TCU tops Kansas to claim series victory
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas baseball team lost Saturday’s matchup with TCU, 13-3, at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Horned Frogs (18-13, 6-5 Big 12) used eight innings from starter Sean Wymer (2-2) and two big swings from first baseman Luken Baker to claim the series win over the Jayhawks (19-16, 3-8 Big 12).
“Wymer was in complete command today on the mound for them,” head coach Ritch Price said. “He was tough to hit today. We had chances, and we have to keep grinding.”
Wymer no hit Kansas through three innings before sophomore designated hitter Brett Vosik led off the fourth with a double. The Jayhawks didn’t connect for another base knock until the sixth when sophomore catcher Jaxx Groshans led that frame off with a double and then redshirt-sophomore right fielder Brendt Citta singled to drive him in.
Wymer’s day ended after eight complete frames and allowing two runs off four hits and a walk – he struck out six in the process.
Redshirt-sophomroe Ryan Cyr (4-2) earned the starting bid for Kansas – the first of his Jayhawk career – and got tagged for six runs off nine hits in his five and 1/3 innings of work. Sophomore Gabriel Sotomayor came on to get out of the sixth, and then freshman Conner VanCleave and senior Casey Douglas combined to throw the final three frames.
TCU’s Baker single-handedly took control of the game offensively with his two swings of the bat. In the first, he got the Horned Frogs on the board with a two-run bomb to straight-away center field. Then in the eighth, he took advantage of a bases loaded situation with a grand slam that cleared the trees in left field.
If ever there was a bright spot on a day like today for the Jayhawks, it came in the way of their defensive effort and a first-career home run by sophomore Mateo Zunica.
Kansas turned a season-high four double plays – the most since April 5, 2016 – that included a line-drive off of Sotomayor that was caught by sophomore shortstop Benjamin Sems and then thrown to sophomore second baseman James Cosentino for the one-six-four two-out swing.
“We played well defensively,” Price said. “I don’t think I have ever seen a ball lined off the pitcher, caught by the shortstop and then a double play ball to the second baseman. What an unbelievable play.”
That play highlighted the defensive effort, but Zunica highlighted the day with his first-career home run in the top of the ninth that hit off the scoreboard. Prior to that at bat, Zunica registered 45 plate appearances with no extra-base hits.
“I was really happy for Zunica,” Price said. “He is one of the hardest workers in our program. He comes to the park every day and he grinds and competes. You can see the progress he has made.”
The Jayhawks try to salvage the weekend on Sunday, April 15, with sophomore righty Ryan Zeferjahn on the hill. Fans unable to attend can watch the game on the Jayhawk Television Network inside the state of Kansas and Kansas City metro area, or on ESPN3 outside the coverage area. The game can also be heard on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Four DPs: Kansas turned a season-high four double plays – the most since April 5, 2016. In head coach Ritch Price’s tenure, the Jayhawks have accomplished that same feat on three other occasions and eight times in school history – it stands as the school record.
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