Late Kansas rally falls short at Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Kansas baseball team’s attempt to tie the game was thrown out at the dish in the ninth inning, as the Jayhawks’ comeback fell short Friday night at the Bearcats’ Marge Schott Stadium, 4-3.
Kansas (19-22) trailed Cincinnati (20-19), 4-2, heading into that final frame. The Jayhawks got their first two hitters aboard in redshirt-sophomore right fielder Brendt Citta and senior first baseman Owen Taylor, and moved them into scoring position after a pinch-hit sacrifice bunt by sophomore Mateo Zunica.
Head coach Ritch Price then called to the bat of junior David Kyriacou off the bench, and he delivered a strike up the middle into center field. It looked as if Kansas would knot the game up, but pinch runner Blake Shinkle, who was running for Taylor, was thrown out at the dish by a rifle of a throw from Bearcat center fielder Treg Haberkorn.
“Both my guys off the bench executed tonight,” Price said. “Haberkorn made a great play on that ball sprinting in full speed and threw it right on the money. It was a great at bat. I will give them credit, we battled and pitched good just like they did, and they won a one-run game.”
That one-run game came on the heels of a three-run second inning for the Bearcats off KU sophomore starter Ryan Zeferjahn (6-3). The hurler walked the bases loaded with one out and then Cincinnati hit him up for three runs off back-to-back singles.
“In the second inning we walk the bases loaded and they put a three spot up on us,” Price said. “Zeferjahn pitched great outside of that one inning. He struggled with his command in the second and they took advantage of it.”
Zeferjahn pitched six innings and gave up those three runs off four this and five walks, while striking out eight. Senior Tyler Davis came on in relief and gave up the late Cincinnati insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, that proved to be the difference maker.
Offensively, the Jayhawks connected for 10 hits with sophomores James Cosentino (2-for-4) and Jaxx Groshans (2-for-4) boasting multi-hit performances. Junior left fielder Devin Foyle connected for his eighth home run on the year while freshman third baseman Skyler Messinger had the only other extra-base hit, a two-out double in the second inning.
“I was really pleased with our approach at the plate today,” Price said. “It was a great college baseball game. It was well played and well-pitched on both ends.”
Kansas continues its series at Cincinnati with a 5 p.m. (CT) first pitch against the Bearcats on Saturday, April 28.
Eight bombs: Junior left fielder Devin Foyle connected for his eighth home run of the season and his third in the last five games. Those eight jacks mark the most for a KU player in a single season since 2015 when Blair Beck accomplished the same feat.

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