Duncan’s 14 Strikeouts Help Jayhawks Win Seventh Straight

Freshman catcher Michael Tinsley batted 3-for-4 with a triple, three RBIs and two runs scored.
Kansas 11, Mississippi Valley State 1
North Charlotte Regional Park // Port Charlotte, Fla.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H
MVSU 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4
KU 0 0 4 2 0 0 1 4 X 11 17

Box Score (.pdf)

Season Stats (.pdf)

Post-game Podcast (audio)

Batting Leaders
M. Tinsley 4 2 3 2 0 0
M. Suiter 4 2 2 2 1 0
J. Protacio 4 1 2 2 0 0
T. Steele 3 1 2 0 0 0
K. May 4 0 1 0 0 0
A. Smith 4 0 1 0 0 0
Top Pitchers
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
F. Duncan (1-0) 7.2 4 1 1 0 14
T. Rappaport 0.1 0 0 0 0 1
H. Edwards 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
C. Sheppeard (0-2) 4.0 9 6 5 1 1
T. Hawkins 2.0 3 1 1 1 0
C. Waddingham 1.1 5 4 4 0 0
T. Case 0.2 0 0 0 0 1

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Senior right hander Frank Duncan struck out a career-high 14 batters, as the Kansas baseball team defeated Mississippi Valley State, 11-1, in the Snowbird Classic at North Charlotte Regional Park Sunday afternoon.
Duncan (1-0) threw 92 pitches, 71 for strikes, in seven and two thirds innings of work allowing just four hits and one earned run to go along with his 14 strikeouts against the Delta Devils (0-8). His dominating performance was a complete 180 from a week ago, when he gave up 12 hits and seven runs in six and two thirds innings against BYU.
“When you play a team like Mississippi Valley State, you need to get on the mound and pound the zone, and that is all I tried to do today,” Duncan said. “Luckily I got into a lot of two-strike counts and was able to make the put away pitches when I had to.”
Kansas (7-0) scored 11 runs off of 17 hits with seven Jayhawks boasting multiple-hit performances. Freshman catcher Michael Tinsley entered the game 0-for-1 with a walk and stolen base in just one start behind the dish, but made his second start of the season count as he led all players with three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored in four at bats.
“I felt really confident today,” Tinsley said. “I was hunting fastball every at bat and every time I got a fastball, I made sure I put the best swing on it.”
Junior shortstop Justin Protacio, junior left fielder Michael Suiter, sophomore first baseman Jacob Boylan and senior centerfielder Tucker Tharp tallied two hits apiece, with Protacio, Suiter and Tharp each driving in two RBIs.
The Jayhawks have tallied 10 or more hits in four of their seven games this season, while reaching the 17-hit mark in three of those four. The 67 runs scored combined in those seven contests are 20 runs more than the team scored in the first seven last season, when they started 4-3, and the seven-straight wins to start the season ranks No. 2 to the 10-0 start back in 2002.
The 7-0 grind the past two weeks hasn’t been an easy one for the Jayhawks, who have battled from behind in four of those wins, but head coach Ritch Price knows how to get the team to perform at a consistent level each day.
“I think one of the things you try to teach to your players is that baseball is a five month grind,” Price said. You have to go to the ballpark every day and there will be days when you don’t feel good, there will be days your arm doesn’t feel good, your swing doesn’t feel good but you need to fight through that and find a way to perform at a consistent level in order to be a really good player. Today is a perfect example. Coach Graves and I talked about this before the ball game. We could be 3-3. We’ve made three great rallies to be 6-0 where our players have shown some heart and some courage and some toughness, and some guys have clutched up with the game on the line, but today was a game if you are the University of Kansas and you are playing a team from the SWAC, you are supposed to dominate. That was the expectation level today. I think certainly the domination starts with Frank Duncan on the mound and offensively, we were very very good.”
Kansas is back in action Monday, Feb. 24, when the team plays its final game of the Snowbird Classic against St. Bonaventure. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. (CST).
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