Tinsley's 10th-Inning Walkoff Tops Mavericks, 7-6
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – With two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning and the winning run at third base, junior catcher Michael Tinsley smoked a RBI-single to right field, as the Kansas baseball team defeated Omaha, 7-6, Wednesday night at Hoglund Ballpark.
The Jayhawks’ (13-18) catalyst all night, Tinsley drove in the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning and bookended it with the winning run in the 10th to complete the come-from-behind victory for the Jayhawks. He led all Kansas hitters with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate that included a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.
“Tinsley is a special player,” head coach Ritch Price said. “There is no doubt about that. He was just named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch list. He had an outstanding sophomore season and that has carried over to his junior year.”
Tinsley’s efforts at the plate against the Mavericks (17-16) would have gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for the clutch hitting of freshman Devin Foyle. Normally a regular in the Kansas lineup, Foyle came off the bench for the Jayhawks in the bottom of the eighth inning, KU trailing, 6-5.
With a runner at second and one out, the switch hitter drove the first pitch he saw down the right field line for the RBI-double – his seventh of the year – and knot the game up, 6-6.
“A lot of us put good swings on the ball tonight and came in clutch,” Tinsley said. “We had many opportunities where we had runners in scoring position and we were able to come through. Our offense is coming along and I am glad about that.”
Kansas took advantage of scoring opportunities when it presented itself. In fact, the Jayhawks scored one run in seven of the 10 innings, however gave up two crooked numbers to Omaha to keep them in the game.
Sophomore righty Ryan Ralston gave up a two-spot in the second inning and freshman reliever Blake Goldsberrry gave up three runs in the sixth inning. Four other KU pitchers combined to hold the Mavericks to one unearned run in seven innings, with junior closer Stephen Villines (4-1) pitching shutout ball in the final two frames.
“We wanted to break the game up by two innings at a time so we had everyone fresh this weekend,” Price said. “It ended up being a grind-it-out victory.”
Kansas trailed two different times before fighting its way back to tie it up in the second, 2-2, and eighth, 6-6, innings respectively. Senior second baseman Colby Wright (2-for-4) and sophomore designated hitter TJ Martin (2-for-4) rounded out the Jayhawks’ multi-hit performers on the night. Five different players drove in at least one run with Tinsley leading the way with two RBIs.
“Tonight was a grind for us,” Tinsley said. “We had the mentality that we were going to put some hits and runs on the board. Even though we didn’t score more than one run in an inning, we still had multiple innings where we scored. We found a way to put the ball in play with clutch hits when we needed them.”
The Jayhawks hope those clutch hits carry over into the weekend as Kansas heads down to Austin, to resume Big 12 play at Texas, April 15-17. All three games can be seen on the Longhorn Network while an audio broadcast will also be available on the Jayhawk Radio Network via KUAthletics.com/Radio.
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