Krauth Pitches Friday Night Gem Over Baylor, 6-1
WACO, Texas – The most complete game the Jayhawks have played to date, the Kansas baseball team used a strong pitching performance from its ace to garner a crucial Friday night win over Baylor, 6-1, at Baylor Ballpark.
Time and time again, senior lefty Ben Krauth (2-4) turns in stellar performance after stellar performance for the Jayhawks (10-13, 1-2 Big 12), and Friday night against the Bears (11-14, 1-3 Big 12) was no different. The southpaw pitched equally as well as he did in his last three starts, chalking up another 11 strikeouts to his name.
Krauth paced Kansas through seven innings and gave up just six hits and one unearned run. His 11 strikeouts rank second-most in his career and completes a string of four-straight starts with nine or more punch outs – a first in the tenure of 14th-year head coach Ritch Price.
“Any time you win a game on Friday night in our conference, it starts with your starting pitcher,” Price said. “That is four great outings in a row for that young man. I feel really good that our club finally scored enough runs to get him a win. He just keeps going out there and competing and when he gets into trouble – it is all about next pitch with him. He is a real special young man.”
Combined in his last four starts, Krauth has thrown 32 innings and allowed just three earned runs for a 0.84 ERA. During that span, he has struck out 41 batters and averaged 10.3 strikeouts per start, all while holding opponents a .168 batting average.
However, even with those numbers, Krauth attributes his offense for opening this series with a win.
“It was all about the offense today,” Krauth said. “They came in here and scored six runs and made it a lot easier to just go out there and throw the ball.”
Price agreed that it was the team’s best all-around game this year.
“It was our most complete performance of the season,” Price said. “However, what is disappointing is the number of bad at bats the young guys are having. If I can eliminate the bad at bats we are going to be a really good club.”
One of those young guys that had a bad at bat his first time through the lineup was third baseman Rudy Karre. The freshman struck out on three bad pitches, but Price settled him down and Karre came back and led Kansas to victory with four RBIs including a three-run home run.
“(Price) told me after my first at bat if I want to improve on my hitting, I have to start doing the little things right,” Karre said. “Right before my second at bat, (Price) told me to be short to the ball and do something to impact the game.”
That is all Karre did was impact the game. From the fifth inning sacrifice fly to break open the scoring and the three-run jack in the sixth to put up a four-spot, Karre did all the little things right to lead an offensive charge that saw all nine starters in the Kansas lineup register a hit. That included a ninth-inning single by senior Colby Wright to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
“Our guys have been working so hard,” Karre said. “We are all so close and that makes a big impact. When you string one hit together, more come. Our team is just hitting the ball really well right now. I know when more chances come around, we are going to produce more runs and give (Krauth) more wins.”
Kansas has a chance Saturday, April 2, to give sophomore lefty Blake Weiman a win as he squares off against Baylor’s right-handed junior Drew Tolson. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. Fans can watch the game on Fox Sports Midwest and Fox Sports Go, or tune into the action live on KWOD 1660 AM and the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
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