Kansas sweeps doubleheader against Texas Southern
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team scored eight-unanswered runs against Texas Southern in the night cap of a Saturday doubleheader to win its fifth-straight game, 8-4, at Hoglund Ballpark.
KU (26-22) relied on its veteran arms from the bullpen and clutch hitting in the middle innings to overcome a 4-0 lead the Tigers (16-30) built. Junior lefty Blake Weiman (3-1) stopped the bleeding with two scoreless innings after he entered the game in the fifth. Sophomore righty Zack Leban closed out the final three frames to pick up his first-career save.
Those arms came in relief of freshman Ryan Zeferjahn, who started the day’s second contest. Zeferjahn allowed four runs off six hits in his four-inning stint, that then forced head coach Ritch Price to use his bullpen trailing 4-0.
Kansas strung together back-to-back crooked numbers in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to take the lead once and for all. Junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin sparked that rally with a leadoff double down the right field line in the fourth. The Jayhawks used that energy and scored a combined five runs off six hits in those two frames to take the lead, 5-4.
KU tallied a total of nine hits against the Tigers, with seven coming off their starter Darius Boykins (0-6). Of those nine hits, the Jayhawks connected for five doubles, including two by sophomore outfielder Devin Foyle. Freshman second baseman James Cosentino and junior first baseman Owen Taylor each boasted multi-RBI efforts, while Taylor was also a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two singles and a double.
With that victory, Kansas pushed its winning streak to five games – the longest for a Price team since the squad won seven-consecutive games from April 25-May 4 in 2014.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Eight unanswered: Trailing 4-0 in the fourth inning, junior shortstop Matt McLaughlin roped a lead-off double down the right-field line and sent a surge of energy through the Kansas dugout. From that point on, the Jayhawks rallied to score eight-unanswered runs across the next four innings to claim its third-straight win over Texas Southern in two days.
Three to close: After head coach Ritch Price was forced to use his bullpen earlier than planned, sophomore righty Zack Leban answered the call with three shutout-frames to close out the game and pick up his first-career save. Those three innings saw just one Texas Southern base hit, as Leban retired the last four in order.
The Jayhawks close out their four-game series against Texas Southern on Sunday, May 7, when they go for the sweep at 1 p.m. Fans can watch the game on ESPN3 or tune into the audio broadcast on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio or on the official “Kansas Jayhawks” app.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.