Texas bats stun Kansas in conference opener
AUSTIN, Texas – On the night Texas honored their late legendary skipper Augie Garrido, the Kansas baseball team couldn’t keep pace with the Longhorns’ offense and fell in their Big 12 opener, 14-4, Friday night at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
Garrido passed away Thursday morning following complications from a stroke he had earlier in the week and the Longhorns (10-9, 1-0 Big 12) used that motivation to snap a five-game skid. The Jayhawks (12-5, 0-1 Big 12) played from behind the entire game after UT plated two unearned runs off senior starter Tyler Davis (0-1) in the bottom of the first.
Kansas managed to pull all the way within a run thanks to a two-run home run by sophomore second baseman James Cosentino in the top of the fourth. However, the Longhorns put up a five-spot in the bottom of that frame to put the game out of reach.
Texas scored its 14 runs off 16 hits and 10 walks, while Kansas connected for 10 hits including two home runs and a double.
“I was pleased with how we swung the bats,” head coach Ritch Price said. “I thought we did a nice job competing offensively, and we kept grinding.”
Davis pitched three and 1/3 innings in the loss, giving up eight runs – five earned – off 10 hits and a walk. He became the game’s starter after junior righty Jackson Goddard was a scratch. Davis was relieved in the five-run Texas fourth by freshman lefty Daniel Hegarty.
Hegarty tossed two innings of one-run ball before classmate Steve Washilewski took over in the sixth. The southpaw gave up three runs across one and 1/3 innings and struck out three compared to four walks. Freshman Conner VanCleave and senior Chase Kaplan closed out the final four outs where the Longhorns tacked on a pair of runs.
“I thought Davis did a good job,” Price said. “We made a crucial error in the first inning and had to play from behind the whole game. Then in the five run inning, the Texas hitters just blooped the ball into center field – Davis made good pitches. Obviously, our freshmen left-handers had a tough day and unfortunately, we didn’t pitch good enough to win tonight.”
Longhorns’ ace Nolan Kingham (3-2) did pitch well enough for the win after going the distance in a 97-pitch effort. The Jayhawks hit him up for four runs off 10 hits and only struck out three times.
Junior center fielder Rudy Karre (2-for-4), Cosentino (2-for-3) and sophomore designated hitter Brett Vosik (2-for-3) boasted multi-hit performances off of Kingham. Cosentino finished with two RBIs and a run scored after his two-run bomb, while Karre hit a solo shot to lead off the sixth inning.
Kansas and Texas continue its conference series on Saturday, March 17, with a 1 p.m. first pitch. 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
Error in the first: With a runner at first and one out, sophomore second baseman James Cosentino booted a routine double-play ball to get out of the inning unscathed. In turn, the Longhorns strung together two more base hits to take an early two-run lead. From the first inning on, the Jayhawks played from behind, playing as close as a one-run deficit in the top of the fourth.
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