Missed Opportunities Costly as KU Drops Game One at UNM, 6-3

Junior first baseman Blair Beck batted 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
New Mexico 6, Kansas 3
Lobo Field // Albuquerque, N.M.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
KU 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 3 10 3
UNM 1 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 X 6 10 0

Box Score (.pdf)
Season Stats (.pdf)

Batting Leaders
J. Protacio 4 0 2 1 0 0
B. Beck 3 1 2 1 0 0
M. Tinsley 3 0 2 0 1 0
New Mexico
R. Padilla 3 2 2 0 1 0
J. Holley 4 1 2 1 0 0
A. Vigil 3 0 1 2 0 0
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
D. Morovick (3-1) 5.2 7 6 4 1 2
S. Villines 2.1 3 0 0 0 1
New Mexico
P. Ryan 3.1 7 1 1 2 0
K. Baumgartner (1-1) 3.2 1 1 1 1 2
A. Carman 0.1 0 1 1 2 0
C. Schneider 0.0 1 0 0 0 0
T. Duree 0.2 1 0 0 0 1
J. Cole 1.0 0 0 0 0 1

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Four runs in the sixth inning by New Mexico was the difference maker, as the Kansas baseball team dropped game one of its two-game set with the Lobos, 6-3, on a brisk Tuesday evening at Lobo Field.
The Lobos (13-7-1) tagged junior right-handed hurler Drew Morovick (3-1) for six runs off of five hits and a walk in five and two-thirds innings pitched, including the four-spot in the sixth inning that dug Kansas (14-6) into a hole it couldn’t climb out of.
The Jayhawks scored three runs off 10 hits, including multiple-hit efforts by junior shortstop Justin Protacio (2-for-4), freshman catcher Michael Tinsley (2-for-3) and junior first baseman Blair Beck (2-for-3). Protacio and Beck each added an RBI, while Beck tallied a run scored.
Morovick surrendered just one hit through the first four innings, including a stretch in which he retired 12 straight batters. However, the New Mexico bats heated up in the fifth inning. After two-straight singles and a throwing error by sophomore second baseman Tommy Mirabelli moved runners to second and third with no outs, third baseman Andre Vigil put the Lobos on top 2-1, before Morovick induced a ground ball out and picked off a runner at first to get out of the jam.
UNM added to its lead in the sixth inning after back-to-back one-out singles by right fielder Chase Harris and catcher Alex Real set the table for a big inning. With runners at the corners, John Pustay grounded out to score the run at third. Ryan Padilla walked, before Jared Holley singled to right, where the wheels fell off the KU defense.
A muffed transfer by junior right fielder Connor McKay allowed Real to score, before a throwing error by Tinsley trying to get Holley at third allowed him to score, pushing the Lobo lead to four, 5-1. KU then went to the pen and brought in freshman side-armer Stephen Villines to close out the frame.
On just Villines’ third pitch, Vigil smoked an RBI single to right field to score the final run in the sixth inning, as UNM led 6-1.
Kansas battled back the next two innings, scoring a run in each. Beck led off the seventh with a hit by pitch and was followed by a walk by junior designated hitter Dakota Smith. A sacrifice bunt by Mirabelli moved the duo up a base, before a sacrifice fly by Protacio plated Beck from third to cut the New Mexico lead to four, 6-2.
The Jayhawks rallied again in the eighth inning, after walks by junior left fielder Michael Suiter and Tinsley put runners on base with one out. Head coach Ritch Price then called upon Tucker Tharp to pinch hit, where the senior smoked a line-drive single to centerfield to drive in the last of the KU runs, 6-3 Lobos.  However, Mirabelli struck out with the bases loaded, ending the frame and the Jayhawks’ hope for a comeback.
The two teams are back on Lobo Field Wednesday, March 19, to close out the two-game series. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. (CST).
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