Jayhawks Strand Eight in First Loss of 2014

Junior righty Robert Kahana tossed seven innings, allowing six hits, three runs while striking out five.
Houston Baptist 4, Kansas 2
QuikTrip Park // Grand Prairie, Texas
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H
HBU 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 4 7
KU 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 9

Box Score (.pdf)

Season Stats (.pdf)

Batting Leaders
C. McKay 4 0 3 1 0 0
M. Suiter 4 0 2 1 0 0
C. Jones 4 0 1 2 0 0
J. Hebert 3 2 3 0 0 0
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
R. Kahana (1-1) 7.0 6 3 3 1 5
D. Smith 2.0 1 1 1 2 0
R. Lower (2-0) 8.0 9 2 2 1 2
J. Martinez (2) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – A combined five hits and two RBIs from junior outfielders Michael Suiter and Connor McKay powered the Jayhawk offense, but couldn’t stop the Kansas baseball team from dropping its first game of the season to Houston Baptist, 4-2, Saturday afternoon at QuikTrip Park.
The Jayhawks (9-1) stranded eight base runners throughout the course of the game, and failed to convert on a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the fifth inning that could have tied the game as KU trailed 3-2. In contrast, HBU (7-3) took a play from the Kansas playbook, as the squad scored all four of its runs with two outs.
Junior right hander Robert Kahana (1-1) started on the bump for KU and tossed seven innings. He allowed three runs off six hits and a walk, while striking out five batters in the loss. Ryan Lower (2-0) rivaled Kahana on the mound for the Huskies, allowing nine hits and two runs in eight innings of work. Josh Martinez came on in the ninth to close the door for HBU to pick up his second save of the season.
Kansas broke open the scoring early in the first inning, thanks to a two-out RBI-single by McKay to score sophomore second baseman Tommy Mirabelli from second base. Mirabelli drew the walk to reach base and advanced on a Suiter fielder’s choice.
Houston Baptist battled back in the top of the third, thanks to a two-out, two-RBI single by Curtis Jones, after Kahana surrendered a hit, hit by pitch and a walk to load the bases. The Huskies added another in the top of the fifth after a single, sacrifice bunt and another single drove in the run.
KU answered in the bottom of the frame after junior short stop Justin Protacio led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Mirabelli fielder’s choice. Suiter followed with an RBI-single of his own, to drive in the final run of the game for the Jayhawks. Unfortunately for the Jayhawks, they failed to put a crooked number up on the scoreboard in the remaining four innings.
In 10 games this season, Kansas has scored nine or more runs in eight of those contests. The two runs scored today marks the lowest on the season since the Jayhawks defeated BYU, 2-0, Feb. 15 in Arizona.
The Jayhawks and Huskies are back on the diamond at 3 p.m. for game two of Saturday’s doubleheader.
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