Hernandez, Jayhawks Blank BYU in Game One, 2-0
PEORIA, Ariz. – After six hitless innings, junior third baseman Aaron Hernandez took matters into his own hands and scorched an RBI single up the middle in the top of the seventh inning to break-up the no-hitter and lead the Kansas baseball team to a 2-0 victory over Brigham Young Saturday morning at Peoria Stadium.
Hernandez’s single, one of three KU hits in the first game, came after BYU starter Kolton Mahoney loaded the bases with two walks and a hit-by-pitch, and scored junior left fielder Michael Suiter (HBP) from third. That run proved to be the difference maker as the Jayhawks (2-0) blanked the Cougars (0-2) in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Mahoney retired the KU side five times through seven innings, allowing just one hit, one earned run and three walks. Junior right hander Robert Kahana started on the bump for the Jayhawks and battled through seven complete innings for the win. The Ewa Beach, Hawaii, native gave up five hits and two walks while striking out four.
Senior closer Jordan Piche’ heard his number called for the second-straight game late in the innings, as he entered the game in the eighth and closed the door on the Cougars to pick up his first save of the season. He allowed two hits and a walk, but fanned three out of the nine batters he faced.
Brigham Young only reached third base twice in the game, with KU pitchers working out of the jam to preserve the shutout. Quick glove action by Hernandez at third and Tommy Mirabelli at second helped keep the zero on the scoreboard in the BYU run column.
Junior Blair Beck stepped in to pinch hit for freshman catcher Michael Tinsley in the eighth inning, driving a double to the left center gap. With a little help from a Dakota Smith fly ball and a wild pitch, Beck scored KU’s second run of the game for a little insurance.
Approximately 45 minutes from the conclusion of game one, Kansas and BYU will face off for game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, which is also the third game of the four game series.
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