Longhorns blank Jayhawks to claim series
AUSTIN, Texas – A day after using five different pitchers in the series opener, senior lefty Taylor Turski gave the Kansas baseball team the quality start it needed in a Saturday afternoon loss to Texas, 4-0, at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Turski (1-3) matched a career-high seven innings pitched and saved a taxed Kansas (12-6, 0-2 Big 12) bullpen. The southpaw gave up four runs – three earned – and struck out five Texas (11-9, 2-0 Big 12) hitters. That quality start marked just his second of the season and arms head coach Ritch Price with a fresh bullpen to try and salvage the weekend.
“When you used all the arms we did yesterday, it was important that we went deep in the game today,” Price said. “I was pleased with Turski’s effort. I thought it was a really good outing by him.”
The Jayhawks couldn’t muster any offense off UT starter Blair Henley (3-1) in an attempt to aid Turski’s effort. Kansas connected for a season-low six hits, after entering Saturday’s game averaging 9.6 hits per contest. The Jayhawks stranded nine base runners and batted just 1-for-10 with runners on.
If that wasn’t enough, KU only got one leadoff man aboard when junior centerfielder Rudy Karre wore a pitch to start the top of the eighth inning.
“Henley was really good for them,” Price said. “When we had our opportunities to score, Henley made a big pitch. We have to do a better job of getting the leadoff hitter on in each inning. It is pretty hard to play offense without getting runners on base. We have been doing a good job swinging the bats all year. I told our guys, ‘there will be games where someone just flat out pitches you,’ and today was one of those days.”
Henley pitched seven innings and held KU scoreless while striking out four batters. Closer Beau Rideway came on and gave up one hit while striking out three Jayhawks to pick up the two-inning save.
Sophomore designated hitter Jaxx Groshans and senior first baseman Owen Taylor each recorded 2-for-4 efforts. Of the six Kansas hits, Karre recorded the lone extra-base hit with a triple in the third inning.
Kansas tries to salvage the weekend against the Longhorns on Sunday, March 18, at 1 p.m. Fans unable to attend can watch the game on the Longhorn Network and 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
Double play: In the top of the seventh inning with runners at first and second and one out, sophomore shortstop Benjamin Sems hit into the four-six-three double play. That marked the fourth double play the Jayhawks hit into on the weekend and proved to be a rally killer in Saturday’s contest with KU trailing Texas, 3-0, at that time.
Two on, no outs: In the top of the eighth inning, Kansas had a prime opportunity to start a rally after junior center fielder Rudy Karre and sophomore second baseman James Cosentino reached base with no outs. However, UT reliever Beau Ridgeway sat the meat of KU’s lineup down in order – Jaxx Groshans, Brendt Citta and Devin Foyle – to get out of the inning unscathed.
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