the Wildcats hit up KU pitching for 10 extra-base hits, including seven doubles, two triples and a home run.
“The first inning, Turski was electric,” Price said. “That was the guy we are used to seeing. Things unraveled and you see how the game played out. We couldn’t throw strike one. Then you get behind in the count and couldn’t spin the ball for a strike. We were throwing fastballs in fastball counts. From the second inning on they were all over the fastball and we couldn’t get anybody out.”
Offensively, Kansas wasn’t far off the pace of Northwestern with eight extra-base hits of its own – seven doubles and a triple. Juniors Devin Foyle and David Kyriacou both recorded two doubles a piece while senior Owen Taylor legged out the lone triple.
Foyle finished the day 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Sophomore Jaxx Groshans also had a three-hit affair, while Taylor finished with a team-high four RBIs.
“I was pleased with the way we kept grinding out at bats, especially with how cold it was today,” Price said. “I am just shocked to see that many runs scored on a day as cold and as damp as today was.”
The two teams are back on the diamond Sunday, Feb. 25 for a 1 p.m. first pitch. Fans unable to attend can watch the game on ESPN3, available at WatchESPN.com or streaming live on multiple devices via the ESPN app. In addition to a video broadcast, the contest can also be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Doubled up: With bases loaded in both the bottom of the second and bottom of the sixth innings, respectively, Kansas managed to hit into double plays to keep runs of the board. In the second, senior Tanner Gragg ended the inning after he rolled one over to the third baseman. Then in the sixth, senior Luke Bakula grounded one to second for the four-six-three double play.
The long ball: For the second-straight start and fourth time out of the last six appearances, senior Taylor Turski has given up a home run. In his career at Kansas when giving up a home run in a start, Turski is 0-5 in seven such outings. He holds an ERA of 3.65 in those contests allowing 22 runs (15 earned) off 35 hits in 37 innings pitched.
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