Kansas Wins 13-Inning Thriller at Stanford, 4-2

Senior closer Jordan Piche’ tossed five innings, including four scoreless in extra innings for the win.
Kansas 4, Stanford 2
Klein Field at Sunken Diamond // Stanford, Calif.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 R
KU 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 4
STAN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2

Box Score (.pdf)

Season Stats (.pdf)

Post-game Podcast (audio)

Batting Leaders
J. Protacio 7 1 2 0 0 0
M. Suiter 3 2 1 1 3 0
C. McKay 7 1 2 2 0 0
D. Diekroeger 5 0 2 0 0 0
D. Jackson 3 0 2 0 0 0
B. Whiting 1 0 1 1 0 0
Top Pitchers
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
W. Benjamin 7.0 4 0 0 1 5
J. Piche’ (2-0) 5.0 6 2 1 2 5
S. Villines (1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
B. Hanewich 5.1 3 0 0 1 4
L. James (0-1) 3.1 1 1 1 4 2

STANFORD, Calif. – With two outs and a runner on third in the 13th inning, junior left fielder Michael Suiter scorched a line drive RBI single to left field to give Kansas a one run advantage, as the Jayhawks defeated Stanford, 4-2, Friday night at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond.
Junior right fielder Connor McKay followed-up with a two out RBI double of his own to score Suiter for the two-run lead. However, it was the pitching staff that kept the momentum going for the Jayhawks (12-1) as it combined for 11 scoreless innings, including all four in bonus play.
“Talk about fighting through adversity and grinding it out and showing some toughness,” head coach Ritch Price said. “That is one of the best wins we have had in the 12 years I have been at Kansas. I don’t think I have ever seen that many runners left on base by both teams in extra innings before. What great toughness. It ends up being an absolutely huge win for the Jayhawks on Friday night.”
Junior left hander Wes Benjamin set the tone early with seven scoreless innings of work. He allowed just four hits and a walk, while striking out five in a 111-pitch effort. Kansas then relied on the arm of senior right-handed closer Jordan Piche’ (2-0), who was in line for the save in the ninth.
After a costly KU error in the ninth and a couple of Stanford hits took the save away from Piche’, he found himself in a different role, grinding through five innings to give the Jayhawks an opportunity to win. No inning was more important than the 12th, when he found himself in a bases loaded jam for the second time on the night, this time with no outs.
Piche’ almost hit the first batter he faced with the bases loaded, but later induced a lineout to sophomore Tommy Mirabelli at second. He then got a routine ground ball to junior shortstop Justin Protacio, who patiently tossed it to senior catcher Ka’iana Eldredge for the second out. Piche’ then fell behind in the count 3-0 to Stanford’s Tommy Edman, heightening the stress level for Jayhawk fans in attendance yet again.  Once more though, Piche’ battled back, getting Edman to fly out to right field, compliments of a diving catch by McKay.
“I really couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Piche’ said. “They really backed me up 100 percent and kept me in it. I give it all to them. It is one of those emotional games that is hard for a pitcher to have happen to you, but a win is a win for our team and that is the biggest thing coming from it.”
Freshman right handed side arm slinger Stephen Villines came in to close out the game in the 13th, recording his first career save in 11 pitches.
Two different Jayhawks tallied multiple hits on the day. Protacio finished the game 2-for-7 with a run scored, while McKay also finished 2-for-7 with two RBIs and a run scored. Protacio’s hits extends his hitting streak to 11 games and his on base streak to 25.
For Stanford (5-8), Danny Diekroeger and Drew Jackson each tallied two hits, while Austin Slater and Brant Whiting each had a hit and an RBI. The Cardinal used the majority of its bench as 24 different players saw action in the game.
The two squads are back in action Saturday, March 8, for game two of this three-game series. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. (CST).
KUAthletics.com:  The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.