Late Kansas rally falls short at Texas
AUSTIN, Texas – Four-unanswered runs were not enough, as the Kansas baseball team dropped the last of a three-game set to Texas, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The Longhorns (12-9, 3-0 Big 12) found themselves on the right side of two key plays in the ballgame. The first came in the fourth inning where UT shortstop Masen Hibbeler grazed the right-field foul line for a RBI-double. The second came in the top of the eighth inning when Kansas (12-7, 0-3 Big 12) sophomore designated hitter Brett Vosik just missed a three-run double down the left-field line by less than an inch.
Vosik ended that same at bat with a strikeout, and the Jayhawks could only muster one run after loading the bases with nobody out in the frame.
“Those two plays were the difference in the game,” head coach Ritch Price said. “Texas’ ball falls in there down the right field line, and Vosik’s doesn’t. When Vosik’s ball was hit, I think everyone in our dugout thought it was a three-run double. It not only had a chance to tie the game up, but it had a chance of putting us ahead.”
The Jayhawks played from behind from the very first pitch of the game from sophomore righty Ryan Zeferjahn (3-1). Hibbeler saw that first pitch from Zeferjahn and hit it out of the park.
In the same frame, UT second baseman Kody Clemens hit a two-run shot and Texas took a 3-0 lead in the first.
“Texas just ambushed Zeferjahn in that first inning,” Price said. “He settled down and got us into the fifth inning, and then our bullpen gave us a chance to come back late.”
That bullpen consisted of two and 2/3 innings from redshirt-sophomore Ryan Cyr and 2/3 innings from junior closer Zack Leban. Cyr struck out three without allowing a run while all Leban had to do was throw one pitch to get an inning-ending double play to get out of the eighth.
Kansas got the tying run aboard in the ninth via a hit-by-pitch by sophomore second baseman James Cosentino. However, the middle of the order couldn’t connect and the Jayhawks dropped their third-straight game.
The Jayhawks continue their road trip when they head to Arizona for a two-game midweek set at Grand Canyon, March 20-21.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
One pitch, one run: On the first pitch of the game, sophomore righty Ryan Zeferjahn gave up a home run and as a result, the Jayhawks had to play from behind from the first inning on. Kansas holds a record of 3-4 when opponents score in the first inning.
Foul ball: With the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the eighth inning, sophomore designated hitter Brett Vosik lined a ball down the left field line. The ball landed just off the line in foul territory – about the thickness of a piece of paper. Instead of the Jayhawks rallying to tie the game on that swing, they mustered to score just one run in the frame.
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