Long Ball Stuns Jayhawks, OSU Completes Sweep, 6-3

Sophomore second baseman Colby Wright boasted a 3-for-4 effort at the plate with a run scored.
Oklahoma State 6, Kansas 3
Reynolds Stadium // Stillwater, Okla.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
KU 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 9 0
OSU 0 3 0 2 0 0 1 0 X 6 7 0

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

Batting Leaders
C. Wright 4 1 3 0 0 0
T. Tharp 4 1 2 2 0 1
J. Protacio 3 0 2 0 2 0
T. Arakawa 3 1 1 3 0 1
Z. Fish 4 1 2 0 0 0
D. Williams 3 1 1 2 0 1
Kansas IP H R ER BB SO
F. Duncan (4-2) 7.0 7 6 6 3 4
D. Morovick 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
T. Nurdin 2.1 3 2 2 3 1
B. Battenfield (2-0) 3.1 5 1 1 1 1
V. Wheeland 2.1 0 0 0 0 0
B. McCurry (11) 1.0 1 0 0 0 1

STILLWATER, Okla. – Against a red-hot squad, the Kansas baseball team couldn’t find a way to cool the bats of the Cowboys as Oklahoma State completed the series sweep, 6-3, Sunday afternoon at Allie P. Reynolds Field.
Senior right-handed ace Frank Duncan (4-2) got the call to start the series finale for the Jayhawks (23-19, 6-9 Big 12) in an attempt to avoid the first series sweep on the season. Two OSU (29-11, 11-4) home runs later, Duncan found himself in line for the loss, just his second of the season.
“He [Duncan] wasn’t as sharp today as he’s been the last four times out in conference play,” head coach Ritch Price said. “He left some balls up and when you’re red-hot as hitters, you take advantage of mistakes and they were physical with the bat today. They hit those two homers and that was the difference in the ballgame – they hit two and we hit one.”
Three KU players boasted multiple-hit efforts, with sophomore second baseman Colby Wright leading the way with three hits and a run scored.
It was business as usual on Sundays for Kansas in the early innings, as the squad jumped out to an early lead in the second. With one swing of the bat, the Jayhawks jumped on top, 2-0, thanks to a two-run bomb by senior centerfielder Tucker Tharp. Sitting with a 2-2 count, Tharp dropped the hammer on a fastball high and tight and sent it over the wall and off the softball stadium in left field for his fifth dinger of the season.
The Cowboys answered right back with a momentum killer of their own. Duncan hit catcher Gage Green to lead off the inning and then left one belt high for right fielder Zach Fish, who doubled down the left field line to bring up second baseman Tim Arakawa, Saturday’s home run hero.
Arakawa continued where he left off Saturday and drilled it over the wall in left field for the three-run shot, taking the lead away from Kansas, 3-2. That was the first home run Duncan has given up all year and the most runs since his first start of the season against BYU (Feb. 15).  
Duncan threw up a zero in the third inning, before giving up his second round-tripper of the game in the bottom half of the fourth. Green drew the leadoff walk before Duncan recorded back-to-back fly outs to Tharp in centerfield.
On the first pitch of the next at bat, OSU designated hitter Dustin Williams roped one high and far to center. Tharp had a good beat on it and made a leaping attempt at the wall to rob the two-run shot, but the ball tipped off his glove and landed over the fence for the home run, giving the Cowboys the three-run advantage, 5-2.
The sore spot on the weekend for the Jayhawks came from the middle of the lineup. Junior left fielder Michael Suiter tallied just one RBI, while Big 12 RBI and home run leader, junior right fielder Connor McKay, managed zero, hitting into two double plays.
“The middle of the lineup got pitched really tough this weekend,” Price said. “The only way we are going to win is if the 3-4-5-6 guys in our lineup produce. McKay goes the weekend without an RBI and Dakota Smith doesn’t get an RBI and Suiter only has one, and if that happens, we are going to get beat.”
However, the Jayhawks managed to cut into the Oklahoma State lead in the top half of the sixth inning after a little two-out lightning. Smith drew the two-out walk following a double play to bring up junior third baseman Aaron Hernandez with a runner on base. Hernandez took the second pitch of the at bat opposite field and off the wall in right to score Smith from first and cut the OSU lead to 5-3.
Another OSU insurance run put the Jayhawks down 6-3 heading into their final at bats. Having completed a series of comebacks earlier in the season, KU battled to the final out of the game, but stranded two baserunners in the ninth inning for the loss.
Kansas is back in action Wednesday, April 23, as the Jayhawks play host to Missouri State in midweek action before heading to Waco, Texas, for a three-game conference series against Baylor Friday, April 25 – Sunday, April 27.
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